This picture is supposedly the rock at Horeb from which water gushed out for the people of Israel. Can you imagine seeing water pour out a rock? Can you imagine walking on dry land through the Red Sea? Not to mention all that happened in Egypt when the Lord rescued His people from slavery. The ten plagues. The amazing miracle of the Passover. The defeat of their foe as the waters closed in over the Egyptian army.
They sing a victory song….then three days later they are wondering where they are going to get some water! Seriously? You just saw all of this happen and you don’t think that you should ask the Lord…trust the Lord to provide you with water? You think He rescued you from Egypt to let you die in the wilderness three days later?
The amount of examples are too numerous to cite. What Paul writes in 1 Cor. 10 is meant to point you back to these stories as an example “so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved.” Note this…”these things happened to them as an example.” So not only did these events have their own purpose in their day as it says in Exodus to test them but they happened for us to see and learn from now: “they were written for our instruction.”
Paul commanded the Corinthians, “Do not be idolaters, as some of them were…nor let us act immorally, as some of them did…nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did…nor grumble, as some of them did.”
Why does Paul say these things to them? So that they would live like this: “Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbors.” It’s really the same thing he’s been talking about for several chapters. Eternal joy awaits us, therefore live a selfless life now. It’s the same paradigm of humble yourself now and you will be exalted…the last shall be first. In other words, do not live like this is heaven, that’s coming later. The time is urgent!
Why are the times urgent? Why would Paul live this way and plead with the Corinthians to live this way? It is the same as ch. 9: “so that I may win more…so that I may win those under the law…so that I might win those who are without law…so that I may by all means save some.”
Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God; just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of the many, *so that they may be saved. 1 Corinthians 10:31-33
Our purpose in life is to glorify God. We also have a mission in life because many are not living for the glory of God and they should be. Our mission is to make disciples of all nations that they might live for His glory!
Are you avoiding the mistakes of Israel? Are we living for ourselves only or others? We will have eternity to live. We should spend our time now dying to self. As Paul will write later:
For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our moral flesh. So death works in us, but life in you. 2 Corinthians 4:11-12