Isaiah 30 & Jude

Isaiah 30

    “Ah, stubborn children,” declares the LORD,
    “who carry out a plan, but not mine,
    and who make an alliance, but not of my Spirit,
        that they may add sin to sin;
    who set out to go down to Egypt,
        without asking for my direction,
    to take refuge in the protection of Pharaoh
        and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt!
    Therefore shall the protection of Pharaoh turn to your shame,
        and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt to your humiliation.
    For though his officials are at Zoan
        and his envoys reach Hanes,
    everyone comes to shame
        through a people that cannot profit them,
    that brings neither help nor profit,
        but shame and disgrace.”
        An oracle on the beasts of the Negeb.

    Through a land of trouble and anguish,
        from where come the lioness and the lion,
        the adder and the flying fiery serpent,
    they carry their riches on the backs of donkeys,
        and their treasures on the humps of camels,
        to a people that cannot profit them.
    Egypt's help is worthless and empty;
        therefore I have called her
        “Rahab who sits still.”
        And now, go, write it before them on a tablet
        and inscribe it in a book,
    that it may be for the time to come
        as a witness forever.
    For they are a rebellious people,
        lying children,
    children unwilling to hear
        the instruction of the LORD;
    who say to the seers, “Do not see,”
        and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right;
    speak to us smooth things,
        prophesy illusions,
    leave the way, turn aside from the path,
        let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.”
    Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel,
    “Because you despise this word
        and trust in oppression and perverseness
        and rely on them,
    therefore this iniquity shall be to you
        like a breach in a high wall, bulging out, and about to collapse,
        whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant;
    and its breaking is like that of a potter's vessel
        that is smashed so ruthlessly
    that among its fragments not a shard is found
        with which to take fire from the hearth,
        or to dip up water out of the cistern.”
    For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel,
    “In returning and rest you shall be saved;
        in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”
    But you were unwilling, and you said,
    “No! We will flee upon horses”;
        therefore you shall flee away;
    and, “We will ride upon swift steeds”;
        therefore your pursuers shall be swift.
    A thousand shall flee at the threat of one;
        at the threat of five you shall flee,
    till you are left
        like a flagstaff on the top of a mountain,
        like a signal on a hill.
        Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you,
        and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
    For the LORD is a God of justice;
        blessed are all those who wait for him.
        For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Then you will defile your carved idols overlaid with silver and your gold-plated metal images. You will scatter them as unclean things. You will say to them, “Be gone!”

    And he will give rain for the seed with which you sow the ground, and bread, the produce of the ground, which will be rich and plenteous. In that day your livestock will graze in large pastures, and the oxen and the donkeys that work the ground will eat seasoned fodder, which has been winnowed with shovel and fork. And on every lofty mountain and every high hill there will be brooks running with water, in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. Moreover, the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day when the LORD binds up the brokenness of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow.

    Behold, the name of the LORD comes from afar,
        burning with his anger, and in thick rising smoke;
    his lips are full of fury,
        and his tongue is like a devouring fire;
    his breath is like an overflowing stream
        that reaches up to the neck;
    to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction,
        and to place on the jaws of the peoples a bridle that leads astray.
        You shall have a song as in the night when a holy feast is kept, and gladness of heart, as when one sets out to the sound of the flute to go to the mountain of the LORD, to the Rock of Israel. And the LORD will cause his majestic voice to be heard and the descending blow of his arm to be seen, in furious anger and a flame of devouring fire, with a cloudburst and storm and hailstones. The Assyrians will be terror-stricken at the voice of the LORD, when he strikes with his rod. And every stroke of the appointed staff that the LORD lays on them will be to the sound of tambourines and lyres. Battling with brandished arm, he will fight with them. For a burning place has long been prepared; indeed, for the king it is made ready, its pyre made deep and wide, with fire and wood in abundance; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of sulfur, kindles it.

(Isaiah 30 ESV)



    Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James,

    To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ:

    May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.

    Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

    Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day—just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

    Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam's error and perished in Korah's rebellion. These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.

    It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.

    But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.

    Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

(Jude ESV)

Jude: This is a letter concerning those within the Christian community that falsely teach that a profession of faith is all that's necessary and therefore fail to preach or practice any pursuit of holiness. This is a 'perversion of God's grace', and Jude offers a strong warning against such assumptions. We can rest assured that God's grace doesn't require a prerequisite of holiness, but it does regenerate a produced holiness through the work of His indwelling Spirit. Any assumption that God's grace gives a liscense for our sin reveals a red flag in our profession of faith. Those truly captivated by the grace of God are Spirit-motivated to 'contend' for the glory of God.

We ought to feel and understand the urgency that led Jude to write this letter. There’s a faith that is ‘The Faith’ that’s been delivered once and for all. It’s the gospel of Christ. God’s way of salvation through Him. It was and is still today being perverted by professing Christian teachers. Therefore, as believers of the gospel, we must commit ourselves to contend for ‘The Faith’ out of our love for those being confused and risking condemnation. 

What kind of difference could we could make? One changed life can change generations. What might happen if we all began to live this way? Struggling for the integrity of God's Word with seriousness and sincerity? Imagine if the church, we as believers of ‘The Faith’, with a better understanding of Scripture and the power of the Holy Spirit began desperately seeking to rescue everyone around us like Christ was coming back at any moment?

May we teach the work of Christ with the correct understanding of the cross of Christ  to help correct all those who are being confused about Christ.