These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage. Jude 16 (NIV).
In this verse, Jude is talking about the sinners who live against God’s order, specifically the ancient people from Enoch’s time. In referenced later verses, Paul and Peter also talk about people from ancient times who grumbled against God, specifically those who rebelled against Moses and Aaron (if you’ll recall, we talked about them a few days ago; see Jude 8).
But flash forward to our time today. Could Jude have written this verse about us? You know the answer.
I mean, we’re nearing the end of another political cycle, and “flatter others for their own advantage” has been the rule of this year. Isn’t it that way during every election? I suppose so, given that deceitful flattery is at the very nature of most politics. Yet I must confess that even I, a political junkie, am thoroughly sick of it. I’ll be glad once the whole thing is finally over. But you get the picture: Jude could have been writing about our politics.
And then there’s boasting about themselves. I’ve done plenty of that; have you? It’s in our DNA; it’s part of our sinful nature. Yes, can be psychologically healthy – and even Godly – to accept praise for use of our talents, some of our works; that sort of thing. We need positive strokes; they are a basic psychological need. Yet, all too often, we veer off the Godly straight and narrow and dive into boasting. “Look at me!” IS social media. I’m guilty of that. Jude could have been writing about me. Maybe you, too.
Following our own evil desires: have you been to San Francisco lately? Or Phuket? Have you heard of human trafficking, and electoral graft, and a hundred other pet sins? Yes, we as humanity have spent too much time following our evil desires.
Finally, grumbling and faultfinding. I pray I’m not doing that here, or anywhere. It’s one reason why I’ve scaled back on my news intake, on listening to doom-criers and liars. There’s too much grumbling. Sure, 2020 has been a long, tough year, but let’s keep it real and say that every year can be tough. That’s been amplified by our predicaments, yet surely this year isn’t tougher than 1941, or 1914, or any of the first thousand years in Christian history (when every day could have brought death or destruction).
You get it. Jude could have written about us, about our time. Maybe that’s the lesson: that these words of his, of God’s, ARE timeless, are for people everywhere, anytime.
For further reading: 1 Corinthians 10:10, 2 Peter 2:10, Jude 17
Lord Jesus, thank You for blessing me with Your words through Jude. Give them meaning in my life today.
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