These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.
It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage. – Jude 12-16
What is your pet sin or temptation to which you are inclined to give too much attention? Is there some satanic bait that is all too appealing, or some self-indulgent sin-flirting that is too much a friend? Beware! Satan knows how to bait the hook. But his barb is sharp, and he is all too good at snagging people, stealing their joy, killing their souls, and destroying their hopes. Adam and Eve did not give in to a half-rotten maggot-infested fruit laying on the ground in the Garden. The forbidden fruit was pleasing to the eye, desirable for wisdom, and good for food: a trifecta of appealing delight and desire.
Jude blows the covers off such apparent enticements. Perhaps he has seen the terrible destructiveness of the kinds of evil against which he warns us. He might have experienced it himself. One thing is for certain. Jude wants us to make no mistake: those who profit off the spiritual needs f others, who lord it over their flock, who use their position as privilege rather than responsibility are not just harmless and misguided people.
Hidden reefs, self-feeding shepherds, waterless clouds, fruitless trees, wild waves, wandering stars all have the appearance of something good. But they offer no true blessing or benefit.
In the dark hours of the soul we may be tempted to throw in with thee malcontents. That is when we must rip off the masks of deception and stay true to God. He alone is worthy of our absolute devotion, faith, and trust. Our hope in him will never be shown to be a waterless cloud or a pall of darkness.