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Feb 18, 2024

Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:14-22

Paul has been writing about the issue of eating food that had been offered to idols and that topic will have taken up three chapters (chs. 8-10) before he is done.  In today's passage he plainly writes, "Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry" (1 Cor 10:14).

1 Corinthians 10:14-22 is about idolatry.  Idolatry comes in many forms.  Calvin calls human nature an 'idol factory.'  The essence of sin is an attitude that gives glory to something other than God, putting that something (or someone) in His place.  To belittle God is to scorn His glory.  This first command reminds us of who God is and of who we are.  It teaches us to bow before the Almighty in adoration, trust, thanksgiving, and homage. 

This passage ends with a reference to the jealousy of God … "Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy?" (1 Cor 10:22).  When the Bible speaks of God being a jealous God (Nah 1:2; Exod 34:14) we must not think of the kind of human jealousy that is borne out of insecurity, mistrust, and selfishness.  God's jealousy is His altogether appropriate desire for His creation to honor Him as God and not replace Him with lesser things.

The first commandment forbids us to have any other god before YHWH.  The positive implications of this command is that we acknowledge and worship Him … esteeming, honoring, loving, delighting in, obeying, calling on, pursuing Him … with all our might, while we live.