Jude 5-The First Example from the Old Testament of the Lord Judging Those Who Rebelled Against Him (Doctrinal Bible Church in Huntsville, AL)
Doctrinal Bible Church
Pastor-Teacher Bill Wenstrom
Sunday July 31, 2022
Jude Series: Jude 5-The First Example from the Old Testament of the Lord Judging Those Who Rebelled Against Him
Lesson # 7
Jude 5 Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord at one time delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe. (NIV)
The contents of Jude 5 mark a transition in the body of this letter.
Specifically, it is marking a transition from the identification of the purpose of the epistle in Jude 3-4 to Jude 5-7, which presents three examples of a group of individuals that God judged in the Old Testament for their rebellion against Him.
The first of these examples appears in Jude 5 which speaks of the Lord disciplining unrepentant, apostate members of the Exodus generation who rebelled against Him by not trusting Him even after He delivered them from the bondage of slavery in the land of Egypt.
The second is found in Jude 6 and is the fallen angels of the antediluvian period who rebelled against the Lord by having sex with unregenerate women which resulted in the birth of the Nephilim.
The third and final example appears in Jude 7 and is the Lord judging the unrepentant, unregenerate citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah who rebelled against Him by their immoral and unethical behavior.
Now, Jude 5 asserts that Jude was prompted to remind each one of the recipients of this epistle that Jesus, sometime after having delivered the Exodus generation out from the land that is Egypt, destroyed those who would not believe.
It asserts that Jude was prompted to remind each member of the Christian community in Judaea of these three examples from the Old Testament even though each of them possessed a thorough knowledge about each of these examples.
Now, as we noted, Jude 5 asserts that “Jesus” sometime after delivering the Exodus generation out from the land that is Egypt, destroyed those who did not believe has caused some consternation among expositors since it indicates that Jesus acted in Old Testament history and specifically in relation to the nation of Israel.
Consequently, some have rejected Ἰησοῦς, “Jesus” as being a part of the original text and of course, theologically, this is not a problem because Jesus in His deity is of course eternal.
Furthermore, both Hebrews 11:26 and 1 Corinthians 10:1-11 affirm the fact that Jesus because He is eternal was directly involved with Old Testament Israel.
Like, Jude 5, and Hebrews 10:26, 1 Corinthians 10:1-4 affirms the preexistence of Jesus Christ.
The preexistence of Jesus of Nazareth who is called the Christ testifies to the fact that He is infinite, eternal Son of God (John 1:1-2; John 8:58; 17:5; 10:30a; Phil. 2:6; Col. 1:15-17; 2:9a; Rev. 1:8).
Now, in Jude 5, the expression laon ekgēs Aigyptou (λαὸν ἐκγῆς Αἰγύπτου), “his people out of Egypt” refers of course to the members of the Exodus generation.
The reference to these people being delivered from the bondage of slavery to Pharaoh of Egypt was accomplished through the ten plagues the Lord used to judge Pharaoh and Egypt in order to force the latter to let the Israelites leave Egypt in order to worship Him.
Ultimately, they were also delivered at the Red Sea when Lord parted the Red Sea allowing the Israelites to pass through and then He brought the waters back to their place resulting in the drowning of Pharoah’s army.
Exodus chapters 12 and 14 record the Lord’s great deliverance of the Israelites from the bondage of slavery in Egypt under Pharoah.
The reference to the Lord destroying the Exodus generation after delivering them from the land of Egypt refers to the Lord killing those members of the Exodus generation who unrepentantly refused to trust in Him after He delivered them.
Numbers 14:30 records that the only exceptions were Joshua and Caleb and their families.
Numbers chapters 13-14 records the Lord’s decision to severely discipline the Exodus generation for their unrepentant unbelief after their justification.
This decision was manifested at Kadesh Barnea when the Israeli spies that Moses sent out to provide a reconnaissance of the land of Canaan brought back an evil report of the land with the exception of Joshua and Caleb.
Numbers chapter 14 records the Lord communicating His decision to Moses to discipline the members of the Exodus generation with the exception of Joshua and Caleb and their families as a result of their leaders bringing back a false report to them and which report reflected their unrepentant unbelief in the Lord.
There are three categories of divine discipline (punishment) for the disobedient child of God: (1) Warning (Rev. 3:20; James 5:9) (2) Intense (Ps. 38:1; 2 Th. 2:11). (3) Dying (Jer. 9:16; 44:12; Phlp. 3:18-19; Re. 3:16; Ps. 118:17-18; 1 Cor. 11:30; 1 Jo. 5:16; Rev. 3:19).
Therefore, it is extremely important that the reader understand that these members of the Exodus generation who were killed by the preincarnate Christ were in fact believers who were members of the covenant community of Israel and not non-believers.
This is made clear by the contents of Exodus chapters 12 and 14 as well as 1 Corinthians 10:1-11.
In other words, they were already declared justified by God through faith in the Lord as a result of putting blood on the doorposts and lintel in obedience to the Lord’s command to do so.
This manifested their faith and thus none of the firstborn children in Israel died in direct contrast to the firstborn children of the Egyptians.
If you notice in 1 Corinthians 10:1-4, Paul asserts that the members of the Exodus generation were all believers because in these verses he asserts that they were all under the cloud which led them during the day and were baptized into Moses in the cloud and passing through the Red Sea when fleeing from Pharoah’s army.
He also asserts that they ate from the same spiritual rock as church age believers, namely the Rock, Christ Himself.
This discipline of the unrepentant apostate members of the Christian community in Corinth, and this was true of the unrepentant apostate members of the Exodus generation, was a manifestation of the fact that they were children of God.
This is indicated by Hebrews 12:4-13, which asserts that the Lord disciplines His children as a manifestation of His attribute of love.
Therefore, when Jude 5 asserts that the Lord Jesus killed the Exodus generation sometime after delivering them from Egypt, it emphatically does not mean that they lost their salvation.
This is indicated by the fact that the Lord declared them justified through faith in Him and His ability to deliver them from Egypt.
In other words, He declared them justified based upon the merits of the object of their faith!
Thus, if this is the case, there is no sin they could commit after being declared justified by the Father through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, which could cause them to lose their salvation because the Lord did not save them based upon their own merits but rather on the own merits of His Son and what He did for them.
Therefore, the fact that Jude 5 presents the Lord Jesus Christ killing the unrepentant apostate members of the Exodus generation for their rebellion against Him as an example of those whom He judges for their rebellion would serve as a warning to the Christian community in Judaea.
It is extremely significant that Jude presents the members of the Exodus generation as the first example here in Jude 5-7.
The implication would be clear to the recipients of this epistle that they were to continue to obey the apostolic teaching which originated from the Lord Jesus Christ, which required that they refuse to follow the Zealots who were rebelling against the Roman authorities occupying Judaea.
These Zealots erroneously believed that they could bring in the kingdom of God by their own efforts, which in their view required that they fight Rome and remove her from Judaea.
This contradicted the teaching of Jesus and His apostles since Jesus Christ Himself taught that He personally would bring in the kingdom at His Second Advent (Matt. 24-25; Rev. 19-20).
He would I fact destroy the final stage of the Roman Empire at that time (Dan. 2:33-35; 7:23-27; 9:27; 11:36-45).
If the Christian community in Judaea did not continue to adhere to the teaching of Jesus and His apostles, then they like the unrepentant apostate members of the Exodus generation would be disciplined by God.
If they refused to repent after being disciplined, they eventually would suffer the sin unto to death like these members of the Exodus generation did.