December 1, 2019

God Will Deliver You From Every Evil

INTERESTING FACTS : John Dickinson, SIGNER OF THE CONSTITUTION; GOVERNOR OF PENNSYLVANIA; GOVERNOR OF DELAWARE; GENERAL IN THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
 
"[Governments] could not give the rights essential to happiness... We claim them from a higher source: from the King of kings, and Lord of all the earth."[1]
 
Daily Reading : 1 CORINTHIANS 9 - 11
 
TEXT : 1 Corinthians  10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;  10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;  10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;  10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.  10:5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.  10:6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.  10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.  10:8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.  10:9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.  10:10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.  10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.  10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.  10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it
 
THEME : GOD OUR HELPER
 
1 Corinthians 9 
 
St. Paul vindicates his apostleship, and shows that he has equal rights and privileges with Peter and the brethren of our Lord; and that he is not bound, while doing the work of an apostle, to labor with his hands for his own support, 1Co_9:1-6. He who labors should live by the fruit of his own industry, 1Co_9:7. For the law will not allow even the ox to be muzzled which treads out the corn, 1Co_9:8-10. Those who minister in spiritual things have a right to a secular support for their work, 1Co_9:11-14. He shows the disinterested manner in which he has preached the Gospel, 1Co_9:15-18. Now he accommodated himself to the prejudices of men, in order to bring about their salvation, 1Co_9:19-23. The way to heaven compared to a race, 1Co_9:24. The qualifications of those who may expect success in the games celebrated at Corinth, and what that success implies, 1Co_9:25. The apostle applies these things spiritually to himself; and states the necessity of keeping his body in subjection, lest, after having proclaimed salvation to others, he should become a castaway, 1Co_9:26, 1Co_9:27.  (Adam Clarke)[2]
 
1 Corinthians 10 
 
Peculiar circumstances in the Jewish history were typical of the greatest mysteries of the Gospel; particularly their passing through the Red Sea, and being overshadowed with the miraculous cloud, 1Co_10:1, 1Co_10:2. The manna with which they were fed, 1Co_10:3. And rock out of which they drank, 1Co_10:4. The punishments inflicted on them for their disobedience are warnings to us, 1Co_10:5. We should not lust as they did, 1Co_10:6. Nor commit idolatry, 1Co_10:7. Nor fornication as they did; in consequence of which twenty-three thousand of them were destroyed, 1Co_10:8. Nor tempt Christ as they did, 1Co_10:9. Nor murmur, 1Co_10:10. All these transgressions and their punishments are recorded as warnings to us, that we may not fall away from the grace of God, 1Co_10:11, 1Co_10:12. God never suffers any to be tempted above their strength, 1Co_10:13. Idolatry must be detested, 1Co_10:14. And the sacrament of the Lord's Supper properly considered and taken, that God may not be provoked to punish us, 1Co_10:15-22. There are some things which may be legally done which are not expedient; and we should endeavor so to act as to edify each other, 1Co_10:23, 1Co_10:24. The question concerning eating things offered to idols considered, and finally settled, 1Co_10:25-30. We should do all things to the glory of God, avoid whatsoever might be the means of stumbling another, and seek the profit of others in spiritual matters rather than our own gratification, 1Co_10:31-33.  (Adam Clarke) [3]
 
1 Corinthians 11 
 
The apostle reprehends the Corinthians for several irregularities in their manner of conducting public worship; the men praying or prophesying with their heads covered, and the women with their heads uncovered, contrary to custom, propriety, and decency, 1Co_11:1-6. Reasons why they should act differently, 1Co_11:7-16. They are also reproved for their divisions and heresies, 1Co_11:17-19. And for the irregular manner in which they celebrated the Lord's Supper, 1Co_11:20-22. The proper manner of celebrating this holy rite laid down by the apostle, 1Co_11:23-26. Directions for a profitable receiving of the Lord's Supper, and avoiding the dangerous consequences of communicating unworthily, 1Co_11:27-34.  (Adam Clarke)[3]
 
TRUTH FOR TODAY : "GOD WILL DELIVER YOU FROM EVERY EVIL."
 
