guided by a cloud that moved ahead of them,
walked through the sea on dry ground.
In the cloud and in the sea, all of them were baptized as followers of Moses.
All of them ate the same spiritual food,
all of them drank the same spiritual water.
the spiritual rock that travelled with them, and that rock was Christ.
Yet God was not pleased with most of them, and their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.1 Corinthians 10:1-5
Wow I can’t believe this is the 400th Bible Gem. I have been doing this now for 400 days. Well longer actually. Spread over 448 days. I started the Gems on the 9th of September 2009 (09/09/09). There have been days when I gave you time off to do homework, days when I gave you a break between books. Days when I couldn’t connect to the internet while in remote villages of Indonesia or on the road in New Zealand. Days when my computer was struck by a virus and the like. But this is now the 400th Gem since that first day in September 2009. The day I started a live Quiet Time via the Internet and Twitter (thanks Lily) which now goes out to over 6000 people a day. What an amazing age we live in. I trust this is helping you to interact with the Biblical text and understand it better. That’s my purpose in all of this. If not I ought to quit now.
Now to work on today’s passage:
- what cloud?
- what sea?
- what spiritual food?
- What spiritual water?
- What spiritual Rock?
- what do these things refer to?
I am sure you have worked it out. it is not hard if you know the story. This is the point isn’t it? Paul and the other Israelites know the story so well. All that’s left for Paul is to make the allusion to something by referring to just one word and the Hebrew speakers get it. When you have learned the whole Torah by heart by the time you are 13 it all just fits together.
- The cloud: is the cloud of God’s presence that led them by day (and by association the pillar of fire by night).
- The sea: is the Red Sea that was parted allowing them all to live again when they faced certain death.
- The spiritual food: is the manna that they ate daily in the wilderness. What is it? That’s right “what is it?” Manna means “what is it?”.
- The spiritual water: is the water that flowed from the rock when Moses struck it.
- The spiritual rock: is two things – firstly it is that rock that was struck, but it is also symbolic of the Christ. That rock was Christ!
Now what does that mean?
Notice also all of these things were meant to be blessings for them. They are all incredible, aren’t they? Wouldn’t that thrill your heart if even just one of them happened for you? Let alone all of them happening within a short period of time. Remember Bible Gems 270? If you havent read it before (just joined me on Gems since then) go read it on my current site listed above. They ought to have been boasting about what God has done in our lives. That is what should have happened for the Israelites in the wilderness (and by inference for the Corinthians). “Do you know what God did? When we were in the wilderness he led us daily by cloud and at night by fire. Wow guidance couldn’t have been clearer. He brought us through the Red Sea on dry land. It was so scarey with the waters towing above us and the Egyptians behind us seeking our heads. But God did amazing things. When we were in the wilderness, we got up each morning and gathered stuff that covered the ground, we dont even know to this day what it was, but it kept us alive. Wow. And do you know it didn’t come on the sabbath. we had to gather an extra amount for the sabbath the day before. It always reminds me that the sabbath is holy to the LORD. We drank from a rock, can you believe it? Moses hit a rock and water came gushing when we were thirsty. I tell those days were heady times. I still remember like they were today.”
Is that what happened? Well yes it is, but the reaction is not! The things that ought to have been blessings became their downfall. What about you? Are the blessings that God heaps on you building you up or pulling you down? Do you realise how many times we humans get so tripped up BY OUR BLESSINGS. Stop and think about the number of times you complain about your blessings. How ungrateful can you get! THAT IS THE REASON WHY GOD WAS NOT PLEASED WITH THEM. THEY WERE GRIZZLING ABOUT THEIR BLESSINGS.
We are not finished on this passage yet. Are you satisfied? I hope not? If you are and you are ready to move on, then you are likely to miss the hard bits in other places. There are two meaty statements that shout out to us for understanding.
- In the cloud and in the sea, all of them were baptized as followers of Moses.
- the spiritual rock that travelled with them, and that rock was Christ.
What does this mean? This is obtuse. Exactly. It needs some focus. Dont pass it by. You would have, wouldn’t you? You would have put it in the too hard basket. No sorry, I can’t let you do that. Think about it before tomorrow.
Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshiping what’s right with God.Mark Batterson
Every opportunity has a difficulty, & every difficulty has an opportunity.J Sidlow Baxter
God can’t fill you with anointing if you’re filled with envy, resentment or judgmentalism. You’ve got to lose your attitudes.Rick Warren