I find this line most encouraging and instructive for several reasons:
This text encourages me, for it shows that God is concerned about the welfare of His people. Verses 1-2 remind us that God is not unsympathetic to our distress, for they bring to our remembrance Israel’s great deliverance from Egypt as they passed over the Red Sea on dry land, but the Egyptians were drowned in the sea. In this they were unequivocally secured in the hand of Moses.
This text reminds me that God is concerned about our needs. Verses 3-4 are extreme summaries of Exodus 16-17, wherein God provided the basic need of every person who ever lived, namely, bread and water. The wilderness was just that, a wasteland unfit to support the estimated 3 million Israelites who were in the exodus. Moreover, it was not intended to be their place of inheritance, so God gave them enough for their journey to the Promised Land.
This text reminds me that I must pursue the things that God has set before me. Verses 5-6 speaks of those who died in the wilderness because they lusted after evil things. In this case, they failed in their faith in God’s promise to give them the Promised Land, desiring to return to the land of bondage from which God had just delivered them. As a Christian, I must never look back to the life of sin from which God delivered me. I must embrace and pursue with diligence the exceeding great and precious promises God has set before me.
This text reminds me that God is holy. The first sins specified in verses 7-8 are idolatry and fornication. Fornication of every sort was commonplace among idolaters (cf 1 Cor 5:1; Rev 2:14). Fornication is unholiness against one’s own body (1 Cor 6:18-20). But God has called us to holiness (1 Pet 1:15-16; 2 Cor 7:1).
This text reminds me that the God of heaven keeps His word. Throughout His dealings with man, God has promised good to those who would obey Him and calamity to those who disobey Him. The examples given in 1 Corinthians 10 reveal that God, though it broke His heart (cf Hosea 11:8; Ezekiel 18:23), was willing to punish His people when they refused to repent of their wickedness.
“Therefore, let us give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest at any time we let them slip” (Heb 2:1ff).