Psalm 104

Psalm 104

Praise the Lord, my soul.

Lord my God, you are very great;
    you are clothed with splendor and majesty.

The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment;
    he stretches out the heavens like a tent
    and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
He makes the clouds his chariot
    and rides on the wings of the wind.
He makes winds his messengers,
    flames of fire his servants.

He set the earth on its foundations;
    it can never be moved.
You covered it with the watery depths as with a garment;
    the waters stood above the mountains.
But at your rebuke the waters fled,
    at the sound of your thunder they took to flight;
they flowed over the mountains,
    they went down into the valleys,
    to the place you assigned for them.
You set a boundary they cannot cross;
    never again will they cover the earth.

10 He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
    it flows between the mountains.
11 They give water to all the beasts of the field;
    the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 The birds of the sky nest by the waters;
    they sing among the branches.
13 He waters the mountains from his upper chambers;
    the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work.
14 He makes grass grow for the cattle,
    and plants for people to cultivate—
    bringing forth food from the earth:
15 wine that gladdens human hearts,
    oil to make their faces shine,
    and bread that sustains their hearts.
16 The trees of the Lord are well watered,
    the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17 There the birds make their nests;
    the stork has its home in the junipers.
18 The high mountains belong to the wild goats;
    the crags are a refuge for the hyrax.

19 He made the moon to mark the seasons,
    and the sun knows when to go down.
20 You bring darkness, it becomes night,
    and all the beasts of the forest prowl.
21 The lions roar for their prey
    and seek their food from God.
22 The sun rises, and they steal away;
    they return and lie down in their dens.
23 Then people go out to their work,
    to their labor until evening.

24 How many are your works, Lord!
    In wisdom you made them all;
    the earth is full of your creatures.
25 There is the sea, vast and spacious,
    teeming with creatures beyond number—
    living things both large and small.
26 There the ships go to and fro,
    and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.

27 All creatures look to you
    to give them their food at the proper time.
28 When you give it to them,
    they gather it up;
when you open your hand,
    they are satisfied with good things.
29 When you hide your face,
    they are terrified;
when you take away their breath,
    they die and return to the dust.
30 When you send your Spirit,
    they are created,
    and you renew the face of the ground.

31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
    may the Lord rejoice in his works—
32 he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
    who touches the mountains, and they smoke.

33 I will sing to the Lord all my life;
    I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
    as I rejoice in the Lord.
35 But may sinners vanish from the earth
    and the wicked be no more.

Praise the Lord, my soul.

Praise the Lord.
(Psalm 104:1-35 NIV)

Similar to Psalm 103, today’s psalm begins and ends with worship – “Praise the Lord”.

This psalm is focused on God as the creator and sustainer of all life.  This psalm carries the same theme (God’s glory) as Psalm 8 and the introduction of verse 1 in Psalm 19:

The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
(Psalm 19:1 NIV)

Notice how the psalmist switches pronouns when referring to the Lord – sometimes in the second person (“You”), while other times in the third person (“He”).  As I close my eyes and think about this for a moment, I imagine the psalmist sitting quietly with his best friend at the fading of the day, talking to the Lord and to his friend at the same time.  The psalmist effortlessly shifts between praising the Lord directly and sharing God’s wonder with his friend as they worship together.

The psalmist covers a wide array of God’s handiwork in this psalm, sandwiched in between a beginning praise (vv. 1-4) and an ending praise (vv. 31-35).  As you re-read the psalm, notice the following topics:

  • God’s Creation and the Flood (vv. 5-9)
  • God providing water for the earth and its creatures (vv. 10-13)
  • God providing plants as food for the animals and humans (vv. 14-17)
  • God providing food for animals and humans (vv. 18-23)
  • The psalmist admiring the incredible diversity of all God’s creatures (vv. 24-26)
  • The Lord’s care and provision for all His creation, and the contentment and peace that comes from willing and humble dependence on Him (vv. 27-30)

 

As you read and meditate on this psalm, what stirs inside you?

