May 28, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread. Observe Israel after the flesh: Are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?”—1 Corinthians 10:14–22 (NKJV)
When you see the word “therefore,” ask yourself why it’s there. It’s there to draw our attention to earlier verses. We learn from those verses when the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years. They wrestled with many different sins, but Paul warns us of one sin in particular: the sin of idolatry. I wonder if we realize how much we still struggle with this today. Just because we don’t bow down to a golden statue, doesn’t mean we don’t battle with idolatry. Let’s look a little deeper into this common sin.
Idolatry is the worship of anything that is NOT the true and living God. Anything we turn to in order to seek satisfaction, pleasure, and comfort instead of God is an idol such as food, shopping, alcohol, drugs or sex. Anything that utterly consumes our minds, time, resources, and energy more than God is an idol. If we’re not careful, even good things like our jobs or our kids can become idols in our lives. If I’m honest, I have from time to time run to chocolate, pizza, or Netflix for comfort before I’ve cried out for God’s help—foolishly thinking these things would satisfy and, of course, they never did. I was left feeling empty. It’s easy to deceive ourselves, but if we’re honest this is idol worship.
Because of the Lord’s great mercy towards us, these warnings to run from idol worship are given all throughout the Bible. He’s calling us to so much more; He’s calling us to Himself with His loving arms opened wide.
All are invited to eat at one of two communion tables: 1) the Lord’s table, which brings life and peace—where He’s the bread of life and our complete satisfaction, or 2) the enemy’s table, which brings death and destruction.
At the Lord’s table, we celebrate the immense sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf. Whereas the enemy’s table keeps us thirsty and running to an empty well. This is idolatry. Today’s verse tells us that when we commune at the enemy’s table, we’re fellowshipping with demons. Now, pause and put a visual picture to that spiritual truth. If that doesn’t make chills go up your spine I don’t know what will.
Eating at the Devil’s table provokes the Lord to jealousy. Understand, He’s not jealous of us, He’s jealous for us. Big difference. Jealous for you because Satan’s table leads to death. God wants you to have life to the full. Brothers and sisters, we can’t eat from two tables. God desires all to come to Him, so He may satisfy the depths of our souls.
Pause: Is there anything you turn to instead of God for satisfaction, pleasure, or comfort? Do you have someone in your life who can provide loving correction?
Practice: If you have honestly identified an idol in your life, ask for forgiveness and repent. Seek after the Lord with your whole heart. Allow Him to be your satisfaction, pleasure, comfort, and joy. Ask God to bring you a godly, loving friend who is willing to speak a word of correction into your life when needed.
Pray: Thank You Jesus for the invitation to Your table, an invitation bought at the highest price: Your flesh and blood. Spending time with You is life and peace. Please purify my heart and mind. Praise and glory to You, King Jesus. Amen.
Deb Marsalisi is an author, public speaker, mentor and Fire Inspector. She began her writing journey to make peace with her challenging past. It has provided her with an outlet for creative self-expression, and a healthy new perspective on life.
Through God’s amazing grace, she has learned to rejoice in life’s ups and downs, struggles and victories understanding they’ve been given so she can help and inspire others on their own journey of restoration. Her passion is to support others in emotional and spiritual habits that are truly life-changing. She spends her free time loving, encouraging and mentoring young women to grow in their relationship with Jesus. And she also enjoys cooking amazing meals for her friends and family.