10:8 Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day.
It could take pages and days to break down the story referenced here or it can be summed up very quickly. In a sentence it goes like this: "We are a far greater threat to ourselves than any external force or threat is."
There was a temple in Corinth to the goddess Venus. More than 1000 priestesses worked there. They were prostitutes in the name of religion. False religion is often just a front for sins of all kinds, especially sexual sin. Because sexual sin was so rampant in Corinth it was affecting the church. They had been born and raised amidst the corruption.
In warning them through examples from the past Paul references a little known story from Numbers 25. Leading up to the event described there the king of Moab was trying to curse Israel through a prophet who was willing to accept money to do this work. Of course no one can curse what God has blessed so the prophet's efforts were futile. In the end though he told the king there was a far better way to destroy Israel - get them to destroy themselves. The king seized the idea and sent an invitation for Israel to attend a feast. A feast that ended just like the worship of the golden calf ended. In his commentary on this, Matthew Henry wrote:
"If Balak had drawn out his armed men against them to fight them, Israel would have bravely resisted, and no doubt had been more than conquerors; but now that he sends his beautiful women among them, and invites them to his idolatrous feasts, the Israelites basely yield, and are shamefully overcome: those are smitten with his harlots that could not be smitten with his sword."
People can say and believe as they wish but science has proven that a monogamous heterosexual relationship poses no health risk yet all forms of sex outside those parameters can be dangerous and even deadly.
All sin leads either quickly or slowly to our destruction. I believe that sometimes God permits the consequences to be swift in order to warn those who still haven't made a full commitment to evil.
There are two great accusations against God. The first is that if He is so loving why is world such a mess. The second is the criticism He receives when He punishes evil. The inconsistency between these two accusations is obvious. God wants us all to choose life. If we choose sin we will die either quickly or slowly because even if God never intervened all sin is destructive.
The evil within us is a greater threat than any external force. Let Jesus in. Let His Spirit fill you so that evil has no space.