Today’s reading: Num 32:1–42, 1 Cor 14:26–15:11, Ps 27:1–14
Today’s theme: Harmony, peace and order
The thrust of today’s reading is that God desires unity around the truth for the church as we operate in harmony, peace and order. God does not want the church to be an unruly free for all, there should be order because God does not create confusion. We need to pay attention to the preached word of God and apply it to our lives instead of attending church to “do our thing” or “have our say”.
Sin cannot be concealed from God
But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the LORD, and be sure your sin will find you out. Numbers 32:23 (ESV)
As stated in Galatians 6:7, what we sow we will also reap, we cannot pull wool over God’s eyes. Justice for your sin will ultimately come on the day of judgement, or was ultimately satisfied through Jesus on the cross.
Just because Jesus has paid the price for our sins, it does not mean we can live in sin, this is wickedness and foolishness and God will not be mocked in this way. We cannot hold God to ransom, He is not a man, He is God!
1 Corinthians 14:26–15:11
Harmony, peace and order
For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints, 1 Corinthians 14:33 (ESV)
This is the main point for Paul, he was dealing with a very unruly church in Corinth where there was a lack of order in the service, with tongues and prophecies being said over each other which resulted in no one benefiting as everyone tried to say their piece. James 3:16-17 paints a picture of the problems in the church at Corinth.
Instead of this, our worship should reflect the nature of our God. Mayhem and confusion are not characteristics of God (but these were the traits of the false gods). God is not the author or cause of confusion in the church, the charge for this lays at our own feet, so we must abandon all self-centred behaviour.
God desires harmony, peace and order in His church, for the mutual benefit of its members and for His glory, so let us reflect Him in our worship.
We don’t need questions to prophecy
the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church. 1 Corinthians 14:34–35 (ESV)
Understanding the background to the problems in the church at Corinth, will help us to put these statements from Paul into their proper context. In the Greek tradition, prophecy like the ones coming from the oracle at Delphi, required questions being asked to prompt the prophetic utterance. It is likely that some married Corinthian women in the church, who were likely prophetesses themselves and involved in the weighing of prophesies, were influenced by their surrounding culture and asked questions as part of the service.
Paul wanted to make the point that unlike the oracle at Delphi and other forms of prophecy from the ancient world, prophecy in the church did not require priming questions, instead it was completely dependent on the inspiration and direction of the Holy Spirit. Paul addresses these women in this context, suggesting that they ask questions at home and not to disrupt the service, therefore the theme of order within the service remains.
First importance, the Gospel
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 1 Corinthians 15:3–4 (ESV)
Paul made it clear that the thing of first or greatest importance is the Gospel message, which he summarises here.
The Lord is beautiful
One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple. Psalm 27:4 (ESV)
God is truly beautiful, just thinking about who God is as revealed in His word, is so wonderful. We should stop and savour God, His word and His presence. When we stop and look to God, we can ask Him questions and be confident that we will get answers.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
Desiring God on 1 Corinthians 15