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).