Warnings from Israel’s Past
(Numbers 16:41–50; Numbers 25:1–5)
1 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud, and that they all passed through the sea. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them, for they were struck down in the wilderness.
6 These things took place as examples to keep us from craving evil things as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were. As it is written: “The people sat down to eat and to drink, and got up to indulge in revelry.” a 8 We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. 9 We should not test Christ, b as some of them did, and were killed by snakes. 10 And do not complain, as some of them did, and were killed by the destroying angel. c
11 Now these things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. 12 So the one who thinks he is standing firm should be careful not to fall. 13 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 an escape, so that you can stand up under it.
Flee from Idolatry
14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak to reasonable people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 Is not the cup of blessing that we bless a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one loaf, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one loaf.
18 Consider the people of Israel: Are not those who eat the sacrifices fellow partakers in the altar? 19 Am I suggesting, then, that food sacrificed to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God. And I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot partake in the table of the Lord and the table of demons too. 22 Are we trying to provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?
All to God’s Glory
(1 Peter 4:1–11)
27 If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat anything set before you without raising questions of conscience. 28 But if someone tells you, “This food was offered to idols,” then do not eat it, for the sake of the one who told you and for the sake of conscience— f 29 the other one’s conscience, I mean, not your own. For why should my freedom be determined by someone else’s conscience? 30 If I partake in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks?
31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God. 32 Do not become a stumbling block, whether to Jews or Greeks or the church of God— 33 as I also try to please everyone in all I do. For I am not seeking my own good, but the good of many, that they may be saved.
7 a Or to play ; Exodus 32:6
9 b WH, NE, and Tischendorf test the Lord
10 c Literally the destroyer
23 d Or “All things are lawful,” twice in this verse
26 e Psalm 24:1
28 f BYZ and TR and for the sake of conscience—for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof—