“Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils. Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?” (1 Corinthians 10:21–22, KJV)
I watched a video of three young men making walk on water shoes. One used Styrofoam, another some miniature kayaks, and another a couple foam bodyboards. On these they affixed something to hold their feet in place and straps to keep the two floats from spreading too far apart while trying to walk on water. Their efforts to walk on water using their creations were amusing and humorous with one exception. One of the young men fell into the water and could not get out of his device which kept his head below water. His two buddies jumped in to save him before he drowned. Their struggles to walk on water illustrated the old saying, “No man can paddle two canoes at the same time.”
Here Paul brings up a vital point. It is a point echoed from Jesus’ words, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24, KJV). Paul dovetailed this thought with his discussion of the communion meal. He indicated that while idols were nothing and food sacrificed to idols was just food, he still did not want believers to be participants with demons. They needed to avoid idolatry.
In stating that one could not sit at the table with demons and at the same time at the table of the Lord is to exhort believers to separate themselves from idols. Now, we know that in the Bible we saw Israel often veering into the worship of idols. They often transgressed the commands of God by worshipping images created by human craftsmanship. However, in seeing this, we often discredit the possibility of idols on us today. In fact, today we have many idols that vie for our devotion and we do not even know it.
What kind of idols do we have today? I would say that the majority of Americans do not have statues in their homes or in a temple that they worship. However, we do allow many things to steal our devotions. These can be the love of money, relationships other than with the Lord, hobbies, sports, etc.
I had a boss once that told me that snow skiing was his god. Sometime later, he broke his leg snow-skiing. I guess his god broke his leg. This brings up another issue. The devotion to idols is a path to destruction. No eternal good can come out of it.
The point is that people were not designed in a way that they could serve two masters. God created man to be a devotional being. We cannot serve two masters. We cannot sit at the table with two masters. We can only love one. When we decide to keep our feet in two canoes at the same time, we will certainly fail. Use caution in this world. Do not get lured into the subtle trap. Watch out for those things that steal your devotion from God.