8 In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings. 9 But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 10 Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct—as irrational animals do—will destroy them. 11 Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.
I was thinking, how do most people argue against God today? Mockery and ridicule would have to be it. No knowledge required … No rational thought needed … No authority beyond their own desire for the whole spiritual world to be belittled, to be less than nothing … So easy, but incredibly dangerous.
So how do we defend the faith that has been entrusted to us (v3) in the face of ridicule, especially when it comes from people within the church?
Jude points to 2 things here:
- Recognise where it comes from: a lack of understanding, an absence of reason or authority. The lack of rational argument that makes it so hard to argue against is its declaration of intellectual surrender.
- Recognise where it’s going: they are following in the footsteps of Satan and his angels (v6), Sodom and Gomorrah (v7), Cain, Balaam and Korah (v11) and are headed to the same disastrous consequences they suffered.
Rather than feeling threatened by ridicule (my first response) I should look on such mockers with pity and compassion; reaching out to rescue them from the sad place they are in (v22-3).
Oh Father. You fulfil all my desires but you’re not just a dream. You lift me up, not drag me down. You have all authority. You reveal yourself and your truth to us. You call me into holiness not self-indulgent destruction. You call me into eternal blessing. And you give me a part to play in your call of rescue to those who mock you. You are so good!
Written by David Cornell