1 Corinthians 10:11-12
Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
Sometimes a good example is one that shows us what not to do. Paul uses the example of Israel journeying to the promised land and talks about how they fell into various sins. They were being led by God Himself, fed directly by His hand, and still they fell into sin. They had all they needed to be successful and obedient, and yet they still disobeyed God. Even the many benefits they had could not take away that sin nature that led them astray.
We who have been saved and baptized and are a part of Christ and His church are not immune to sin, either. Despite His Spirit within us and the understanding we have of who God is and what He wants us to do, we still fail Him. We have been saved and redeemed, but we, too, still have that sin nature within that causes us to stumble and fall at times. So may we be humble and willing to learn our lesson. Let’s consider that we might fall into the same sin as others who have come before. Because we are still in the flesh, we are prone to all kinds of evil deeds, even those we think we are incapable of.
There are examples of people all through Scripture just like us who did things they never thought they could do. There were people with God’s presence among them who went astray in sometimes disastrous ways. So let us be careful. Let us be aware of what is happening around us, but also understand what is within us. We may be standing just fine now. We may be faithful now. We may be obedient now. But if something in our circumstances changes, will we stumble? In those moments, we may find our footing is not as sure as we thought.
So may these examples, given for our benefit, help us to make right choices and follow the right path. The advantage of looking back at these stories is that we can see the events from beginning to end. We see what happened before they sinned and what led up to it, and then we see the consequences and results that came after it. And with this full view, we are able to more clearly see the process and how one decision can take us off the right path. May we be willing to learn from the lessons God has given to us, and may we not be so prideful that we end up falling into a sin we’ll surely regret.