Thankfulness?

Worship?

Contentment?

Awe and wonder?

Here’s an old hymn, written by Robert Grant in 1833, that is based on Psalm 104:1-7 and captures the essence of the psalmist’s worship (with a newer musical arrangement):

O Worship the King, All Glorious Above

Enjoy worshipping in His Presence today…

Blessings,

~kevin

Psalm 103

Psalm 103

Of David.

Praise the Lord, my soul;
    all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
    and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord works righteousness
    and justice for all the oppressed.

He made known his ways to Moses,
    his deeds to the people of Israel:
The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
    slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
    nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
    or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

13 As a father has compassion on his children,
    so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
    he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
    they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
    and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
    the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
    and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep his covenant
    and remember to obey his precepts.

19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
    and his kingdom rules over all.

20 Praise the Lord, you his angels,
    you mighty ones who do his bidding,
    who obey his word.
21 Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
    you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the Lord, all his works
    everywhere in his dominion.

Praise the Lord, my soul.
(Psalm 103:1-22 NIV)

King David spends time in praise and worship of the Lord today.  Thankfully, he wrote down his thoughts so we can join with him many centuries later.  The same God whom King David worshipped in his day is the same God that we choose to worship today.

David breaks his praise and worship into three sections:

  • Personal worship (vv. 1-5)
  • Corporate worship (vv. 6-18)
  • Universal worship (vv. 19-22)

In the first section, David has some personal worship time with the Lord.  David begins and ends this psalm with the same words – “Praise the Lord, my soul”.  If you grew up with a different English translation of the Bible, you might remember this beginning and end as “Bless the Lord, O my soul”.

What is David saying when he talks to his “soul”?  Is this some kind of ancient “self-talk”?  Not at all.

David knows what is going on in his outer, external life – how he interacts with others, what he is doing, his words, his outward emotions to life happening around him.

Now David is taking time to examine his inner life – what’s going on inside him.  What is he experiencing but hasn’t expressed outwardly, what he is feeling, what emotions are stirring within him, the thoughts in his mind.

David is no different than you and I – a thousand, thousand things going on inside, and only a few make it from the inner life to the outer life.  David is ordering his thought life and will and feelings, telling them all to focus on the Lord and Him alone.

In verses 2 – 5, David reminds himself of the benefits of focusing on the Lord – why he is directing his thoughts, will, and emotions to spend time in praise and worship.

And what are those benefits?  forgiveness and restoration (v. 3), redemption (salvation) and righteousness before God (v. 4), blessings and renewal (v. 5).

David, having worshipped the Lord personally, then invites others to join him in corporate worship (vv. 6-18).  David reminds his fellow worshippers of the Lord’s grace and mercy toward His people in verses 8 – 10 as he quotes Moses from Exodus 34:6-7.  David also reminds himself, his fellow worshipers (and us!) of the Lord’s kind, gentle, and fatherly love toward us through the generations (vv. 13-18).

As David closes out this psalm, he flings open the doors of heaven and invites all the universe to join him and the congregants to worship the Lord together (vv. 19-22).  Everyone and everything is invited – angels, mighty beings, heavenly hosts, us, even His created things like animals, birds, sea creatures, bugs – all praising the name of the Lord!

May we remember to take time to look inside ourselves, then choose to focus our will, our thoughts, our mind, our emotions, our body in worship of the Lord.

May you experience the blessings and presence of the Lord and His joy as you take time to worship Him today.

Blessings,
~kevin

Psalm 1

Psalm 1

Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.

Not so the wicked!
    They are like chaff
    that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
    nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
    but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
(Psalm 1:1-6 NIV)

As we look at the first psalm, we see a preamble, a pattern for many other psalms – a contrast between the righteous and the wicked.

