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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Next Day

Upon first reading, I find this passage to be rather scary. Honestly, it is not in the top ten of my go to bible passages. Why would it be? I do not want to hear that if I do something that doesn't please God, then God will strike me down. Twenty-three thousand fell in a single day! I know that I am not perfect; I know that false idols come my way; I know that I can complain from time to time about what I don't have, knowing full well that God has provided what I truly need. As I read I am feeling condemned and trapped. I was baptized, ate the spiritual food, drank the spiritual drink and then I too, like the Israelites, thought I was standing, but soon found myself falling. But then verse thirteen comes along with its good news that God will provide a way out. It is my understanding that this comes through Christ, who came to die for our sins and who conquered death by rising from the grave. It is only through this resurrection promise that I am able to cling to this life, even when I fall short of what God asks of me.

God, continue to provide for us the way out. When we fall short of loving and serving our neighbors, remind us of your promise that frees us from our bondage. Again and again we seek your forgiveness, only to find that it has been there all along. Thank you God, thank you for loving us and keeping us. Amen.

Dustin Nelson
Assistant to the Seminary Pastor, Luther Seminary
Master of Arts , 2009

1 Corinthians 10:1-13 (NRSV)

1 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea,
2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,
3 and all ate the same spiritual food,
4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ.
5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them, and they were struck down in the wilderness.
6 Now these things occurred as examples for us, so that we might not desire evil as they did.
7 Do not become idolaters as some of them did; as it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink, and they rose up to play."
8 We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day.
9 We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did, and were destroyed by serpents.
10 And do not complain as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer.
11 These things happened to them to serve as an example, and they were written down to instruct us, on whom the ends of the ages have come.
12 So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall.
13 No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.