5 Deadly Sins of the Wilderness

And we’re back with yet another blog post.  This time I want to talk about the 5 deadly sins that will keep you in the wilderness (aka the place of hardship) that you are going through right now. 

Some Background

There are two concepts that you really need to understand in order for this post to do you the most good. 

Our Text

6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.

7 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.

8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.

9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.

10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.

11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

1 Corinthians 10:6-12 KJV

5 Deadly Sins of the Wilderness

You will never leave the wilderness and enter the promised land still clinging onto these deadly sins. 

#1 Don’t Lust after Evil Things

6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.

1 Corinthians 10:6 KJV

I know personally the first thought I have when I hear the word lust is sexual immorality, but that’s not what Jesus is saying here.  

Lust is desiring something that is contrary to God’s Word. Yes that can be sexual immorality, but do you know you can lust after a new car? You can spend your whole time thinking about that new car. It can consume you! 

You know you might actually really NEED that new car too.  It might not be just something you want because you want a Porsche or Bugatti or something crazy.  You might be lusting after a practical car, but anything that you can’t stop thinking about because you want it so bad – you’re in lust.

Here’s the thing.  When you’re going through a time of hardship, it can get really easy to lust after things that you need, but God said…

2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

Colossians 3:2 KJV

Anything we set our affections on that isn’t the Word of God is a lust. 

Getting out of the wilderness STARTS by setting your affections on THE WORD

So what’s the opposite of not lusting after evil?  Set your affections on THE WORD OF GOD. Make the Word of God your continuous thought.  Everything you do should come back to the Word of God.

#2 Don’t be Idolatrous 

7 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 KJV

Again when I hear the word “idolatry” I think of idol worship.  Someone praying to an unmoving status somewhere in a temple.  That is a form of idolatry, but it’s not the primary form that we in America face. 

No idolaters are people who place things and people above God. If you find yourself saying things like, I can’t go to church because I have a soccer game. Or I can’t tithe because of all my bills (see Return to me in tithes and offerings) well then you are in idolatry. 

#3 Don’t Commit Fornication

8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.

1 Corinthians 10:8 KJV

When I first read this my thought immediately went to sexual immorality after all that’s what the children of Israel did and the reason that 23,000 of the died prematurely. 

But upon further study of this word “fornication” in the greek it really carries two meanings.

  • to give oneself to unlawful sexual intercourse; to commit fornication:
    • 1 Corinthians 6:18; 1 Corinthians 10:8; Revelation 2:14, 20
  • by a Hebraism (see πορνεία, b.) metaphorically, to be given to idolatry, to worship idols:
    • 1 Chronicles 5:25; Psalm 72:27 (); Jeremiah 3:6; Ezekiel 23:19; Hosea 9:1, etc.; μετά τίνος, to permit oneself to be drawn away by another into idolatry, Revelation 17:2; Revelation 18.

Here’s the really important takeaway from these two definitions. 

You will never have a problem with fornication if you control any form of idolatry in your life.  These two concepts of idolatry and fornication are linked because you must first allow something other than God the Father to direct your life before you will allow any form of sexual immorality into your life.

Also notice how these two concepts are linked all throughout history more than anything else? What’s the thing you most often see associated with pagan worship? – sexual immorality.

It’s what the Apostle Paul and John both had to deal with in the churches at Corinth (who he’s writing to here) and in Ephesus where the temple was built to Diana (the god of prostitution). 

This sin of fornication extends beyond simply sexual infidelity and actually extends into our relationship with Christ.  Are we faithful to Christ? 

#4 Don’t Tempt Christ

9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.

1 Corinthians 10:9 KJV

What does it mean to “tempt” Christ.  The word really means to “try or test thoroughly”. It’s important to remember that it is our FAITH that pleases God.  To step out of faith is to step out of God’s Will. 

23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

Romans 14:23 KJV

It’s our faith that allows us to walk through the wilderness and into the promised land. 

7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

2 Corinthians 5:7 KJV

It’s very easy for us to face a circumstance where we’re not sure the direction or the outcome and be tempted to thoroughly test Jesus to ensure we are doing the right thing. We step out here or there and do things to “test” to see if what we are hearing is true. 

There’s nothing wrong with this to a degree, but do it in FAITH or don’t do it at all. 

#5 Don’t Murmur 

10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.

1 Corinthians 10:10 KJV

The children of Israel walking out of Egypt and the slavery they had been bound to for hundreds of years had a slavery mindset. They were completely free from Egypt and yet they oftentimes wanted to go back when it started to get hard. 

As the difficulty increased, they started to complain and murmur to Moses about what God told them to do. They were seeing miraculous signs of provision from the manna from heaven and quail, but it wasn’t good enough for them.  

And instead of saying, “Well if I don’t want to be here, then I guess we’re going to have to look to God and push through this desert into the promised land.”  They said…

11 And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?

Exodus 14:11 KJV

In other words, “Moses this is getting hard! I’d rather go back to the bondage that I know then the freedom ahead of me because this is making me a little uncomfortable.” 

We think that’s stupid but we do it all the time to God when He tells us to do something that makes us a little uncomfortable in our flesh. 

These Sins of the Wilderness are our examples

11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

1 Corinthians 10:11-12 KJV

You might have read through those 5 sins and thought well that’s not me. I’m doing good. 

That’s great if you aren’t committing any of these sins then “take heed lest you fall”.  Make sure that you keep yourself in the love of God and walk a wide path around these sins. 

If you read this and thought, Man I think I’m guilty of some of this. 

There’s hope!  The Bible says, 

9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9 KJV

It’s really as easy as simply acknowledging to God that you’ve sinned and that you don’t want to keep going down the wrong path. He will forgive you and cleanse you from the unrighteousness justifying you. 

Wrapping Up

These things are written for our examples.  Let’s use them and learn from their mistakes so that we can continue to walk in the perfect will of God without stumbling. 

If you’ve enjoyed this blog post or have any questions about the content or something else you’ve been curious about, please feel free to either contact me in the comments or chat or via email at [email protected]