Finding Examples in the Spiritual History of Israel
1For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3and all ate the same spiritual food, 4and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. 5Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
6Now these things took place as examples for us… 1 Corinthians 10:1-6
How shall the followers of Jesus read the Old Testament?
One, we must read it with a sense of the abiding presence of Christ Jesus.
The spiritual history of Israel was never far from the minds of the Apostles. Paul teaches that Jesus is the spiritual Rock of Israel present, rescuing, leading, forming, correcting, judging and providing for them. When he says that Jesus Christ is the spiritual Rock from which they drank he is alluding to the occasions in the wilderness where God provided for them with water from the rock. The people of God have been gracefully formed as His and gracefully provided the necessities of life.
Two, we must read it as a testimony of God’s ways with His people and we must make adjustments accordingly. Paul says that these people have become examples to us. This requires careful reading in order to locate the “wisdom” available to us. Paul seems to be suggesting that the followers of Jesus gathered as His Church must be asking, “Why was God not pleased with the generation that experienced His power and glory?