Sunday, 2 August 2020
These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. Jude -16
Jude continues to refer to the “dreamers” of verse 8. So far, he has heaped verse after verse of negative comments upon them. He continues with that now, beginning with, “These are grumblers.” It is a word found only here in the Bible, goggustés, or “murmurers.” It comes from goggýzō, or grumble, which is found elsewhere in the New Testament. It is an onomatopoetic expression derived from the sound of doves cooing. In other words, these people drone on in low and constant grumbles, just as a flock of doves seems to do.
Jude next calls them, “complainers.” It is another word found only here, mempsimoiros. It comes from a word meaning “a portioned amount,” and thus it signifies those who moan about their allotted portion. Instead of striving to better and improve themselves, they grumble, moan, and complain. They blame God for their station instead of being grateful for the lives they have been given. When they are sick, they complain that they are not healthy. But when they are healthy, they complain that they have to go to work. When they don’t have, they complain about those that do. But when they have, they complain because it is not enough. They are never satisfied, but they rather drone on about their state. They are whiners.
Next, Jude says of these, they are “walking according to their own lusts.” The people Jude describes reject the holiness and sanctity found in Scripture that asks us to forsake immorality and to conduct our lives in a manner worthy of the honor of being followers of Christ. Instead, they follow after their own unholy appetites, bringing their vile behavior into the church and promoting every other form of wickedness that is introduced. The only thing that cannot be tolerated is holiness and morality.
Jude continues with, “and they mouth great swelling words.” The word translated as “great swelling” is only found elsewhere in 2 Peter 2:18. It speaks of the oratory skills of these people being exceptional. They may have flawless presentation in their words. And their delivery may be without a stutter or a slur. However, the words they speak, despite being so perfectly stated and placed, are intended for “flattering people to gain advantage.”
Here, the word “flattering” comes from a word signifying “to marvel” or “to astonish.” The word translated as “people” literally means “faces.” It speaks of a person’s countenance. One can see that Jude is speaking of a person who speaks so boastfully of others that he could flatter them into submission, gaining advantage over them. This would obviously be geared toward each individual and how he could be manipulated for full advantage.
To the rich, the words would be to gain favor from his wealth. To the politician, it would be to gain favor from his position. To the electrician, it would be to gain favor from his skill. The idea of gaining for self, by the flattering of others, is the intent of Jude’s words here.
Life application: As we go through a short recap of these three categories, think on those you may have encountered who are like them. This will help you to be on guard against such types as you meet them in your daily walk –
They are grumblers. This is reflected in the same way as those who grumbled in the wilderness wanderings. They mummer below their breath and are overly dissatisfied with every good thing God has given them. They walk in continual ungratefulness.
They are complainers. They find fault in everyone and everything around them. These are the whiners of the world who want everything their way and wouldn’t be happy with the biggest banana in the bunch because it was the one without the label on it…selfish to a T.
They walk according to their own lusts. The Bible prohibits sexual immorality, it prohibits licentiousness, and it prohibits greed – among other things. But these people are full of any or all of these prohibitions, and they act out their desires without a care for God’s sure hand of judgment. They are self-condemned.
They mouth great swelling words. They are bombastic and pompous in the words which proceed from their mouths, but their words are empty and contain no redeeming value. What they say is meant to flatter others in order to gain control and advantage over their hearers – “Look at me, fawn over me, hand your money…to me.”
Unfortunately, you can find these types of people all over churches today, and you can find them almost anytime you turn on Christian TV as well. Be careful who you trust, and always evaluate people based on the Bible, not on their showy presentation.
Lord, there are so many in Your church who are only there to take advantage of others. Sometimes we may have been lured in by their smoothness, but then we found out later that they were seeking glory only for themselves. Such is the ability of some people to deceive. And so, Lord, we ask You to please keep us from being seduced by such corrupt people as we pursue You with all of our hearts. Amen.