Epic Fails : Nation of Israel

After a two month journey through the Bible we are ending the Epic Fails series today and boy what a journey it has been! I know for me I've learned so much and been challenged in fresh ways to pursue God with righteousness; it's been a powerful exploration for me and I hope it has been for you as well. We close the series by briefly looking at perhaps the entity prone to epic fails most: the nation of Israel. Time and again, over many years, they struggled to hold firm to their faith in God.

1 Corinthians 10:1-13 says about the nation,

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.

God delivers them from the hands of the Egyptians and rescues them from slavery, yet they complain and lack faith all throughout their journey to the Promised Land. Israel commits idolatry more than I’d like to count. Sexual immorality was a problem, as we read in today’s passage. God is constantly correcting the nation, His people, even though He is always showing them how good He is to them. It’s why they wandered 40 years in the desert. It’s why they were constantly overtaken by their enemies and even exiled to Babylon.

Israel was prone to wander, but then again, so are we. Truth is, if God can still have patience, grace, and love for His people over thousands of years, He has it for you and me. There may be times of correction but it’s because God loves us He does these things, like any good parent.

If there is one thing you take away from this plan it’s that I hope you see your past doesn’t define you or your future. If these men and women messed up big time and God still used them for great purposes, won’t He use you as well? He is the same for you as He was for them; God's guaranteed to never change. Trust in that and put your hope in Him. All you need is a repentant heart and commitment to follow Him. You’re not promised an easy life, but you are promised that He will always be with you.


Questions/Thoughts

  1. Are you struggling to stay on the path of righteousness? What can you do to eliminate the temptation and stay true to God's calling on your life?
  2. How has this series impacted you? Take some time to journal what you believe God has been teaching you and how you'd like to implement it in your own journey.