Faithfulness of God, Idolatry, and Temptation
1 Corinthians 10:13-14 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.
This passage is often memorized by people early in their Christian life. It becomes a beacon for their minds and lives. It has served many as a reminder that they can resist sin. For others, usually those given to a consistent sin, it has served as a spiritual willow switch across their rear end, pointing out to them that they gave into something that they could have resisted. However, what is not so common is for people to notice the next verse’s connection with was just said regarding temptation.
If you read carefully then you will have noticed the “therefore” which points you back to verse 13. What is meant here? What does idolatry have to do with verse 13? Some might say that idolatry was the temptation from which they were to be fleeing. However, I believe that there is a strong case to be made that the idolatry is in trying to find the escape from temptation in anything other than our Lord. God is telling us that in the midst of temptation He is present. He is ever faithful, He sets limits to the extent that the temptation might rise to and because He is Lord of all, including lust and envy, temptation must bow to Him. Therefore, to pursue other avenues of escape and refuge other than our Lord is foolishness and idolatry and we are to flee from it like a rabbit flees from a hawk.