To Execute Judgment
I said before that false teachers will always be with us; the apostles were sure of this. But they were sure of something else as well—that they would be judged for their false testimony concerning God and their ungodly deeds.
So Jude moves now to their reward. He refers to yet another apocryphal book (a work not found in the Bible but known to the ancients) which has come down to us a 1 Enoch. Apocryphal works proliferated in the ancient world whereby a writer would assume the name of a saint of long ago to add authority to his writing. Whereas we are bothered by such a practice, the ancients did not view this as terribly wrong and generally knew that the work was a forgery. At any rate, Jude uses 1 Enoch as a source for his letter not because he believes Enoch wrote the book but because whoever wrote it spoke truth in this instance. Enoch is the “seventh from Adam” (counting Adam) and was a very holy man as we read that he walked so closely with God that God eventually “took” him (Genesis 5:24). And it would certainly not be out of character for the holy man to preach the message which Jude records about the Lord coming and executing judgment on “all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way.” Did you notice that some form of the word, “ungodly” kept appearing in that short excerpt? “Godliness” is a Christian virtue (2 Peter 1:6) which refers to piety, reverence, loyalty, fear of God—a life lived before God in holiness. By contrast, ungodliness means the opposite: impiety, indifference before the Almighty which leads to wickedness. It is only natural a man such as Enoch would be greatly distressed by such wickedness as described in verse sixteen which surrounded him in his day (cf. 2 Peter 2:7).
By way of fun and proving the word of God, if one takes Genesis 5 and adds the years of each man when his son was born from Adam to Noah (1556), and then another one-hundred years for Noah to build the ark, one will arrive at 1656 years from the creation of the world to the flood. Similarly, if one adds the years of each man when his son was born from Adam to Enoch (687) and then adds the years of Methuselah who was born to Enoch (969), one arrives at the same figure of 1656—which means Methuselah died the year the flood came. Why is this significant? Because godly Enoch’s son’s name means, “after me, it comes.” Perhaps the flood was the judgment Enoch prophesied. Jude understands Enoch’s prophecy to have second fulfillment when our Lord returns.