Tuesday in the Nineteenth Week of Ordinary Time

Jude 8-10

Rejecting Authority

We continue with verses eight through ten and the sin of “rejecting authority.”  It is only natural that those who rely upon their dreams and whims for guidance should reject any governance that crosses their desires.  And because they accept no authority outside themselves, they “blaspheme the glorious ones.” 

This is a strange saying and reminds us of 2 Peter 2:10-12 where something similar is referred to.  Verse nine alludes to a story, perhaps from the apocryphal, Testament of Moses, where Michael rebukes the devil, not in his own name, but in the name of the Lord (compare Zechariah 3:2).  The reasoning is that if even an archangel would not presume to be so arrogant when speaking to another angelic creature, even a fallen one, how beastly and stupid must these sinners be who dare to do so!  We explained in 2 Peter that perhaps these were being warned by believers to repent lest they be handed over to Satan for discipline (1 Timothy 1:20).  Rather than hear these warnings, these who thought themselves above any law only scoffed at such a proposal.  Their egos had swollen to the size that they thought themselves untouchable; indeed, they mimicked Satan in his downfall thus making their father proud.

But the “joke” is on them.  They blaspheme what they don’t understand and before which should tremble, while “they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively.”  In other words, these only understand what their passions crave: fantasies, sex, and pleasure.  Like beasts, these indulge their cravings when such desires come upon them; they give no thought to others or consequences.  In modern times, this has gone by several different tags: self-fulfillment, actualization, and most recently, identity.  But it’s all the same sin, only under different names—names which betray the very SELF which seeks to redefine reality so as to swallow it whole.  But they will be destroyed by the sins they crave when the gods they adore come calling.  God will not be mocked (Galatians 6:7).

Believers need not worry that Jude refers to a myth from a non-canonical book.  Just like a preacher’s illustration or even our Lord’s parables, the story need not have actually occurred—what matters is the point being taught.  In this case, Jude illustrates in graphic detail how a man’s pride can lead him to utter senility, commanding even angels to do his bidding.  But may God’s people always walk humbly with their God (Micah 5:8).

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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