Jude is pretty clear on what we should do. “But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love.” Don’t we all want to be “safe.” In the world today that could be safety from the pandemic. In other places, it is safety from war or other crimes. Our destiny is safe when we place our trust in Jesus.
The book of Jude is small and mighty. We don’t visit it too often; and preachers don’t often preach from it. But this message was blessed and included in our Holy Scripture for a reason. Since our brains are designed to keep us safe, verses 20 and 21 (above) should really resonate with us. Being “safe in God’s love” sounds to be the safest place we can be.
Don’t let the reference to Ahaz’s death fool you. It appears its purpose is simply to set a date context for us. It is not talking about King Ahaz’s son when it says, “For from that snake a more poisonous snake will be born, a fiery serpent to destroy you!” Like Israel, Philistia had also been ravaged by the king of Assyria. That king also died near the time of the death of Ahaz.
This little snippet of Scripture points to a great doom yet to fall. Could it be Isaiah again is referring to the rise of Babylon? Is it Babylon who will be the “powerful army [that] comes like smoke from the north.” With the placement of this oracle in proximity to both Babylon and Assyria, I just wonder. I’m not a Bible scholar but have taken a look at a couple different commentaries. If the people thought Assyria was ruthless, the rise of the Babylonians will be worse.