Volume. XXXVI, No. 52
Sunday, 26 June 2022

Four Warnings for Your Twenties

In 1 Corinthians 10, the apostle Paul reminds his readers of the Exodus and Israel’s wandering in the wilderness (1 Corinthians 10:1–5).  Then he writes, as if speaking to a crowd of twentysomethings today, “Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.” (1 Corinthians 10:6). The same temptations that were murdering the believers under Moses are waging a spiritual war against believers today: entertainment, sexual immorality, impatience, and contentment. Paul finishes the paragraph by saying, “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.” (1 Corinthians 10:11).

These four warnings were lived out by Israel, but meant by God for you, and for me.

Do You Distract Yourself with Entertainment?

“Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” (1 Corinthians 10:7, quoting Exodus 32:6)

Paul quotes (or alludes to) Moses for each of these. He clearly has particular passages or events in mind as he pastors the churches of his day. In this case, he quotes from Exodus 32. Moses is meeting with God on the mountain — he was meeting with God. The meeting ran longer than the people expected, and they got bored and disinterested (Exodus 32:1).

They asked Aaron for another god, he made them a golden baby cow, and they “and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.” (Exodus 32:1–6). They ordered delivery, turned on Netflix, and scrolled through social media at the same time.

Unwilling to wait for Moses (and God), they decided to entertain themselves instead. We’ll deal with impatience later, but the point here is that entertainment is an easy and empty god. Have you given up waiting for God to move — to reveal himself in his word, to help you make an important decision, to bring the healing or reconciliation you’ve been asking for — and decided to distract yourself with something fun instead?

Are You Experimenting with Sexual Sin?

We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. (1 Corinthians 10:8, referring to Numbers 25:1–9). Sexual immorality was enticing and enslaving long before pornography was online or homosexuals were “married.”

In Numbers 25, the men of Israel began sleeping around with forbidden foreign women (Numbers 25:1).  God brought a plague against the people because of their sexual immorality, and 24,000 died (Numbers 25:9).   That many, all dead because of sexual immorality.

Moses said that all that death happened for your sake — a spear through a stomach, a plague wiping out thousands — so that you and I would feel the awful offense of sexual sin, and flee from it.

Do You Refuse to Wait?

We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents. (1 Corinthians 10:9)

In Numbers 21, the people have escaped Egypt and been to Mount Sinai. Now, they are on the way to the Promised Land. Moses tells the story, “And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. And the people spake against God, and against Moses, .. . ” (Numbers 21:4–5).

How did God respond to their impatience? He sent poisonous snakes into the camp, and many died (Numbers 21:6). They repented (Numbers 21:7). Will we? Having been rescued by God from never-ending judgment and destruction, are we willing to wait another week, another year, or another ten years for him to answer our prayers?

God heard their pleas for mercy and made a way of salvation (Numbers 21:8–9). Jesus tells us that scene was meant to help us wait for him. “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:14–15). God is waiting to save and satisfy you, if you are willing to trust him and wait.

Are You Always Unhappy?

[Do not] grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. (1 Corinthians 10:10)

Israel complained about everything. They complained about not having anything to drink (Exodus 15:24). They complained about their food (Numbers 11:4–6). They complained about being in the wilderness (Exodus 16:2). Then they complained about leaving the wilderness (Numbers 14:2). They complained about their enemies (Numbers 14:3). They even complained about not being in slavery anymore (Exodus 16:3).

To grumble against God is to despise him. That’s a sobering message for me today. God wiped out the wilderness generation to describe to every generation after them the seriousness of faithlessness, to show us the consequences of complaining about how and when God works in our life.

Flee from Idolatry Can you sum up the four warnings in one? “Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.” (1 Corinthians 10:14). He says it at the beginning of the paragraph (1 Corinthians 10:7) and at the end (1 Corinthians 10:14). We learned from Israel in Exodus and Numbers that idolatry can be entertaining. That it can allure and entice you. That it can make you impatient and unhappy. And that it can kill you.

God is faithful. He stands ready to walk with you and keep you through every circumstance and inconvenience. He creates the way of escape and waits to reward us with more of himself. Flee from it, and run to God.


By Marshall Segal, executive assistant to John Piper and associate editor at desiringGod.org.

More Lively Hope



  • Catered fellowship lunch today – all are encouraged to stay & fellowship.
  • Save the Date – Holiday Bible Club (10-14 Oct 2022, Mon-Fri) for ages 3-12 | Theme – Jerusalem Marketplace | High school/Senior Sunday school children are strongly encouraged to attend. Friends welcome!
  • Combined Seniors & WOH Showcase & Fellowship Lunch on Sat, 9 July @ 10.30am (Hall). Please RSVP by 30 June.
  • Those interested to teach Sunday School, please contact deacon in charge. Training to commence in July.
  • All ministry & fellowship group leaders: please submit FY22-23 budgets by 30 June, and 2021-22 ACM Ministry Reports by 4 July.
  • Batam Appeal - An amount of $9,145 still needed. Please designate offerings with ‘Batam Appeal’.


Praise & Thanksgiving

  • Working Bees yesterday.
  • Journey mercies: Pastor & Sis Myung Ki (Mildura), Hopefuls (Adl); those who have travelled.
  • Those who have recovered from COVID.



  • Missions:Rev & Mrs Johnson George (Gujarat).
  • Exams: high school and university students.
  • Healing: Rev Pong Sen Yiew & those with COVID.
  • Journey mercies: Hopefuls (Adl); others who are travelling.




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