Monday, January 20, 2014
Jude's next description of these certain men gives them another name. It is a short description, but well-defined throughout scripture: "ungodly men". Ungodly is defined simply as "not accepting God; wicked; sinful; unseemly". It is synonymous with profane, evil, corrupt, blasphemous, and impious. When Jehu rebukes Jehoshaphat in II Chronicles 19:1-2, he equates the ungodly with hating the LORD, and as a result says that "wrath is upon thee from before the LORD". It is a serious offense not just to be ungodly, but to help them in their cause as well. The very first psalm of the longest book of the Bible gives a good description of the ungodly. It starts by saying "blessed is the man who walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly...But his delight is in the law of the LORD". The contrast to being ungodly is following God; they are exact opposites. These ungodly men follow in their own ways, rather than in the right way of God (Prov. 16:25). The psalmist goes on to say that the ungodly are not like the righteous, but are like chaff driven away by wind (chaff being a symbol of the wicked throughout scripture, and this manner showing their helplessness when their destruction comes). They will not be able to stand in judgement nor with the righteous. And their way will perish. This theme and contrast is reiterated all throughout the book of Proverbs. The wicked are headed for destruction, and all they cause on Earth is destruction. "An ungodly man (literally a man of Belial) diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire." (Prov. 16:27). For the Christians' part, Paul says that "denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, and live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this PRESENT world;" (Tit. 2:12) while also looking for Jesus's return who died for us, is how we are to live. Paul says in Romans 1:18 that "the wrath of God IS revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness". God does and continues to punish the ungodly. But later, in Romans 5:6, Paul also says that "in due time Christ died for the ungodly". We could all be in this predicament if not for Christ's gift from the cross. And remembering that God is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (II Pet. 3:9), we must also remember that he would want these ungodly men to come to know Him as well. Keep this in mind when we get to the end of Jude.