Woe to Them!

10 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. 11 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. 12 These are the men 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; 13 wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever (Jude).

What an indictment we read here concerning “tares” in the church! They are “like unreasoning animals” who go “the way of Cain” through murder (Genesis 4), who fall into “the error of Balaam” by compromise (Numbers 22), and who die in “the rebellion of Korah” (Numbers 16). They are “reefs” that provide no safety, “clouds” that pour forth no rain, “trees” that bear no food, “waves” that offer no rest, and “wandering stars” that give no direction.

Yes, even as the Lord Jesus repeatedly pronounced his “Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites” (Matthew 23), so does Jude pronounce his “Woe to them!” to these tares. Oh, we will all experience many woes in this life, but none will be so awful as the woe brought on by the judgment of God to unrepentant sinners!

Lord, help us This Day to be rain-giving clouds, fruit-bearing trees, peace-giving waves, and direction-giving stars. Amen.