We have been asking the question, how should we respond to the unbelief in the world? We are not to wring our hands and become disillusioned, fall into despair, or give up. Rather, we have seen from the little epistle of Jude that we are to, first, keep ourselves strong in the faith (vv. 1-4). We must also be aware of attacks on the Christian faith (vv. 3-4) and be prepared to do battle for the truths of Christianity (vv. 3-4). We must acknowledge the biblical truth that the God who saves is also a God who destroys (vv. 5-7). We saw in our last post that we must realize the dangers of false teaching (vv. 8-10).
Let’s look at a sixth part of our response to unbelief in our world and it is this (it’s in three parts) —
Step #6a- We must see that false teachers are simply repeating the errors of history (v. 11).
11 Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.
Jude says that these false teachers have “taken the way of Cain . . . rushed for profit into Balaam’s error . . . [and] have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.” (v. 11)
Let’s notice first of all: (1) They have “taken the way of Cain”: Cain’s “way” is described in Genesis 4. Adam and Eve’s two sons, Cain and Abel, had different professions. Abel kept flocks; Cain worked the soil. Both bring offerings to the Lord — Cain brought vegetables; Abel brought the firstborn from his flock. We read, “The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor.” (vv. 4b-5). Instead of asking the Lord how he could improve his offering, Cain became very angry. He did not resist the sin that was crouching at his door (v. 7). With premeditation Cain takes his brother Abel out to the field and kills him there (v. 9). Cain is then put under a curse by the Lord and goes out from the Lord’s presence (v. 16).
Perhaps Jude’s point is that these false teachers are motivated by jealousy towards God’s people, want to set their own terms as to what should be acceptable offerings to the Lord, and are headed on a metaphorical pathway to murder!
1. We read in Hebrews 11:4- “By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.” How would Abel had known that his was a “better offering”?
2. How does Abel still “speak,” do you think?