These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us… No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful.
1 Corinthians 10:11,13a
The Bible records history, but it’s not like other history books. It tells the stories of individuals and their relationship with the Lord. It shows real people—warts and all—people who struggled, people who fell, people who failed.
The Bible is filled with stories about people like you and me. And that’s exactly the point. God tells their stories for our benefit. He wants us to put ourselves in their sandals. What were they facing? How am I like them? How was God working in their lives?
God tells us their stories to warn us. We can easily think, “I would never do that. That would never happen to me.” The devil tries to convince us that temptations are no big deal, as long as we don’t fall for any of the “big” ones. God does not want us to let our guard down and become easy prey.
So he tells us the sad stories of sinners who have fallen into the devil’s traps and believed the devil’s lies. He shows us how the devil works, so that we are ready to fight against him. You see, the devil never really changes. He uses the same lies today as he always has. So, when we let our guard down and fall for those lies, we aren’t alone.
But, above all, God tells us their stories so that we see his faithful love shining throughout history. Despite the foolish failures of one generation after another, God did not turn his back on them.
Instead, he promised to forgive them and kept that promise when he sent his own Son to face temptation. He was tempted too, but he didn’t fall for those lies. He was without sin and lived the life that God demanded of all of us. Now, for his sake, God forgives every time we fall, every time we fail.
Because of God’s real love, we are not rejected but rescued from sin and restored to fight temptation with the strength that our faithful God promises through his Word.
Faithful God, forgive me when I fall for the devil’s lies. Give me strength to overcome temptation. Amen.