“Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain” (Jude 11a ESV)
Jude is referring to “people who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ” – as he noted earlier (v4)
What about today? How ‘bout you?
Jude highlighted the stark contrast between two identical “twins”, Cain and Abel. There was and never will be two people more closely linked in DNA and personhood than these two young men. The first individuals born after the fall of Adam and Eve into sin. They had no lineage that existed beyond their parents. Parents that were the closest image-bearers of God in human flesh. One taken from the other. Yet the choices Cain and Abel made represent only two streams of life available to man. That IS and always will be the case. A life surrendered to God or a life dedicated to self. We get to choose. Freedom or bondage.
Cain decided he knew better than God what was expected of him. What sacrifice he wanted to offer in lieu of what God held sacred. Worse yet, Abel felt the brunt of Cain’s expression of rebellion against God. Do you see the theme here?
When we rebel against God other people get hurt. It’s not a victimless crime.
A good example is the use of pornography. I’ve heard, more times than I’m able to count, that no one’s being hurt when someone uses porn. Yet the objectification of another human being is deeply hurtful. What that abuse does to one’s future or current spouse is incalculable – and the intimacy void it creates.
Which stream are you committed to?
Many of us have been isolated from our friends, family, and co-workers due to COVID-19 lockdowns. It’s easy to become self-absorbed in the process. My challenge to you is to find a way to choose selflessness in this season. Sacrifice to God what is God’s. Sacrifice those actions and attitudes that place US above all ELSE.
Sit quietly with Jesus and see if he reveals what that might “look like” for you.
And that’s the memo.