“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16: 11)
The Basket Case Chronicles #110
“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. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry” (1 Cor. 10:13-14).
It is common to take v. 13 as a statement that whatever temptation you might be going through, don’t worry, other folks have gone through that one too. Not only have others experienced the temptation also, but God is versatile and is able to deliver you from whatever it is. But the “common to man” appears to be saying something else—which is that all temptations reduce to one common denominator. Right after Paul says this, and says that God will provide a way of escape, he follows it up in the next verse by telling them Corinthians to flee from idolatry. This appears to be the root sin; this is the common-to-man failing. Wherever we go, whatever we do, we are going to be confronted with the temptation to idolatry.
The examples given earlier in this chapter (vv. 6-10) are all examples that reduce to idolatry, which is placing a created thing in the spot that only the uncreated God should occupy. Idolatry is the attempt to get from a finite thing what only the infinite can supply. These sins are lust, idolatry proper, fornication, tempting Christ, and murmuring. All of them rest upon an idolatrous foundation.
This means that whenever God makes a way of escape, and you avail yourself of it, you are following the charge of v. 14, and are fleeing from idolatry.