The church at Corinth was in shambles. Open sin, division, strife, selfishness, and even some who rejected of the core of the gospel—resurrection—plagued their fellowship. And so, Paul drew the attention of the Corinthian believers to the exodus account so that they could look to the Israelites, see how they failed to grasp God’s goodness right before them, be convicted, and learn from their spiritual ancestors.
Our greatest takeaway in this passage is seeing Paul refer to the rock that Moses struck as Jesus, but there is more than that for us here. We too often need to be reminded of our spiritual neglect, of our sin, of our failure to live out our true identities in Christ. But the message that Paul communicated to the Corinthians applies to us as well. We are not alone in our failings. We are not the first who have acted so foolishly, and until Jesus returns, we will not be the last. We too are called to learn from the failings and faithfulness of God’s people who have gone before us. We are not to study the Israelites in Exodus or the Christians in 1 Corinthians with contempt but rather with humility, recognizing that all of us are in desperate need of God’s grace, not just unto salvation but throughout it as well.
Who are some of the individuals or peoples in Scripture or church history that you have learned from the most? From whom can you learn in the days to come?