Fleeing Your Idols

Pray:

Lord, You are the God who turns all things for the good of those who are Yours. Thank You.

 

Read: 1 CORINTHIANS 10:14-22

[14] Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. [15] I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. [16] Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? [17] Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf. [18] Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? [19] Do I mean then that food sacrificed to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? [20] No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. [21] You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons.[22] Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

 

Reflect: What do the pursuits of your life reveal as your priority?

In yesterday’s passage, Paul assured the Corinthians that God provides a way out of temptation. In today’s passage, he specifies the way out of the temptation to partake in pagan feasts. He tells the Corinthians to flee (14).

Paul explains why the Corinthians’ conduct is sinful. What do the Christian Eucharist, Jewish sacrificial feasts, and pagan temple feasts have in common? All of them form bonds between their participants, as well as between their participants and the god worshipped through the meal. Paul agrees with the Corinthians that the gods of pagan temples are not deities. But he argues that idol worship is demonic, for it severs the believer from God (20,21). Believers cannot be united with God and, at the same time, embrace something that dishonors God.

It would be easy to criticize the Corinthians for compromising their faith. But, as Jesus says, we first need to take the plank out of our own eye (Matt. 7:3-5). Money, entertainment, sex, and power–to name but a few–all serve as idols in the Western world. They ignite worldly desires and distract us from the pursuit of knowing God.

 

Apply:

Confess to God those things that are distracting you from the priority of his kingdom.

 

Pray:

Precious Father, thank You that You are ever calling us out of death into all that brings life.

 

Syndicated via Scripture Union, scriptureunion.org