I don’t want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters, about our ancestors in the wilderness long ago. All of them were guided by a cloud that moved ahead of them, and all of them walked through the sea on dry ground. In the cloud and in the sea, all of them were baptized as followers of Moses. All of them ate the same spiritual food, and all of them drank the same spiritual water. For they drank from the spiritual rock that traveled with them, and that rock was Christ. Yet God was not pleased with most of them, and their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. These things happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did, or worship idols as some of them did. As the Scriptures say, “The people celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in pagan revelry.” And we must not engage in sexual immorality as some of them did, causing 23,000 of them to die in one day.

Nor should we put Christ to the test, as some of them did and then died from snakebites. And don’t grumble as some of them did, and then were destroyed by the angel of death. These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age. If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. (1 Corinthians 10:1-13)

The Chicago Bears are my favorite football team and it’s been fun for me to see they are my sons favorite team as well. On the way to school this morning they started asking me questions about some of the “heroes”. However, a couple of their “heroes” have been in the news quite a bit the past few days for less than heroic activities. It’s always interesting trying to explain to a six and eight year old that just because someone is a great athlete it doesn’t make them a great example. The reality is that great players have a chance to be great examples, but we hear much more about the ones who are not. This passage reminds us that the people of Israel had the opportunity to be a great example of the greatness of the God who had called them to be His own. However, it isn’t their good example that Paul is reminding the Corinthians of, it is their poor choices that led to tragic consequences. It is true that Christ paid the ultimate price for our sin on the cross. But that sin was not bore on the cross so we can continue sinning. It freed us from the power of sin and giving into temptations that lead us farther from God instead of closer to Him. Sure I can look at the poor example of my boys “heros” and tell them to admire them on the field but not off the field. On the other hand, I’m much more concerned about another “hero” they look up to–me. Will they see me play great on the field (speaking, teaching, worship leading, etc), but a poor example at home? I hope not! I hope they will see a man who loves and honors God at all times.