JUDE — ISRAEL SET FORTH AS AN EXAMPLE
There are two great teaching methods given in this passage. The first one is found in verse 5, “I will therefore put you in remembrance.” The teacher will use repetition. The second one is found in verse 7, “Set forth for an example.” It is teaching by example. Repetition and by example.” Repetition and by example are two great teaching methods. God repeats things, and we should not be afraid to repeat things that need to be repeated.
Allow me to reinforce this with a verse of Scripture from the Old Testament. The Bible says in Isaiah 28:10, “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.”
One entire book of the Bible is given to us as a second account—the book of Deuteronomy. Many times God says again and again the same thing, yet not one word in the Bible is redundant. People sometimes say, “I’ve heard that before.” Rejoice—it bears repeating.
In Jude 7, the Lord concludes this passage by saying that these things are given to us for an example. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:1-12, “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”
God said, “Now all these things happened unto them for ensembles: and they are written for our admonition.” When we come to the book of Jude, the Lord concludes the 7th verse by saying, “…set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”
God declares to us that these apostates will be judged. He gives us examples of judgment, saying to us, “If you doubt that God is a God of judgment, then remember these examples. If you doubt that the apostates will be judged, then remember these examples. The Bible says in Galatians 6:7, “For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” God says, “Here are some examples.” We need to learn from these examples.
One of the reasons many have drifted so far from God is that they have failed to heed these examples. Some examples are good examples of things that should be emulated in our lives. Some are bad examples, but they serve a great purpose—to show us what not to do.
We note first of all the example of Israel. God’s Word says in Jude 5, “I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.”
The word “saved” used in this verse is used for a physical deliverance. A mixed multitude came out of Egypt, but collectively Jude is referring to God’s people. The Bible says that after the Lord delivered them, He destroyed those who did not believe.
God recalls this example for us in the book of Numbers. In the 14th chapter of the book of Numbers, the spies were sent out. There were 12 of them, one from each of the 12 tribes of the nation Israel. They spied out the land of Canaan. They were out forty days and came back with an evil report. Yes, the land was a land of milk and honey. They brought back grapes in a cluster so great that one man could not carry them. But they told the people that there were giants in the land. Ten of the spies said, “We are like grasshoppers in their sight.” They would not believe God and began to murmur and complain.
The Bible says in Numbers 14:1-2, “And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness!…”
Did God hear them? He not only heard them say this, He later reminded them that He had heard what they said. Remember this solemn warning: Be careful what you say because God is listening. God Almighty heard the children of Israel murmuring and complaining. And, just as the Bible promises, they reaped what they had sown. They spoke of putting to death their leaders and going back to Egypt.
Take the time to read Numbers 14:28-34 and see how God dealt with His own people, the children of Israel. These people were the ones He redeemed from bondage. They put the blood on the lintel and the side posts, and the death angel passed over. God opened up the Red Sea and brought them through on dry ground. Yet, He judged His own people. If God judged them, He will certainly judge others as well.
It is a serious thing when a person who has been blessed by God does not behave like someone who has been blessed by God. For forty years the children of Israel felt the hand of God’s judgment until physical death came. After the frustration of wandering in the wilderness, death must have come as a relief. No doubt, many were dying all the time. Think of how many years many of them had to bear the sentence of death and then die. God hears what we say, and He deals with His people. They suffered a physical death in the wilderness.
“For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled. Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.” Psalm 90:7-8