Not Well Pleased-By Pastor DR. Robert Bannister

Not Well Pleased?

(1Co 10:1) For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea;

(1Co 10:2) and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

(1Co 10:3) and all ate the same spiritual food;

(1Co 10:4) and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.

(1Co 10:5) Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness.

In these first five verses in 1 Corinthians chapter 10, Paul refers to the time of Israels escape from bondage in Egypt to their trek through the wilderness and heading toward the territory which God has promised the ancient Israelites. The account of this journey written in the book of Exodus makes for enjoyable and lively reading. I would like to focus upon some important spiritual implications of this historic event as Paul refers to these in his letter to the church at Corinth.

In verse 2 it states “and all were baptized into Moses”. Initially “baptized into Moses” would seem to be a conflict in terms as we think of the word baptism. The Greek word baptizo as used in this verse is not actually a translation as such, but more of a transliteration. Here is the definition of transliteration:
verb (used with object), transliterated, transliterating.
to change (letters, words, etc.) into corresponding characters of another alphabet or language:
to transliterate the Greek Χ as ch.

No doubt there have been many discussions throughout the generations, some dogmatic and heated, even some erupting into fist fights and all kinds of drama (well maby not exactly fist fights??) over the use of the word baptized into Moses in verse 2. For our purposes today let's not enter into a lengthly theological debate about the use of this word, but instead consider that the Israelites were bonded together in unification as a people, as the nation Israel under the leadership of Moses.

In Exodus it reveals to us that all was not exactly well. There were problems out there in the wilderness. Many problems. They all ate the same spititual food, they all drank the same spiritual drink-from a spiritual rock which followed them, that rock being Christ.
Num 14:11 The LORD said to Moses, "How long will this people spurn Me? And how long will they not believe in Me, despite all the signs which I have performed in their midst?

The Israelites were given much liberty and freedom during that time. The Mosaic law had not yet been given. The people abused their freedoms and turned inwardly toward sin. Sound familiar? With sin, God is not well pleased.
Heb 3:17 And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness?

Then as now the people sought to fulfill the lust of the flesh. Some grew tired of the manna which God had graciously provided for them. We can be tempted to look back to our past, forgetting the things which God has brought forth in the newness of life in living for Christ, no longer living for self. They grumbled and complained. They wanted meat and vegetables like they had in Egypt. They lusted after those things which were outside the will of God for them. They began to reject the workings of God in their lives.
Jud 1:5 Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe.

Paul sought to remind the people of the church at Corinth of this great historical lesson.

(    1Co 10:6) Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved.
(1Co 10:7) Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, "THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND STOOD UP TO PLAY."
1Co 10:8) Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day.

The only Bible the Corinthians had up to that point in time amounted to the teachings of the Old Testament. Paul uses this illustration to the remind the believers of their ability to succomb to temptation. The effect is that it is not merely religious ceremony or affiliation that protects us from “falling into sin” or “backsliding”if you will. Rather, God is interested in how we live our lives. Many of those who wandered in the wilderness did not please God, and they died out there in the desert. Let us heed the warning.
1Co 6:9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,

Rev 2:14 'But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality.

Though Paul was addressing the church at Corinth and their particular situations, these lessons are just as applicable to us today trying to live a Christian life in a secular world.
( 1Co 10:9) Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents.
(1Co 10:10) Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer.
 1Co 10:11) Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

Our world today is busy and most chaotic, dominated by the failures of men. Paul's instructions give us great hope in a world awash in sin.
Rom 15:4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

(1Co 10:12) Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.
11Co 10:13) No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

We face many trials and temptations-with all it's inevitable and ugly  consequences as a result. Much of our sin is interwoven with pride. We must learn to be humble about our spiritual strength, lest we become as a fool. We face a powerful and persistant enemy who attempts to take our very thoughts captive before we perhaps even realize what's going on. Matters can easily become most confusing-especially these days.
Pro 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling.

(Eph 6:12) For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
(Eph 6:13) Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

You and I are not alone dear Brother and Sister!
(1Pe 5:9) But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.

In conclusion I would like to refer to this verse in the Psalms:
Psa 36:5 Your lovingkindness, O LORD, extends to the heavens, Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.

May the Lord bless you today!
Pastor Bob