Sunday Evening Musings – Ironic Comfort
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Cor 10:13 ESV, emphasis mine)
This verse provided the springboard for our Sunday morning teaching time at Holly Hill. We contemplated the different gifts and warnings Jesus has given us as a “way of escape.” When he was tempted, he modeled how to use the ancient words of Scripture as a tool against temptation. “It is written… it is written… it is written…” is his consistent refrain against his accuser. In the garden, he gave his disciples prayer and vigilance as valuable weapons in the battle against Satan and our own evil desires that want to surrender to temptation.
But I find Paul’s instruction just full of irony, the kind of wise, challenging irony that keeps me awake late at night gnawing at these ancient words, knowing there’s life-giving power there. A way of escape so that I can endure temptation? I don’t want to endure – I want to escape! But maybe escape only serves me, while endurance serves the kingdom of God. I don’t know.
What do you think? Are you surprised by Paul’s language here? Is there a difference between enduring and escaping temptation? Is this anything like the irony in Eph 6, where all that “armor of God” is provided, not so we can fight, but so we can stand?
In HIS love,
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