A Fickleness that Leads to Idolatry

A Fickleness that Leads to Idolatry

1 Corinthians 10:12 – “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.”

This is a riveting verse. The context in which Paul uses this verse is idolatry. (v.7) – “Do not be idolaters as some of them were.” (v.9) – “We must not put Christ to the test…” (v.11) – “Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction…”

In verses 1-5 Paul speaks historically about how the Israelites “passed through the sea” and were “all under the cloud” and yet they still lacked the faith to believe that Yahweh would carry them through to the Promised Land. So, their idolatrous hearts always defaulted to other gods and other forms of worship. They were discontent with Yahweh. They were unsatisfied with His level of provision. They were fickle people. They had seen and experienced miracle after miracle. They had witnessed water from the rock, quail and manna from heaven, the parting of the Red Sea, and still their fickle hearts drifted toward idolatry.

Interestingly enough, centuries later, this same fickleness is what initially drove the crowds to Jesus and then eventually away from Jesus. John 6 describes a group of followers who finally walked away from Jesus because of the hard and difficult things He was teaching. They had come to see him heal. They had come for the magic tricks and the free meals. They had come to see what they could personally get out of a relationship with Jesus. And just as soon as their appetites were not filled or their eyes and ears were not tickled and entertained, they moved on. They stopped following.

Sadly, this type of attitude permeates our churches and our culture today. Paul is asking us in this passage to examine our hearts. Are there idols there? Are we secretly only after the blessings of God and not God Himself? Do we treasure the gifts rather than the Giver? May we repent of our fickleness of heart and come to Christ on His terms not ours.