Verse 1 begins with a beatitude, a blessing on the person who pursues God’s righteousness in God’s way.  And what is the way to pursue righteousness?  The psalmist gives us three negatives and two positives:

The righteous person does not (v. 1):

  • walk in step with the wicked
  • stand in the way that sinners take
  • sit in the company of mockers

Rather, the righteous person does (v. 2):

  • delight in the law of the Lord
  • meditate on God’s law day and night

Notice that our path of life is a choice – where and how we spend our time.  We can walk, stand, and sit with those who oppose the Lord and His ways, or we can delight in the Lord and focus our thoughts and actions on Him.

Verse 3 paints the picture of the person who focuses their life on the Lord.  The psalmist uses a fruit tree to convey the blessings of the life focused on the Lord.  The water represents the life source for the tree, just as delighting and meditating on the Lord is the life source to the follower of God.  The tree is not just for show; it also yields fruit to bless others at the appointed time (in its season).

Notice also the security of the tree.  It is firmly planted – its roots run deep.  No storm can uproot the tree, not can any harm come and cause it to wither and lose its leaves.  So is our security in the Lord – whatever we do for His glory will prosper.  There may be storms of life, but the goodness of God will prevail and protect us.

Verses 4 – 5 contrast back to the wicked described in verse 1.  The psalmist says that they are not like the tree – they are more like the chaff that the wind blows away.  The wicked have no substance, no weight or rooting to anchor them against the strength of the Lord.

Verse 6 concludes with the final contrast of this psalm – God’s knowledge of, provision for, and protection over the righteous ones who delight themselves in Him and obey Him.

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine, but it’s true – God knows His followers and watches over them!  The God the universe, with all its billions of people, and all of His creation – has time for you and me!  That is both humbling and deeply peace-giving.

May you delight yourself in the Lord today, focusing your thoughts and actions on Him.

And may you experience His Presence as you go about your day with Him.

Blessings,

~kevin

Jude 24-25

24 To Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
(Jude 24-25 NIV)

As we wrap up our time in the book of Jude, let’s do a quick review.

Jude identifies himself, offers an introductory blessing, then quickly gets to the point of the letter – to identify and deal with false teachers that have crept into the local churches.  Jude then describes some identifying traits of these false teachers, as well as the judgment that God has historically brought down upon those who know the truth but defiantly disobey Him.

Jude then turns his attention back to his audience – those who still follow the Lord.  Jude reminds them that the arrival of these false teachers should not catch them off guard – they had been warned by the apostles, especially Peter.  Jude then reminds them (and us) of our responsibility to keep grounded in God’s Word, to pray, and to keep an eternal perspective – the opposite of what the false teachers were promoting.

In addition, Jude reminds us that we have a responsibility beyond keeping ourselves connected to the Lord. We are also to reach out to those who are confused by, convinced of, or committed to these false teachers, their sinful beliefs, and evil practices.

Today, Jude ends as he began – with a positive note and a blessing to his readers.  Verses 24 – 25 are a doxology to the Lord and a great reminder of God’s faithfulness to his brothers and sisters in Christ (which also includes us!).

Jude begins by reminding his audience that God is able to provide for and protect them during their perilous times.  This was not an idle boast, but a living reality.  Being “able” means to have the power to make something happen.

And what does God have the power to do for us?

  • to keep you from stumbling
    We all need someone to “keep” us, don’t we?  The Lord describes us as sheep, with no defenses to sustain us against the spiritual attacks that come against us.  The “stumbling” is when we give up or give in to those attacks, and the enemy of our souls wins the battle.
    Jude tells us that God has the power to guard us and protect us – the question is whether we will willingly submit to His plan and put ourselves under God’s protection, or will we tell God that we want to do life on our own.
  • to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy
    Jude reminds us again that God has an eternal perspective on our lives – we are not all about the “here and now”.  God continues to refine us as we submit ourselves to Him in order to present us before Himself redeemed (our sins paid for by His Son, Jesus – our account with God wiped clean!).
    Jude reminds us that God does not perform this redemptive and sanctifying work out of duty or obligation.  Instead, God does this so He can present us with great joy!
    Do you long to hear God say to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant”?  I know I look forward to that day.

