The Great Escape
by Matt Smith
I’m sure all of us have been mesmerized at one point in our lives by a good escape story. History is replete with stories of people that escaped concentration or prison camps during one of the World Wars. Or more recently you may have heard of those brave people who have escaped North Korea. Or maybe you remember the popular book and movie, “Escape from Alcatraz”. One of my favorite stories that I heard growing up was the story of a man in our church who escaped communist Czechoslovakia as a teenager by hiding in a truck as it went through customs into a free country. How exciting these escape stories are!
Our reading this morning reminds us of how each of us can experience the joy of an escape. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
The preceding verses list some sins that the Israelites were guilty of committing, such as idolatry and sexual immorality. Verse 12 then admonishes us to guard against a spiritual pride that we could never commit such sins; but the first part of vs. 13 reminds us that such sins as these, in fact all sins we could commit, are “common to man.” So while I may struggle with a certain sin that you may not, I can rest assured that there are other people out there who struggle with the same things I do.
But then Paul reminds us of one of the aspects of God’s faithfulness. He has promised to never allow us to be tempted with a sin that we cannot escape and have the power to overcome. We don’t have to fall into temptation- the choice is ours! This verse teaches that every temptation also comes with a way to escape it. Maybe that escape is to just keep our mouth shut. Maybe it’s to bring that particular thought into captivity (2 Cor. 10:5) and through God’s help, get that thought and way of thinking out of our minds. Or maybe the escape is to physically run, as we see Joseph doing with Potiphar’s wife.
Either way, every temptation also includes at least one way of escape and God promises the power to take advantage of that escape as we yield to His power. Let’s not fall victim to the thinking that we are powerless. After all, “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the word”. (1 John 4:4)
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