Thursday, 9 October 2014
I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say. 1 Corinthians 10:15
Paul has just written in the previous verse that we are to “flee from idolatry.” This was based on his words concerning what occurred during the wilderness wanderings of Israel. Through idolatry, the people’s hearts and actions were turned away from God and it resulted in punishment, death, and destruction. Such lessons were recorded to keep us from falling into the same type of situation. Now he is going to spend the rest of chapter 10 explaining this from the perspective of the work of the Lord and how we are to relate to that.
In his words of this verse though, there may be a hint of irony attached. He says, “I speak as to wise men…” Saying this, he uses the same word, phronimos, that he used earlier in his letter –
“We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored!” 1 Corinthians 4:10
He very well may be using that previous statement to help them realize that they don’t know everything and that their actions can have the most severe of consequences. If this is his intent, then it explains why he showed those Old Testament examples first. And so to now bolster their wisdom, he tells them to “judge for yourselves what I say.”
Life application: The hand of Paul exudes wisdom partly because he was well educated in the things of God as a Pharisee before coming to Christ. He was able to tie the symbolism of the Old Testament in with the reality of what Christ had done. He was specifically chosen by the Lord to be His apostle to the Gentile church. Further, he was filled with the Spirit of God who led him in his writings in order for us to gain this wisdom and not fall into error. Remember that it is the epistles of Paul which are intended to guide the Gentile-led church until this dispensation ends.
Heavenly Father, when I look at the process of how You have given us Your word, the Holy Bible, I am utterly amazed. You have used real men who were guided by Your hand in order to give us instructions for our lives and to reveal Your Son to us through their words. Every author is distinct and has an individual message and yet every book carries on the same exacting theme so that this marvel of beauty is one seamless whole. You are amazing, O God. You are great! Thank You for Your superior word. Amen.