Jude ends his letter with praise to the Lord, reminding us that only God is able to save us, and He alone is worthy of all glory, majesty, power, and authority.

And who holds all this glory, majesty, power, and authority?  Jesus Christ our Lord.

And how long is Jesus’ glory, majesty, power, and authority in effect?

  • before all ages (before time began – eternity past)
  • now
  • forevermore (after time ends – eternity future)

Looks like God has the entire span of time, from eternity past, to now, to eternity future covered.  There has never been, and never will be a time when God is not sovereign or in control.

May we be reminded of God’s protection and provision, and of our need to humbly put ourselves under His care.

May we have God’s wisdom to identify truth from error, and false teachers from those who teach God’s truth.

May we remember that God cares for us, not out of obligation, but out of joy.  He bursts with delight and loves spending time with us.

May we sense God’s His presence and pleasure with us as we go about our day.

Blessings,
~kevin

Jude 20-23

20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
(Jude vv. 20-23 NIV)

In our last time together, Jude turned his focus to his readers and reminded them (and us) that these false teachers are not some new revelation from God as they claim to be.  In fact, they are not from God at all.  Jesus and the apostles (especially Peter) had warned of both their coming and their motive.

In today’s passage, Jude is still addressing his readers, those who are committed to following Christ.  Jude begins with the word “But” again, marking a change in direction, a contrast to what he was talking about in verses 17-19.  Jude turns his focus from the negative to the positive, encouraging and motivating his readers to keep their focus on the Lord, and proactively help others.

In verses 20 – 21, Jude instructs us to keep ourselves in God’s love.  The idea of “keep” is not a passive hoarding, like putting important documents in a safe or hiding money in a mattress or in books.  Instead, the idea of “keep” is an active pursuit, to keep connected to someone, to remain in relationship to someone.

Jude’s imperatives are in direct contrast to what the false teachers were doing in verse 19.  So how do we keep ourselves in God’s love?
Jude lays out three essentials:

  • building yourselves up in your most holy faith
    Simply stated, this is spending time in God’s Word.  Notice that Jude says this is a “building up” exercise, not a “tearing down” (causing divisions among God’s people) exercise as contrasted by the false teachers (v. 19).
  • praying in the Holy Spirit
    What is prayer?  Talking to God.   Is Jude requiring some form of speaking in tongues or being “filled with the spirit”?  No.  Is Jude excluding that activity?  No.  Rather, Jude is telling us to pray with the connection and the power that comes with God’s Holy Spirit indwelling us.  This is in direct contrast to the false teachers that did not have God’s Spirit in them (v. 19).
  • wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life
    Jude encourages us to keep an eternal perspective, looking beyond our life in the “here and now” and focusing on the final goal of spending eternity with the Lord.  This requires patience, perseverance, faith, and hope.  This is in direct contrast to the false teachers that seek their immediate gratification and follow after their natural instincts, especially in the sensual and sexual areas of life (v. 19).

In verses 22 – 23, Jude encourages us to look beyond our own spirituality and seeking after God to help others along their spiritual journey.  God did not design us to live our lives disconnected from others. Rather, we are to live in community, as salt and light to those around us, to be an encourager and to be encouraged by others as we all focus on the Lord and our connection to Him.

As we look into verses 22 – 23, we need to recognize that Jude is not judging these folks in the church that needed the believers’ help.  Jude is not saying if they are followers of Christ, or if they are not.  Frankly, Jude probably did not know if they were or were not followers of Jesus – he simply saw the need to offer them the help and hope of the Gospel.

