Friday, April 15, 2016

Book of Jude, verse 12

(New American Standard Bible)

These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted;

(New Living Translation)
When these people eat with you in your fellowship meals commemorating the Lord’s love, they are like dangerous reefs that can shipwreck you. They are like shameless shepherds who care only for themselves. They are like clouds blowing over the land without giving any rain. They are like trees in autumn that are doubly dead, for they bear no fruit and have been pulled up by the roots.

Jude continues warning us about the wormy people who have infiltrated the church with their apostasy and leadership roles. Here's what stood out to me today.

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  • hidden reefs - σπιλάς spilás is the Greek word for rock or ledge. Jude uses this word metaphorically to help us understand these certain men, who by their conduct, damage others morally. They harm our hearts with their corrupt teachings and behavior, shipwrecking our relationship with our God and Savior, Jesus Christ. 
  • feast without fear - at first glance, this phrase does not seem to make a lot of sense...why would anyone fear feasting? However, Jude's use is more 'fear of the Lord'  or 'reverence.'  ἀφόβως aphóbōs is the Greek word for boldly, with no fear. Jude intends to warn us to not forget God,, even in our everyday gatherings.  

Jude uses great imagery, clouds without water, autumn trees without fruit to help us understand the type of person we are to be watchful. These are people without substance. They might know how to speak "Christianese," but their words lack sincerity and merit, because they are looking out for only themselves. How will you know when you've run into one of these deceitful persons to whom Jude is referring? Listen to your heart.

When you get that niggling feeling something isn't quite right with the speech or actions of a Church leader, it is okay to question, especially if the person is preaching the Bible and the Truth doesn't seem to ring clear. The only way to truly know the heart of God is to know His Word. Read it, absorb it, learn what He is trying to say to you. Only then will you remain on guard and in His Truth. 

Strengthen your spiritual armor today.

Lean in and lean on Him. 

What stood out most to you in this verse?