Thursday, July 09th, 2009 | Author:

Welcome to the Word for Wednesday meme. Okay, I know it’s Thursday and I’ve missed it again, but nonetheless I wanted to share. Be sure to check out the other posts for this week: Rebecca’s, Jim’s, and Lisa’s.

Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

… But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed. Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. These men are those who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever. (Jude 3-4; 10-13)

As American Christians, we’re quite fond of pointing out the evil and immorality of our world, smugly gathering on Sunday morning with others who do the same. But in these last days, we would do well to look a little closer to home.

Speaking of the ‘clouds without water’ that have crept into the church as Jude referenced above, James Jacob Prasch had this to say:

We read in Hebrews 12:1 that we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses. In scripture water speaks of the Holy Spirit. These people are clouds. In some sense they are witnesses, but the Holy Spirit is not in their witness. The Holy Spirit’s presence and power is not in their testimony; living water does not flow from them. They may be witnesses, in the sense that they believe that Jesus died. They may even have experienced His salvation at some point, or at least professed faith in Him, but they are clouds without water. They are carried along by different winds. (Grain for the Famine, p. 18)

In scripture, the Holy Spirit is called among other things, our Teacher, the Spirit of Truth, and the Comforter. Who among us, whether in the church or out, is arrogant enough to think we can do anything without His indwelling presence?

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3 Responses
  1. Jim Wetzel says:

    Hey, Thursday need a Word for itself, too! Why should Wednesday get all the Words? Alliteration's not everything.

    Sort of a side thought: it's been forever since I read Jude, or it seems that long, at least. I am struck especially by the last sentence in the passage you quote. That one sentence has five different metaphors — vivid, fresh, powerful metaphors — for those "empty clouds." As I understand it, the Holy Spirit did not dictate the Word to men like Paul; He inspired it, which means that Paul may also be due a little bit of the credit for the power of that sentence. Whatever the details of how it happened, though, I am completely awed by the work product of "Team Holy Spirit and Paul."

  2. akaGaGa says:

    I was going to say that Paul is not noted for the beauty of his prose, so this must be an exception. In fact, some of his sentences are downright unpronounceable. (Try saying 2 Cor 1:4 three times fast.)

    Then I realized that we're talking about the epistle of Jude, and I'm pretty sure it was written by … Jude. Which explains why it doesn't sound like Paul. :)

  3. Jim Wetzel says:

    What a bonehead! I can't believe I wrote that comment. Let's see, I need a face-saving excuse here. It … uh … OK, it was the end of a long day!

    Yes, in principle, I know that Paul didn't write the Epistle of Jude, and that Jude did. It's just that Paul wrote most of the epistles, and most of them tend to be named for who they're written to, with certain exceptions, etc.

    Okay, have I embarrassed myself enough? I think maybe I have, for tonight. My work here is done, for tonight. Tomorrow, as they say, is another day.