Let’s look briefly at the three groups of folks that need help, and our responsibility to the Lord and to them:

  • Be merciful to those who doubt
    These are folks that are “on the fence” – they see the truth of God’s Word and the reality of Jesus, but are still drawn to the offer of immediate gratification and an easier life proclaimed by the false teachers.  They are confused and have questions about both, and they have not fully committed themselves to either Christ or the false teachers.
    And what is our responsibility to these doubters?  To offer mercy to them.  We are not to shun, ignore, belittle, or harshly rebuke them.  After all, we had questions about putting our faith in Christ, and God graciously and mercifully answered our questions along the way – why would we do less for someone else on their journey?
  • save others by snatching them from the fire
    These folks are no longer on the fence – they are convinced and have decided to actively follow the false teachers.  These folks know the truth of Christ, but are caught up in the thrill of the promise, not realizing that they are in grave danger.  A small child is pulled toward the allure of a fire but does not understand the danger associated with getting too close.  The child’s parents must watch out for the child’s well-being and rescue the child from harm if it gets too close.
    Jude is saying the same thing for us.  We must watch out for those who are pulled in by the empty promises of the false teachers that lead to death.  We are not to write them off, but rather proactively seek them out as “lost sheep” for their own good.  Jude is not saying we have the power to save people and give them eternal life – only God through Jesus can offer eternal life.  What Jude is saying is that God uses us as part of His plan to bring others to Himself, including those in danger of false teaching and its deadly consequences.
  • to others show mercy, mixed with fear – hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh
    These folks are not only convinced of the promises of the false teachers – they have become “evangelists” of their heresy, actively trying to convince others to follow.  Jude acknowledges that this is very dangerous, and should not be taken lightly.
    To rescue people who are caught up with the false teachers is basically marching into the enemy’s camp in broad daylight and taking back those who have strayed from the truth of God’s Word and His ways.
    Jude says that we are to approach these folks who are now teaching others with mercy, and fear.  We are to treat these folks with mercy, but go in the fear of the Lord, lest we are convinced of their evil ways and renounce Christ.
    Jude says we are to hate anything evil that might rub off on us as part of that interaction with the very folks we are reaching out to.  If you’ve ever had to do a really dirty job, when the job is done, the first thing you want to do is take a shower or bath and put your dirty clothes in the wash.  And so it is with our spiritual lives when God calls us to seek out those who are deep in sin with false teachers and are convincing others to follow their evil ways.

 

May we seek Christ and Him only in our personal lives and walk, spending time in God’s Word, in prayer, and keeping an eternal perspective.

May we also seek the spiritual well-being of those around us who are confused by false teachers, convinced by the false teachers, and committed to the false teachers of our day.

Blessings,
~kevin

Jude 17-19

17 But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
(Jude vv. 17-19 NIV)

In our last few sessions together, Jude reminded his readers (and us) that God will judge the ungodly words and actions of those who oppose Him or are defiant toward Him.  Jude cited a number of Old Testament examples of folks who had the same mindset as these false teachers and the terrible consequences of their blatant defiance and sin.

In today’s passage, Jude reminds his readers (and us) that these false teachers are not some new revelation from God as they claim to be.  The apostles had warned of both their coming and their motive.

Jude begins with “But” to contrast, to change both direction and subject.  Jude was denouncing these false teachers; now he turns his attention to encourage the saints in the church.

Notice that Jude refers to the recipients of his letter as “dear friends” or “beloved” – all terms of endearment and loving concern for his readers.  Jude’s words are meant to be an encouragement and hope for his readers; this was not a disciplinary or corrective letter for something these believers had done wrong.

In fact, Jude tells his readers to “remember” what the Apostles had told them.  Jude’s words were an exhortation, a command to recall what they had been taught by Peter and the other apostles.

In verse 18, Jude quotes the apostle Peter (2 Peter 3:3).  And what was the message of these nay-sayers?   Peter tells us in his next sentence:

They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”
(2 Peter 3:4 NIV)

Have you heard anyone say something similar in our day?

“It’s been 2,000 years since Jesus promised to return. Obviously He is not coming back.”

“Christianity is an ancient myth.  Was Jesus even a real person, or some made-up character that told stories about ethics and morality?”

