February 15, 2020
Scripture: Jude 6-7
And the angels who did not keep their own position, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains in deepest darkness for the judgment of the great day. Likewise, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which, in the same manner as they, indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.
Thought for the Day: Here we have a rather obscure passage in the very small second to last book of the Bible. The author begins by referencing another odd passage of scripture from Genesis 6 where we have a story about divine creatures lusting after humans, and having children by them. It sounds very similar to stories from Greek Mythology. Though Jude makes a quick turn to Sodom and Gomorrah, speaking of their sin and an “unnatural lust.” A better translation of that last phrase would be: pursued different flesh. Once again, Jude is not speaking about homosexual behavior, but the pursuit of angelic or divine beings. You may know the story of the Tower of Babel, where people were attempting to build a tower that would reach to heaven so that they might “make a name for themselves.” The Hebrew word translated as ‘name’ is Shem. Psalm 5 speaks of loving the divine name (Shem). Like the Tower of Babel story, Jude is speaking of the human desire to be made a little more god-like… in that not so good way. As the New Testament scholar, Eugene Boring, writes: “Union with the divine through sex was a claim in many ancient fertility rites…” To read this as a vilification of sexual behavior is to miss the point entirely and to let many of us off the hook. We need to hear the challenge of this passage clearly – where is our arrogance, our thirst for power, attempting to push God aside? That’s where God is wanting us to feel the rub of the Jesus-message.
Prayer: Let me be challenged by your gracious message, O Lord, even when it is holy uncomfortable. Amen.
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Rev. Bruce Frogge