22 Then David spoke to Yahweh the words of this song, on the day Yahweh delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.
“Yahweh is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer.
My stronghold and my refuge, O my savior, you will save me from violence!
and I am saved from those who hate me.
the currents of chaos overwhelmed me.
the snares of death confronted me.
He heard my voice from his temple,
and my cry for help was to his ears.
the foundations of heaven trembled and heaved
because he was angry .
Burning coals devoured, they burned from him.
a very thick cloud was under his feet.
he was seen on the wings of the wind.
a collection of thick rain clouds .
flamed burning coals of fire.
and the Most High uttered his voice .
lightning, and he directed them.
the foundations of the world,
at the rebuke of Yawheh,
from the blast of the breath of his nostrils.
he drew me from mighty waters.
from those who hate me, for they were mightier than I.
but Yahweh was my support.
He delivered me because he delighted in me.
according to the cleanness of my hands he recompensed me.
I have not acted wickedly against my God.
and I did not turn aside from his statutes.
and I kept myself from my iniquity.
according to my cleanness before his eyes.
and with the blameless, you show yourself blameless.
but with the crooked, you appear as a fool.
but your eyes are on the haughty, whom you bring down.
and Yahweh lightens my darkness.
by my God I can leap over a wall.
the promise of Yahweh is flawless.
He is a shield to all who take refuge in him.
And who is a rock apart from our God?
he has fully opened my way.
and on my high places he has set me.
so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
your willingness to help has made me great.
my ankles have not wobbled.
I did not turn back until finishing them.
they did not get up; they fell under my feet.
you caused those who rose up against me to kneel under me.
I destroy those who hate me.
even to Yahweh, but he did not answer them.
like the mire of the streets, I crushed them, I stamped them down.
you preserved me as the head of the nations.
A people I had not known served me.
when they heard of me , they became obedient to me.
and came trembling from their strongholds.
May God, the rock of my salvation, be exalted!
bringing down peoples under me.
and from those who rose up against me you lift me up,
and from men of violence you rescue me.
I will sing praises to your name!
and shows loyal love to his anointed one, David
and to his descendants forever.”
3 Dear friends, although I was making every effort to write to you concerning our common salvation, I considered it a necessity to write to you to encourage you to contend for the faith delivered once and for all to the saints. 4 For certain men have slipped in stealthily, who were designated long ago for this condemnation, ungodly ones, who change the grace of our God into licentiousness and who deny our only Master and Lord Jesus Christ.
5 Now I want to remind you, although you know everything once and for all, that Jesus, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, the second time destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not keep to their own domain but deserted their proper dwelling place, he has kept in eternal bonds under deep gloom for the judgment of the great day, 7 as Sodom and Gomorrah and the towns around them indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire in the same way as these, are exhibited as an example by undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.
8 Despite that, in the same way also these men, because of their dreams, defile the flesh and reject authority and blaspheme majestic beings. 9 But Michael the archangel, when he argued with the devil, disputing concerning the body of Moses, did not dare to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 10 But these persons blaspheme all that they do not understand, and all that they understand by instinct like the irrational animals, by these things they are being destroyed. 11 Woe to them! For they have traveled in the way of Cain, and have given themselves up to the error of Balaam for gain, and have perished in the rebellion of Korah. 12 These are the ones feasting together without reverence, hidden reefs at your love feasts, caring for themselves, waterless clouds carried away by winds, late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, uprooted, 13 wild waves of the sea foaming up their own shameful deeds, wandering stars, for whom the deep gloom of darkness has been reserved for eternity.
14 And Enoch, the seventh from Adam, also prophesied about these people, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with tens of thousands of his holy ones 15 to execute judgment against all, and to convict all the ungodly concerning all their ungodly deeds that they have committed in an ungodly way, and concerning all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him. 16 These people are grumblers, discontented, proceeding according to their desires, and their mouths speaking pompous words, showing partiality to gain an advantage .
147 Praise Yah.
For it is good to sing praises to our God;
for it is pleasant; praise is fitting.
he gathers the scattered ones of Israel.
and binds up their wounds.
he gives names to all of them.
his understanding is unlimited.
he brings the wicked down to the ground.
sing praises to our God with lyre,
who provides rain for the earth,
who causes grass to grow on the mountains.
and to the young ravens that cry.
he takes no pleasure in the legs of the man.
the ones who hope for his loyal love.
praise your God, O Zion,
He blesses your children within you;
he satisfies you with the finest of wheat .
his word runs swiftly.
he scatters frost like ashes;
Who can stand before his cold?
he blows his breath, the water flows.
his statutes and his ordinances to Israel.
and they do not know his ordinances.
Some destructive people don’t realize the carnage they leave in their wake. Others intentionally cause rifts and pain, driven by selfish motives. Jude’s letter, which contains succinct prose, startling imagery, and a swift warning, is unlike anything we read in Scripture. The letter equipped early Christians to deal wisely with false teachers who had entered the church community. Today, it can provide us with wisdom to respond to some of the most difficult people and situations we encounter.
The community that Jude addressed contained destructive false teachers “who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ” (Jude 4). They did not respect authority, but acted out of instinct rather than conviction: “But these persons blaspheme all that they do not understand, and all that they understand by instinct like the irrational animals, by these things they are being destroyed” (Jude 10).
Jude’s metaphors for these false teachers give us a sense of what to look for in destructive people: “hidden reefs at your love feasts, caring for themselves, waterless clouds carried away by winds, late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, uprooted, wild waves of the sea foaming up their own shameful deeds, wandering stars, for whom the deep gloom of darkness has been reserved for eternity” (Jude 12–13). He depicts people whose destructive, selfish behavior lacks conviction. Like wayward stars, these false teachers go off course, perhaps taking others with them.
After these descriptions, we expect Jude to warn his readers to stay away from these types of people. But he does the opposite: Jude’s closing warning calls readers to interact with people of this sort—though they must do so with incredible wisdom: “have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh” (Jude 22–23).
Interacting with people who doubt and wander requires a deep knowledge of our own weaknesses and failures. It requires maturity of faith. Jude gives three specific instructions: that we build ourselves up, pray in the Spirit, and keep ourselves in the love of God (Jude 21–22). This interaction requires the work of a God “who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy” (Jude 24).
How do destructive people in your life influence you? Based on how they influence you, how should you approach or end the relationship?
Author: John D. Barry & Rebecca Van Noord
Publisher: Lexham Press
Publication Date: 2012
This 365-day devotional walks you through the Bible in a year, following a custom reading plan that delves into the stories of the Bible from five unique perspectives.