Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day— just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.
Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.”
Comment: Jude is writing from a very ‘stirred up’ perspective. These people who are misguiding the young church are doing a terrible thing. Jude gives three examples of how prepared God is to judge wrong behaviour.
- The adult people led out of slavery in Egypt by Moses all (except Joshua and Caleb) died in the wilderness because of their rebellion and unbelief.
- The angels who tried to usurp the authority of God are still ‘locked up’ awaiting the final day of judgement.
- Sodom and Gomorrah because of their abnormal sexual behaviour were destroyed by fire, which was the judgement of God.
Then there is an assessment of the false teachers. They are following their own dreams, their own philosophies, instead of the revealed truth of the Jesus record. They are seeking to destroy the revelation of the messengers of God. It may mean more but at least it includes the glorious writers and writings of the scriptures. The original meaning of the word ‘angel’ is ‘messenger’. And, as if holding up his hands at horror of the thought, he quotes the record in the book of Enoch (a Jewish writing not part of the Bible, but at least in this story believed true by Jude) of archangel Michael arguing with the devil about the body of Moses. Michael was more polite to the devil than these false teachers are about the writers and truths of the gospel. As a side thought, it would appear that Michael won that argument as Moses, in bodily form, appeared on the mount of transfiguration with Elijah and Jesus. Elijah rode into heaven in a heavenly chariot.
It seems to me that these are the writings of a man justifiably very angry at what is going on!
Prayer: Help me to not be lukewarm in my approach to evil.