1Co 10:1-5 “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; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.”
In chapter nine, Paul spoke to the Corinthians about how that all who were in a race ran but not all were triumphant. He now makes an application of this concerning the fathers who came up out of Egypt. While they were not “fathers” to the Gentiles among the Corinthian brethren in a genealogical sense (as they were to the Jewish brethren), they were still fathers from the standpoint of having the commandments and promises of God delivered unto them.
Paul again emphasizes his kinship to all the Corinthian church by calling them brethren. Since it was apparently a point of pride with them that they were knowledgeable (1Co 8:1), he called their attention to a fact that they were living as though they were ignorant of it: obedience to God is necessary to our continued joy in His kingdom here. If they were going to be puffed up in their knowledge, then they certainly needed to consider what Paul was about to put them in remembrance of.
God brought the whole host of Israel up out of Egyptian bondage: they all ran. He led them all by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. They all crossed the Red Sea on dry ground while the waters stood on either side of them as a wall and the pillar of cloud was their covering from the enemy. Every one of them ate of the same spiritual meat (manna) that God Himself provided from heaven.
Every man, woman, and child had their thirst quenched by the same spiritual water. It was pure and refreshing, because it came from the spiritual Rock. Amazingly, that Rock followed them on their wilderness journey so they never had excuse for being thirsty. There, in a wilderness they had never traveled before where they were baptized unto Moses (the mediator of the law covenant), the fathers had an experience with Christ decades before He was born of the virgin Mary.
In spite of all of God’s goodness and provision for their welfare, they grumbled and complained. Rather than being thankful for daily bread for which they did not labor and pure water from a Rock that was always available when needed, they wavered between wanting things the way they used to be and wanting things to be better than they were presently. Still, God in His mercy let them all run this race and showed them the bounty of the Promised Land.
They all saw the bounty; they were all amazed by what they saw; and with the exception of Joshua and Caleb, they all rejected God’s bounty. They had all been baptized unto Moses, eaten spiritual meat and had spiritual water from the Rock that was Christ. Still, they did not believe God was able to give them this land.
God was not well pleased with their unbelief. As evidence of this, all of them who were twenty years old and up at the time God revealed the bounty of the Promised Land died in that wilderness. Keep in mind that they ate of spiritual meat and drank from the spiritual Rock right up to the time they died. Paul did not want the Corinthian brethren to be ignorant of this because they were making some of the same mistakes.
After eating and drinking of the gospel of Jesus Christ, these brethren were divided as to where the glory belonged (was it Christ, or was it some preacher). They decided that some of their past ways were still ok to dabble in. In spite of God’s word, their personal knowledge was more important to them than that which was revealed by the Spirit. Even though they were enjoying spiritual food and drink, they would be overthrown from the joy of His kingdom if they persisted in these things.
Brothers and sisters, we need to take heed to ourselves that we are not ignorant of the consequences of our behavior towards God. We have many examples set before us His mercy and judgment. We do not want to seem to come short of the wonderful promise of God of living here in a land flowing with milk and honey. This is not a promise of financial gain, but rather of wealth that satisfies the soul and gives God the glory.
May we always remember that He who has led us in the wilderness is the same One that gives us the bounty of the Promised Land of His kingdom here!