Among the many reasons the Bible was written, learning from the sins and mistakes of others is one of them.  It is for your benefit God has included the sinful and disobedient behavior of his people in the publication of his Book.  As our text says - "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." This is indeed a word of comfort and encouragement.  To know that whatever you are going through is "normal," or "average," should help you to rest in Christ trust him for your deliverance.
 
The Apostle Paul in 1st Corinthians chapter 10 explains what happened to ancient Israel when they went against God in their journeying in the wilderness of Sinai.  They murmured and complained.  They committed sexual acts that are not permissible.  They complained against Moses.  They resisted the priesthood of Aaron.  They set up an idol, and the list goes on.  The point (for you) that God recorded these egregious misdeeds of the people was for an "example," ("ensample" in the King James Bible) that you should avoid at all costs.  The reason, once again that God put down the bad behavior of his own people is so you will not follow the same example.  If you do, you can be certain you will have the same judgment.  On the other hand, God's Word includes many great examples of faith.  Therefore, if you follow the great faith of the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and of course - the Lord Jesus Christ, you will likewise have the same rewards. 
 
This is the purpose of the Bible.  It is not to present academic considerations or theoretical spirituality.  The Bible is a law Book.  Its design is to teach you "how" to live - by faith and the grace of God.  It was not penned merely for points of interest and discussion, to satisfy intellectual curiosity and provide entertainment. Unfortunately, far too many Christians and preachers as well, speak of the Bible as though it were written as a mere philosophy whose truths are either negotiable or under scrutiny.  Some Christian teachers, preachers, and theologians as well, treat the Bible as a unique belvedere, where they themselves can gaze and point out the Bible's interesting and unique view to others.  The Greek men, who sat in the Areopagus on Mars hill in Athens during the days of the Apostle Paul, loved to discuss philosophy and every new and stimulating ideology.  However, they had great difficulty with the Apostle Paul as he expounded on "the unknown God." The Christ of the Apostle Paul required obedience, a change of thinking and behaving. 
 
Once again, the judgment of God on the people of Israel is an example for you not to follow.  However, the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul includes in the text something important, as well as encouraging.  He states there is no temptation (trial, affliction, testing, stressors etc. and so forth) that you are going through that is not a common experience for others as well.  This alone is a mental comfort.  It lets you know your situation is not unique in history.  In fact, most of what you go through - thousands, if not millions of other Christians are also struggling with.  You should find this to be a relief because it means that you are not alone.  There are others just like you.  Further, if they can make it through - as God has promised, you will make it also.
 
The Apostle Paul emphatically announces that "God is faithful." This means that he will always see you through.  Admittedly, at times it does not seem that God is near or that you are going to make it through your present distress.  However, subjective feelings and thoughts are not necessarily objective facts.  That is to say, because you think or feel something does not mean that it is true.  God cannot lie.  If he says he will not permit you to be tempted or tested beyond your ability to endure or overcome, then it is a fact.  Whether you feel it or not, whether at the moment you believe it or not, does not change the truth of God's Word.  God will always see you "through" your trial.  This means, you'll come out at the other end of the trial stronger and safe.  He will not allow you to perish or be destroyed.
 
Remember, the gift of eternal life is quality of life not just endless life.  The life of God cannot be destroyed.  This is what Jesus meant when he said in John chapter 10, that - "whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die." Everlasting life is just that -endless, indestructible.  Therefore, whatever your circumstance or trial may be, because you have the life of Christ, the life of God, you will always triumph.
 
Therefore, take heart.  You are going to make it.  No doubt, there will be more than a few dents in your shield of faith, but you will make it.  Set your mind today on believing this truth - "God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able." Say to yourself today - "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth with me." Men can lie.  God cannot lie.  He has said he will keep you and preserve you so that you will be able to bear your present trial and escape it.  Thus, God will deliver you from every evil!

  • [1] John Dickinson, The Political Writings of John Dickinson (Wilmington: Bonsal and Niles, 1801), Vol. I, pp. 111-112.
  • [2] Adam Clarke LL.D., F.S.A. Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible. Public Domain, 1715 - 1832.
  • [3] Ibid
  • [4] Ibid
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