Example and Instruction


1 Corinthians 10:1-22, 2 Chronicles 25-28

1 Corinthians 10:11 – Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our own instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.

Lord God, I learn so much when I read the history of your people. I learn about the tendencies of human nature.  It is such a broken record.  Faithful to one day. Trusting you one day. Falling the next.  I see the same tendency in myself.  If I am not constantly repenting, constantly checking myself against your Word, I find myself wandering away one small step at a time.  Lord God, I beg you.  Do whatever it takes to keep me faithful to you.  Take whatever is harmful.  Give whatever is good.  Do whatever you need to keep me from wandering from you!  I also learn how much you hate sin and rebellion.  You discipline your people when they wander from you. This is a warning for me.  Help me to hear it.  Keep from thinking about these only in terms of the people involved.  Help me to see your nature at work, that you do not tolerate sin and rebellion.  You are a God who hates sin and all who commit it. Help me to hear and heed the warning that you give in the way you discipline your people.  Lord, I also see your faithfulness.  And that is perhaps the most stunning thing of all I learn in the stories of your people.  As faithless as they become, you are always faithful to your promise.  You are not quick to discipline.  You are patient and loving.  You continually call them through the prophets, though they often reject them.  And if or when they return, you always forgive and receive them back with open arms.  Lord God, should I wander from your Word and then, by your Spirit, come to my senses about my sin, remind me then that your arms are also open to me.  Your mercies are new every morning.  Your forgiveness separates my sin from me as far as the east is from the west.  Your grace overflows to me abundantly.  Lord God, keep from missing the example and instruction that the stories of your people give me.  Amen.