It has been said for ages that we are in the last days and after a seemingly prolonged period of time and failed prophecies and/or predictions, it's easy for one to shrug their shoulders at it. For those of us who believe in His name, we know the return of Christ is imminent and that should cause us to lead holy lives.
Here are five things we must be on guard against in these last days.
1. Lusting After Evil Things (1 Corinthians 10:6)
The Lord delivered the children of Israel through mighty works. He heard their cry due to the harsh treatment from their taskmasters. The Bible tells us Jireh provided for His children by feeding them the food of angels but they treated it with contempt, having strong craving for other food; the food they had in bondage.
Now, the food itself wasn't evil, it was the disdain they had for God and His provision that ignited His anger. In essence, they called His provision “evil” and Egypt’s “good.” As a result, God judged them by giving them what they wanted: enough quail to make them sick.
Insatiable human lust, whatever the object of desire, will lead to a life of bondage.
2. Don’t become idolaters, as some of them were (1 Corinthians 10:7)
Idolatry is defined as “the worship of a physical object as a god; immoderate attachment or devotion to something.” Moses was on Mount Sinai with the LORD when the children of Israel grew impatient with God’s servant. He was with God for 40 days and nights when the people chose to create a god for themselves, the golden calf. The children of Israel worshipped it declaring that a god made with their hands delivered them from Egypt; AFTER God just instructed them not to do so. This aroused the wrath of God. The end result of this led to the death of 3.000 people along with a plague among them due to the grave sin of idolatry.
Is there a “god” in your life? If so, let us follow the example of Moses and destroy them.
3. Let us not commit sexual immorality, as some of the did (1 Corinthians 10:8; Numbers 25:1-18)
Sexual immorality was a common theme throughout Scripture and continues to be an issue today for us in the Church. It has been a primary factor in the fall of many great men and women of God.
The Israelites were enticed by the Moabites as they were headed to the land God promised to them, and they joined themselves with Baal-Peor through idolatry and sexual immorality. God’s anger was re-kindled towards them and 24,000 people were killed and the wrath of Yahweh was satisfied only when the offenders were slain by Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron who was zealous for the holiness of God.
4. Let us not test Christ (1 Cor 10:9; Numbers 21:5-6)
This warning shows us a side of Christ we may not be “used” to seeing. The Prince of Peace also has a hatred for sin and that is shown through His death on the Cross. Sin is so deadly the Son of Man had to lay His life down to save us from the fiery flames of hell.
The children of Israel tested Christ by speaking against Him and His servant Moses out of discouragement and fatigue. Once more they expressed their displeasure with their present condition in the wilderness showing lack of faith which resulted in the LORD sending fiery serpents among them, killing many. In turn they were humbled and cried out to Moses to intercede on their behalf acknowledging they had indeed sinned against the LORD and God instructed Moses to make a bronze serpent so they can look upon it to be healed.
Jesus alludes to this when He says, “Just a Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life” (John 3:14-15).
5. Do not complain (1 Cor. 10:10)
For 40 years the Israelites wandered through the wilderness due to their murmuring and unbelief. They left Egypt with plenty and had to endure much suffering in the wilderness, in order for the LORD God to test and humble them; to see if they will keep His commandments. Jehovah always meant them well and the same is true for us. He tests us every moment to prove our character and to build our faith and trust in Him. It may not be comfortable at the time, but He is doing so in order for us to partake in His holiness and be more like Him.
The unbelieving generation died in the wilderness because they were not able to see past their present and did not place their hope in the One who knew their future. Without faith it is impossible to please God and a hardened, unbelieving heart grieves the Spirit of God.
Scripture tells us the things that occurred in the wilderness were written as a warning to us so that we may know how to live in these last days, so let us learn from our ancestors and humble ourselves before the Lord; and He will teach us His way.
Will we ignore His warnings and think lightly of them?
Or will we take heed and walk in obedience?