Summary: The song made Jude famous. However, the most important Jude is often overlooked. Hey Jude, what do you have to teach us?
Hey Jude - Pt. 2 - Distraction
The Beatles released the single "Hey Jude" in August of 1968. The song is more than seven minutes long and spent nine weeks at number one in the United States. This song is frequently included on professional critics' lists of the best songs of all time. The chorus remains locked in our subconscious. This Jude is famous.
Last week we began an examination of another single. This one is the single, self-titled chapter book in the Bible that seems to fall almost unnoticed before the much sexier, mysterious, attention grabbing book of Revelation! This Jude can be read more quickly than the song can be sung. It is a short, concise poignant book, written by Jude the brother of James.
In this short book Jude takes examines and exposes the 4 specific attacks that our enemy used against the church of Jude's day and is still using in our day: Deception, Distraction, Divisions, Discouragement.
So last week we dealt with deception. According to Jude the enemy will try to deceive us into license. Jude calls it "The Way of Cain." The enemy tries to get us to let license override any standard, any absolutes so that anything that feels good must be God. He tries to convince us to establish our own measure of what is right. We become like a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah. The 2nd deception attaches to the first and it is tolerance and inclusion so that we begin to call evil good and good evil. We are challenged to accept everything in the name of tolerance and we become forbidden to apply any godly standard to our lives.
Then Jude says there is a second attack. If the enemy is unsuccessful with deception (and there are still many folks around our country and the world that refuse to buy into license, tolerance, and inclusion) then he uses distraction. Many of us who are on guard against deception fall prey to the second attack.
I’m laying this out as clearly as I can, even though you once knew all this well enough and shouldn’t need reminding. Here it is in brief: The Master saved a people out of the land of Egypt. Later he destroyed those who defected. And you know the story of the angels who didn’t stick to their post, abandoning it for other, darker missions. But they are now chained and jailed in a black hole until the great Judgment Day. Sodom and Gomorrah, which went to sexual rack and ruin along with the surrounding cities that acted just like them, are another example. Burning and burning and never burning up, they serve still as a stock warning. This is exactly the same program of these latest infiltrators: dirty sex, rule and rulers thrown out, glory dragged in the mud. The Archangel Michael, who went to the mat with the Devil as they fought over the body of Moses, wouldn’t have dared level him with a blasphemous curse, but said simply, “No you don’t. God will take care of you!” But these people sneer at anything they can’t understand, and by doing whatever they feel like doing—living by animal instinct only—they participate in their own destruction. I’m fed up with them! They’ve gone down Cain’s road; they’ve been sucked into Balaam’s error by greed; they’re canceled out in Korah’s rebellion. These people are warts on your love feasts as you worship and eat together. They’re giving you a black eye—carousing shamelessly, grabbing anything that isn’t nailed down. They’re—Puffs of smoke pushed by gusts of wind; late autumn trees stripped clean of leaf and fruit, Doubly dead, pulled up by the roots; wild ocean waves leaving nothing on the beach but the foam of their shame; lost stars in outer space on their way to the black hole.
Jude addresses the attack of distraction by referencing two Old Testament accounts. He mentions angels who didn't stick to their post. They become distracted in their assignment and become deceived to the point that they fall. They were so full of pride and lust that they are distracted into destruction. The 2nd account is that of Baalam. Let me remind you about Baalam. You can find his story in Numbers 22-25. Moab under the reign of King Balak seeks to hire Balaam to prophesy against Israel as they travel to possess their inheritance Canaan. Five times Balaam is offered gold and he wants to sell out to greed (preach for profit instead of preach as a prophet). He sincerely tries to design a prophecy to curse Israel and God rebukes him through the donkey and even though he wants to curse Israel he ends up blessing Israel instead. (Just a reminder that if God wants you blessed it doesn't matter who wants to curse you!) However, since he can't curse Israel he finds another way to bring about destruction. He counsels Balak on how to defeat Israel. He tells the king that since the Israelites are pilgrims, own no land and since they are seeking a land/inheritance the best way to defeat them is to distract them which will divert them. The scheme he presents to Balak is to get them to intermarry with your sons and daughters and they will lose their pilgrim nature and settle short of possession. When they intermarry they will learn to worship your idols which will in turn cause them to get involved in sexual immorality and they will be so distracted they will never make it to Canaan. The distraction worked! In Numbers 25 Israel abode/dwelt/settled in Shittim and committed whoredoms with the daughters of Moab. They sacrificed to their gods and joined themselves unto Baalpeor. As a result 24,000 Israelites died in judgment of God.