Saturday in the Twenty-Third Week of Ordinary Time

1 Corinthians 10:14-22

A Jealous God

Paul now brings his argument about eating in pagan temples to its conclusion in a decisive way.  May we go dine out in the pagan temple since we know that Artemis or whoever does not really exist?  No you may not—exclamation point!  Paul begins by saying, “Flee from idolatry!”  The Corinthians respond, “What idolatry?  We’re just there to eat!”  Well, maybe so, and I doubt not your sincerity.  But you are ignorant of the danger you are in.

Paul attempts to show this to them by referring to the Lord’s Supper, an important part of their own worship with which the Corinthians would have been very familiar.  “The bread we break,” Paul says, “is it not a participation in the body of Christ?”  And the people of Israel long ago, were not those who ate of the sacrifices participants in the altar?  Of course they were, just as you are also a participant with Christ in the Lord’s Supper.  Well then, if all this is so, are you not “participants with demons” when you partake of the altar at their sacrifice?  Participants with demons?  Yes.  You will remember from yesterday that behind every false god is a very real demon.  This is what Paul teaches here, for though the pagan gods are not gods, they are demons masked as gods, and have been with us from the beginning, are with us today, and will be until the end.

Paul goes on to tell them that they “cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons,” they “cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.”  God is a jealous God, jealous over us, jealous as a lover for His beloved (Exodus 34:14; James 4:5; Song of Solomon 8:6).  The Corinthians risk provoking the Lord to anger after the manner of the Israelites which Paul mentioned earlier.  And so do we.  For some reason, we think we can have our God and our sin, too.  What pagan temples are we frequenting, telling ourselves that it’s okay when we know deep down it isn’t?  We think that if we go to church then somehow that will protect us.  It won’t.  Being where we shouldn’t be either with our feet, ears, or eyes is to be where the demons are.  If we stay there long enough, the ill feeling we had at our first visit will finally give way to a cozy reception, and the demons will be our friendly hosts.  If we do not repent, we will be their houseguests forever and find that whereas before we dined, now we are dinner.  Our Lord said when he was tempted, “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test” (Matthew 4:7).  How much less, we!

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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