For our anniversary in August, my wife and I took a trip to Red River Gorge to hike trails and eat pizza. On our second day of hiking, we trekked a particularly difficult trail that included a lot of steep inclines and a less-than-sturdy looking bridge. When confronted with trail bridges, my job as the big guy is to cross first. If it holds me, it’s good. If, by chance, it were to collapse during my attempt, it would not be ideal for my wife to try it out.
1 For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6 Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did.1 Corinthians 10:1-6, ESV
Paul writes in this passage of 1 Corinthians about the examples given by past generations. They are examples of what not to do. Because we are able to read the Bible in its entirety, we also have access to those examples. Just as it is obvious for us to not attempt to cross a trail bridge that didn’t withstand the weight of the person who went first, it should also be clear to us that we should not make the same spiritual mistakes of those who were before us.