Thursday, 30 July 2020
…raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. Jude -13
Jude continues the metaphors he began in the previous verse to describe the “dreamers” of verse 8. So far, he has not been very friendly in his descriptions of such people. We will see if he lightens up on them a bit in this verse. He continues his words beginning with, “raging waves of the sea.”
Some versions translate this, “wild waves of the sea.” In this, it describes the class of the wave rather than its action. There are waves that can be immense and terrifying, but they are normal waves. These, however, are waves which are “foaming up their own shame.” In other words, the waves are out of character, like a tsunami. They bring to the surface many useless and dangerous items such as seaweed, logs, rocks, and other rubbish. They then cast them on the shore. The false teachers and lewd living people in the church are like this. They spew forth vulgarities and their lives produce nothing but that which is both dangerous and unsightly.
The idea of “foaming up their own shame” is that what they speak is shameful, but there is no care. Further, the word “shame” is plural. It isn’t an isolated thing they say that identifies them. Rather, they spew forth their shames in a constant stream of unholiness. The word Jude uses, which is translated as “foaming,” is found only here. It signifies to foam out at the mouth. Thus, the things they say are vulgar, unholy, and contrary to the excellence of speech which is expected of Christians.
When shame is no longer shameful, there is no remedy for that person. When a church is led by such vile people, eventually shame will be lost by the congregation altogether. And once that occurs, there is no longer a remedy for them as well. Unless sin can be identified as sin, and thus seen to be shameful, there is no restraint. Such people then foam up their shame for all to see. Jude was probably thinking of Isaiah 57:20 when he wrote this –
“But the wicked are like the troubled sea,
When it cannot rest,
Whose waters cast up mire and dirt.”
Jude then says they are “wandering stars.” The word translated as “wandering” is planétés, and it is found only here. It signifies a wanderer, but it is akin to the word “planet,” because planets wander through the stars in a fashion different to the eye than the otherwise “fixed” stars. Jude just used a nautical term, and he is probably continuing with that thought now while referring to comets.
When comets are seen, they are of no value at all to the navigators of a vessel. Attempting to follow their paths is useless and they cannot be depended on to safely guide anyone. The same is true with those he is describing. The words they speak, the actions they employ, and the direction they take are useless to guide anyone to a safe haven. Of them, Jude finishes with, “for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.” The Greek says, “the darkness.” He is referring back to the darkness he mentioned in verse 1:6.
The words are similar to 2 Peter 2:17, where he says, “for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.” The Greek word translated as “blackness” gives a sense of gloom. It is a murkiness which hangs as a pall for those who are caught in it.
It speaks of a darkness which was considered an understood condition of the regions of hell. There is no light, and the gloom of the place will leave the soul yearning for any hint of relief, but it will never come. Jesus spoke of this darkness three separate times in Matthew, such as in Matthew 8:12 –
“But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
The darkness, then, is a place of separation. As God is the source of light, and the light is called good – even at the very beginning of the Bible – one can see that it is a place where no good exists. The source of all that is good, of light, and of that which provides joy and abundance will be lacking. Such is the place where these false teachers have a forever-home reserved. And, sadly, those who follow after them will be there as well.
Life application: Jude didn’t lighten up from his previous attack upon these people. There is no room for tolerance for the wicked. This is especially so when the wicked infiltrate churches. All must be on constant guard for such people. They must be spoken against, and the words we use are to be firm, accurate, and convicting.
Jesus had no tolerance for such people, the apostles had no tolerance for such people, and we are to have no tolerance for such people. Stand fast and hold to the word. When the word is spoken against, we are to call out those who do so, quickly and unambiguously.
Glorious heavenly Father, you know that we all have walked in darkness and in untruth in our lives. But because of Your great love and tender mercies, you have led us into new lives that can glorify You. Thank You, Lord. And, help us to be proper examples to others who have yet to turn to You. May Your praise cover the earth like the waters cover the seas. Amen.