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have come to the limit of our capability of endurance, but if this promise is true, this is
not really so, otherwise the Lord would have lightened the burden. He indeed can "suit
the burden to the back", and if we can see behind it all our need for His loving discipline,
we shall not fail Him by becoming impatient or bitter. The second part of the promise is
given a wrong slant in the A.V. If a "way to escape" is made for us, then we are not
bearing the trial. Ekbasis, literally way out, can mean the end, issue or outcome, and the
word only occurs twice in the N.T. (here and Heb. 13: 7). The promise means that He
Who has led us into the trial has all of it, and its outcome, securely under His control. It
will not continue one moment longer than is necessary, and we can be brought out of it
"more than conquerors" by His grace and strength. This gives great assurance even
though there may be details of the trial we cannot understand.
Paul now sums this section up: "Wherefore (or the conclusion of this) my beloved
(is), flee from idolatry. I speak as to wise (or sensible) men; judge ye what I say"
(verses 14 and 15 R.V.). Idolatry must be avoided at all costs and therefore there should
be no direct contact with it if it could be avoided. "Run away from it", said the Apostle.
In direct contrast to this was the New Covenant feast, the Lord's Supper.
"The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a communion (sharing) of the blood of
Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a communion (sharing) of the body of
Christ?" (10: 16 R.V.)
The cup of blessing was one of the cups of wine which were drunk at the Passover
meal. As many may not be familiar with the procedure which prevailed at the time of
Christ we give a summary:
Those celebrating the feast gathered together with the head of the house blessing
the cup of wine which all partook.
(2) The followed washing of the hands accompanied with a benediction.
(3) The table was set with the Passover lamb, unleavened bread, bitter herbs and sauce.
(4) The head of the house, and then the others, dipped a portion of bitter herbs into the
sauce and ate them.
(5) The dishes were then removed and a cup of wine brought, followed by an interval
for asking questions concerning the feast, and then the wine was drunk (see
Exod. 12: 26, 27).
(6) The table was again set, the head repeating the commemorative words which
opened what was strictly the paschal supper, and Psalms 103: and 104: were
sung (the first part of the Hallel).
(7) The second washing of the hands followed with a short blessing, breaking one of
the two cakes of unleavened bread, with thanks. The bread was partaken, after
dipping it, with the bitter herbs, into the sauce.
(8) The flesh was then eaten with the bread and another blessing, together with a third
cup of wine, known as "the cup of blessing".
(9) Then came the fourth cup, with a recital or singing of Psalms 115:-118:, from
which this cup was known as "the cup of the Hallel", or of the Song.
(10) There might be, in conclusion, a fifth cup, provided that the great Hallel was sung
over it (possibly Psalms 120:-138:).
In connection with all this, the student should read Exod. 12: 1-27 which gives the
original instructions concerning the Passover.