1 Corinthians 10:9-10 NKJV Nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer.
The word tempt
B2 The idea here especially regarding the Old Testament is Israel did not believe God. They did not put trust in Him, but they could give no reasons for it, so they wanted to do something to make God react in such a way so to have an excuse to hate God and feel justified in their unbelief.
God has given enough proof with all that He had done to Egypt and Israel’s enemies.
God is displeased at a certain type of whining, complaining, murmuring.
B1 Romans 1:21 NKJV Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
B2 Two things these unbelievers did not do.
C1 They did not give God credit for what He has done. In this case, it would be deliverance from slavery in Egypt.
C2 They were not thankful for what He had done.
God now punished these who refused to believe. They were destroyed.
B1 The Greek word is ἀπόλλυμι apóllymi. It means lost as money that is lost and cannot be found. It also means destroy as in life that is lost and cannot be found, so we would understand this as they died. The reference is to Numbers 21:4-9. They complained; God punished; they were bitten by poisonous snakes; died, unless, they looked at the bronze snake as God invited them to do.
C1 Romans 6:23 NLT For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
C2 Isaiah 3:11 NLT But the wicked are doomed, for they will get exactly what they deserve.
C3 Galatians 6:7 NLT Don't be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant.
The whining and muttering they did was not an open complaint, but only speaking to one another. God heard them anyway. Certain types of actions show what we believe or don’t believe. They did not believe. God was sick and tired of these creepy rebels and sent the destroyer.
They were destroyed by the destroyer.
B1 The word destroyed is the same as in verse 9. It means they were punished with death.
B2 The word destroyer is different. It is the Greek word ὀλοθρευτής olothreutḗs. It means something that ruin, in this case, a venomous snake.
B1 Belief is the key. Do we believe God. Most do not believe God today. Most so-called Christians don’t either. They interpret the Bible (if they read it at all) symbolically, allegorically, or according to their feelings or theology. Let us believe God. He is omniscient, knowing all things, and omnisapient, perfectly wise, so He knows how to communicate perfectly.
B2 Actions show what we really believe. Thus the epistle of James speaks of: James 2:22 NKJV Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?
C1 Works do not save us from sin. It is not required for salvation. Faith is required and only faith in Jesus Christ alone.
C2 Works, what we think, desire, say, and do, show what we really believe.
B3 Sin is punished.
Exodus 15:2 GNB The LORD is my strong defender; he is the one who has saved me. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will sing about his greatness.