No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
As a teenager, I thought of this verse strictly in the physical sense. Tempted to take the car when your folks told you not to? God will provide a way out! Tempted to go to a wild party and get drunk? God will provide a way out!
And, lately, with a young child, temptation is so obvious. Tempted to touch that electrical socket? Tempted to eat that cookie when I said wait until after dinner?
And, surely this verse applies to these things in the physical sense. But, I’m coming to see that these verses go deeper than these physical-type things. I think the temptations to sin are more insidious than that, and it is also against these insidious temptations God will provide for us so we can stand up under them.
Since context is king, what was Paul talking about before this classic verse about temptation?
For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert.
Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: ‘The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry.’ We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did-and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. We should not test the Lord, as some of them did-and were killed by snakes. And do not grumble, as some of them did-and were killed by the destroying angel.
These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 1 Corinthians 10:1-13
What were some of the temptations of the Isrealites who lived by the obvious supernatural providence of God? Some real physical-type sins: worshiping idols, sexual immoratlity. But also some inner-heart things: testing the Lord, grumbling. Most of them died in the desert because of their unbelief.
When I think of temptation, grumbling and testing the Lord aren’t usually high on the list. “Unbelief” doesn’t usually crop up.
But I think that’s because I’m not looking closely enough at myself. How many times this week was I grumbling about something? More often than I’d care to admit. How many times this week was I just plain ungrateful for the many blessings that God has poured out on my life because I was caught up in some fleeting problem? How many times this week could I have lent a hand or spent a kind word but didn’t because I just plain didn’t feel like it?
These moment-to-moment decisions and attitudes are also choices. On the one side lays (lies?) temptation. On the other side, the way out to stand up under the right choice. I’m praying for the Lord to help me see his providential way out so I can stand up under these moment to moment temptations!
Maybe today would be a good day to ask the Lord to help you see an area in your life where you are tempted and instead of dwelling on the temptation, asking Him to help you see the way out that He has provided so you may stand under it by his grace!
One thought on “Temptation”
Yuck! Temptation all around me!!! I need a lot of help from the big guy upstairs and lots of prayers.