“And do not complain as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer.”
In this first letter to the Christians in Corinth, Paul explains his perspective on why the Hebrews wandered in the wilderness for so many years. He says that while God loved them, their complaints and inability to participate in God’s vision for their lives made it impossible for them to be the ones to settle in the Promised Land. As we talked about yesterday, the Hebrew people show us the danger of complaints. They show us that our complaints can derail the entire community. In today’s text, Paul challenges the Corinthian church, who also had their fair share of complaints, to learn from their past and not repeat the mistakes of their ancestors. Remembering our history is important because it gives us identity, as we talked about yesterday. But it is also important to help us not repeat the same mistakes. We see over and over throughout Christian history that thriving communities can be taken down by a culture of complaining. Think today about what you can learn from your history about complaining and gratitude. How have you seen complaining ruin communities in the Bible and in your own life? What mistakes do you want to intentionally not repeat? What steps will you take to make that possible?