Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Making of the Faithful
1 Corinthians 10:1-11
 
Aby George
Connecticut Mar Thoma Congregation, CT
11 These things happened to them to serve as an example, and they were written down to instruct us, on whom the ends of the ages have come.
“Those who fail to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors are destined to repeat them.” is a paraphrased version of the famous quote by philosopher George Santayana. In this Bible portion, St. Paul reminds us to learn from the history of Israel how dreadful the consequences of unfaithfulness [Num. 14: 29-35] are and to use them as warnings in our lives as we prepare ourselves for the day of salvation that is nearer.
All of the Israelites who were liberated from their slavery in Egypt and started their journey to the Promised Land experienced the same heavenly bliss – all were led by God’s presence in the pillar of cloud by day and in the pillar of fire by night, all of them walked through the Red sea, all of them ate the heavenly Manna and quenched their thirst drinking the water from the rock. However, God was not pleased with most of them due to their sins and swore that none of them except for Caleb and Joshua, would make it to the Promised Land , but would die in the desert.
The Israelites' sin was that they were unfaithful [Num. 14: 33-34] to God. They lost their faith in His promises every time they faced a new challenge in their journey. They did not remember how He provided for them in the past. They constantly tested Him. They made idols of false Gods and worshipped them. They had several instances in their lives to learn from their own mistakes and turn back to Him for good, like when 24,000 died of sexual immorality [Num. 25: 1-9] and 14,700 died of grumbling [Num. 16: 49], but they didn’t. The price Israelites had to pay for their unfaithfulness was huge. They had to wander in the desert for 40 years until every single man of those who started their journey from Egypt died in the desert [ Num. 14: 33-34].
Paul helps us to better understand that it was their disbelief [Rom. 11: 20] in God and His promises that made Israel unfaithful to Him. Similar to Israel’s journey to the Promised Land, we are on the journey to eternal salvation, which will end on the Lord’s second coming. We, as a generation, are closer to our Lord’s second coming as Paul reminds us, “The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So lets us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” [Rom. 13: 12] He warns us to learn from Israel’s mistakes and not repeat them but stand firm in our faith and belief, lest, we may face the same end as Israelites did [ Rom. 11: 21].
We live in a world of trials, tribulations and temptations. We will be tempted to part with our faith. But we do not have to be afraid that we have to fight this battle alone.  God is with us and will provide us ways to overcome all trials, tribulations and temptations- “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”[ 1 Cor. 10: 13]

PRAYER


Heavenly Father, we confess that we have sinned against You and have fallen short of Your glory. Please help us to learn from the sins of our forefathers as well as ours. Strengthen us to not repeat them, but to keep ourselves away from unfaithfulness and disbelief. Guide us so that we may do Your will all the days of our lives. Amen
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law”. (Rom. 13:8)