Temptations of the Past


As a wine writer, part of my job involves attending wine tasting dinners and events hosted by various wine producers. Knowing the negative direction an evening of wine can take, I impart a few personal safety guidelines to keep my involvement professional. The first is to taste and spit wine, rather than consume it—a common practice for wine professionals. The second is to set a phone alarm that prompts me to leave the event early. These personal checks help remind me that temptation that could compromise my professional goals, as well as my relationship with Christ, is never worth it.

  • What are ways you try to avoid temptation? How have you noticed God’s hand in helping you avoid it as well?


10:1 For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, 10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. 12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.


  1. In Paul’s opening to this chapter, who are the fathers he urged his brothers in Christ to look to for this lesson on temptation?
  2. Using the examples of Moses and the Israelites, what was Paul illustrating to Christians of his time and of today (vss. 6-10)?
  3. What did Paul remind readers about every person (vss. 11-13)? And where do we find hope in this?
  4. In what ways are you like the Israelites—desiring evil, chasing idolatry, and testing Christ? Where do you need to be on guard against temptation?


In this passage, Paul used Israel as an example of spiritual strife during their struggle with faithfulness in the desert with Moses. Today’s culture makes it easy to forget the lessons of the past, but we are fortunate in that God gives daily guidance through his Word, the Bible. This helps us remember his desires for us, and his faithfulness to us. Through God’s Word, we learn “to take heed lest [we] fall.” We also are reminded that God faithfully gives us what we need to endure, in spite of temptation.

  • Spend time asking God to “provide the way of escape” from temptation. Be specific in your needs.
  • Thank God for giving you his Word to help guide you on your daily journey.