This week we have seen three examples of people who continually took more direction from God over time: Jesus, Peter, and Paul.
Today, let's look at three people who took less direction from God over time.
"I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities." (Jude 5-8)
Jude is showing examples of groups of people who took less direction from God over time: Israelites out of Egypt, angels who left heaven, and cities (like Sodom) that gave themselves over to fornication (worshiped an image).
"Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core." (Jude 9-11)
Now Jude gives us three specific examples and the cause was they spoke evil of the things they knew not (spirit) and corrupted themselves with the things they knew naturally (flesh). Relying on God more requires faith...a belief in something you can't see (spirit) or something that hasn't happened yet (spirit). These people lacked faith. They could only go by what they saw...and/or they desired immediate results.
Cain got upset that God honored Abel's offering. Cain wanted to feel good about himself at Abel's expense, so he murdered Abel.
Balaam was told by God to deal with Balak one way, yet Balaam wanted a reward from Balak...so Balaam did it his way. Numbers 31:8 documents that Balaam was killed by the Israelites while he was still with the enemy.
Core (also known as Korah) rallied a group together against Moses in order to take over. Korah got 250 "princes of the assembly" to stand against Moses and Aaron. Two against 250 would APPEAR that Moses was in the wrong. However, God came down and killed all 250 people that rose up against Moses.
Cain wanted God's blessing at the expense of his brother. Balaam wanted money. Korah wanted power.
This is man's way of thinking to strive for power, money, and God's blessing so that we don't have to rely on God. In fact, Jude likens the people who think like this to brute beasts. Basically, they didn't "think" (meta-cognition)...they only had cognition (thought like animals). We need to learn how to think.
Jude says the proof that they did not rely on God more was lack of fruit (profitability)...the same metric God uses:
"These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever." (Jude 12-13)
God is focused on profitability, NOT APPEARANCE. We can only be profitable by relying on God more, not less.