Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry.” We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. We should not test the Lord, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.
Israel’s story is written down for us, teaching us from a negative example what not to do. We need to learn from what was written in the OT and keep our hearts from evil.
• Don’t be idolaters, as some of them were.
• Don’t commit sexual immorality, as some of them did.
• Don’t test the Lord, as some of them did.
• Don’t grumble, as some of them did.
God was not pleased with most of them (10:5) and many of them died.
I want God to be pleased with me! This doesn’t come from fear of a God who can strike me down dead, although He can! (I should not take God’s holiness lightly… this would be unwise. We learn this lesson from the Israelites’ story in the Old Testament.) No, as a child wants to please his father, so I want to please my Heavenly Father. He has adopted me into His family through Jesus. I am His son and I want to please Him. So learning from Israel’s story, which was written down as an example for me, I need to worship no other gods. There are plenty of idols available in this culture, but I will bow down to none of them. I need to remain moral sexually, living out as God intended the sexual being He created me to be. I need to trust God in all things and not test His patience or His grace. I need to be grateful at all times and not grumble. Philippians 2:14 says, “Do everything without complaining or arguing…”
As I live this quality of life in the power of God’s Spirit, He will lead me each day and God will be pleased!
Thank You for Your Word, Father. Thank You for the lessons learned that help me to be a son that pleases You. You have made me glad! May I bring joy to Your heart this day is my prayer.