1st Corinthians 10 is one of the greatest chapters in the New Testament. Most of the time, we turn there for encouragement about God’s faithfulness and our ability to overcome temptation. The most famous verse of the chapter undoubtedly is verse 13, where Paul writes, “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.” We take great comfort in that verse, as we should. We serve a God who walks with us through anything and always provides a chance for us to make the holy and honorable choice.
But a holistic reading of 1st Corinthians 10 proves that verse 13 is just one piece of the chapter’s puzzle. Overall, 1st Corinthians 10 is about learning from history, specifically Israel’s bad choices. Paul discusses their drinking water from the rock, grumbling in the desert, testing the Lord, and losing life because of it.
Yet when we arrive to the middle of the chapter, Paul paints a very powerful picture and asks a very serious question. We read the following in verses 21-22, “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s Table and the table of demons. Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy? Are we stronger than he?” Pagan religions dusted every corner of Corinth. And according to Paul, pagan sacrifices were offered to demons. So, speaking to Christians in Corinth, Paul wanted them to hear, “You can’t have both. You must serve either Christ or culture.”
Jesus joins the same chorus when He says in Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one or love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
Even Joshua of old gave his own sentiment in Joshua 24:15, when he boldly told Israel, “…if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Same sermon. Same conclusion. Make a choice.
And God still waits for us to make that choice today.
Yet many Christians want to sit at two different tables. Now, it’s not the table of demons. But it may be the table of pride. The table of wealth. The table of popularity. The table of comfort. The table of fame. The table
of entitlement. The table of gossip. The table of dissension. The table of manmade traditions.
And truth be told, we have every right to sit at those tables. That’s our choice. But we have neither the right nor the ability to sit at those tables AND pull up a chair at the Lord’s Table.
And if we don’t choose the Lord’s Table, we’re arousing the Lord’s jealousy. God has every right to be jealous. He didn’t send His Son to die so we could be bandwagon fans. We’re either all in or not in at all. It’s that simple.
So friend, at which table are you sitting?