Morning Devotion: Read Jude
Jude 1:8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. 9 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. 10 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. 11 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.
The most important message in the world is the message of salvation and that being Jesus Christ. No other message is as important for no other message has the impact that effects the soul and eternity of that soul. It is the message of God’s grace. God, by His grace gave us Jesus who died on calvary’s cross for your sin and mine.
We saw how Cain changed the grace of God into lasciviousness when he created his own religion and lost the respect of God. (Read yesterdays devotion.)
Today we see how Balaam changed the grace of God to satisfy his own greed.
2 Peter 2:15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;
Let’s look at the background first. In Numbers 22-25:5 King Balak of Moab was angry with Israel as they traveled through his country. He called Balaam, a supposed prophet of God, and offered him lots of money to curse Israel. God changed the curse into a blessing.
However, Balaam was greedy and wanted the money so he gave Balak another course of action to follow with Israel.
He told King Balak to let his ungodly girls to mingle with Israel’s boys. He told him to let his ungodly boys to mingle with Israel’s girls. That way their religion would be introduced to Israel and they would corrupt themselves from within.
Revelation 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
Numbers 25:1 And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. 2 And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. 3 And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.
I have seen this happen so many times in the ministry. A cute little girl meets a nice looking boy and they become friends. Eventually the boy is invited to meet the parents and then invited to their church, which is not a church but a place of false worship. The boy is enthralled with the new surroundings and becomes involved with the new religion and eventually is corrupted. The grace of God is then changed into lasciviousness.
I have seen people leave a good Baptist church for another false religion just because of someone they were infatuated with. I have seen people fall for idea that all roads lead to heaven and all religions are ok when in fact they are not. We saw that today in our text and in Numbers. The only way to heaven is Jesus.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Balaam introduced this doctrine for filthy lucre. Israel fell for it.
God teaches us to be careful of those who would change the grace of God for nefarious reasons. That is what this whole letter is about. That is what much of the New Testament is about.
There are men and women who would change the grace of God for money. I see people in churches who use the church for their multi level marketing business and for contacts to make money. I myself have been contacted by people to start a business in church. That is not what church is for.
Matthew 21:12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, 13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
We are taught to be distinct from those religions that change the grace of God.
2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
The choice is still yours,