Peter’s point, which Jude reiterates, is clear:  These false teachers are not interested in learning the truth – they are only interested in justifying their sin and fulfilling their selfish desires.  They want to do whatever they want and have no guilt or consequences for their thoughts, words, or actions.

Jude reminds his readers that the goal of these false teachers is to divide and conquer, to get peoples’ eyes off the Lord and onto someone or something else.  Jude is appealing to his readers with human reason while reminding them that the false teachers run on instinct, not reason.  Human reasoning, a God-given ability, will save their lives if applied; running on instinct, like a wild animal, will ultimately cost them their life (v. 10).

Lastly, in verse 19, Jude reminds his readers that these false teachers are devoid of God’s Holy Spirit – they are operating strictly in their natural (non-spiritual) state.

As I ponder Jude’s words this morning, I think I can safely say that I am not a false teacher that Jude spoke against.  However, I am reminded of Jude’s two simple tests of my every thought, word, and action to keep me focused and centered on Christ:

  • Why do I think/ speak/ do the way I do?  What is my motivation?
    Am I seeking God’s glory or my own?
    Am I seeking His good, or am I feeding my own selfish desires?
  • Is God’s Holy Spirit evident and leading in what I am thinking/ speaking/ doing?
    Am I operating on my own human power or instinct?
    Or am I empowered and directed by His Holy Spirit?

May we live our everyday lives under the authority and guidance of God’s Holy Spirit in all we think, say, and do – for His glory, and not our own.

Blessings,
~kevin

Jude 14-16

14 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones 15 to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” 16 These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.
(Jude vv. 14-16 NIV)

In our last time together, Jude used three more Old Testament examples and six comparisons to call out the dire consequences of disobedience to the Lord.

In today’s text, Jude reminds the saints in the church about the coming judgment of these false teachers.  This is not a new thought, but rather, a continuation of his previous thoughts from verses 11 – 13.

Jude begins by quoting the extrabiblical writings of Enoch.  Jude was referring to Enoch, the seventh in line counting from Adam (Genesis 5:1-18 – Adam, Seth, Enosh, Cainan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch), not to be confused with Enoch, Cain’s son (Genesis 4:17-18).

The number seven is often used to denote completeness.  In this case, Enoch was the seventh generation of humans on the earth as we noted above.  We know that Enoch walked with God – he was faithful and pleasing to the Lord (see Genesis 5:24 and Hebrews 11:5).  Enoch (the seventh generation from Adam through Seth) was a shining example of a life lived for the Lord, while Lamech (the seventh generation from Adam through Cain) was the opposite – a life of lawlessness and ungodliness (Genesis 4:18-24).

Jude was not putting Enoch’s ancient writings on the same level as God’s Word – he was simply saying that even before the flood, godly men like Enoch had prophesied that evil men like Lamech and the false teachers of Jude’s day were already judged and sentenced for their blatant sins.

And what were those sins that brought God’s judgment?  Their ungodly acts (their sexual sins that Jude referred to earlier in his letter) as well as their defiant, harsh words toward God Himself and God’s people.

Jude goes on to say that these people are:

  • grumblers
    they are discontented, unhappy souls, angry about every aspect of their life; no willingness to be part of the solution, only complain about the problem.
  • faultfinders
    everything that happens to them or someone else is blamed on something or someone else; no personal responsibility or desire to help others.
  • following their own evil desires
    no sense of the greater good of their family, community, or world, only looking out for themselves and what might satisfy them or make them happy, primarily in a sexual or sensual way.
  • boasting about themselves
    their sense of self and pride and ego is overwhelming, to the point of being arrogant and obnoxious; a narcissist.
  • flattering others for their own advantage
    they offer insincere words of praise and honor to others in order to get something for themselves.

 

May we speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), and humbly ask the Lord for wisdom to discern God’s Word and ways from Satan’s lies and temptations.

In our next few times together, Jude will share the truth of God’s Word with us and show us a better way to live and love and remain centered on the Lord.

Blessings,
~kevin