April 18, 2008
Recipe for Destruction
by Fred Alberti, Crosswalk.com Manager of Communities
…They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam's error; they have been destroyed in Korah's rebellion.
I've been thinking of this passage lately from Jude. Jude is warning the people about the false teachers in their midst. What does he mean by these three examples?
In each case the person was rebelling against God in some way or another.
When man sinned, God covered his nakedness with the skins of animals. Thus began the shedding of blood. Abel's sacrifice was acceptable to God because of the attitude of his heart, but Cain's was not. Instead of offering the sacrifice on God's terms he offered it on his terms. Cain's rebellion was against God's prescribed method of salvation through faith in the offering of shed blood.
Balaam was a prophet of the Lord who prostituted himself for the sake of financial gain. Sadly, we see many popular evangelists engaging in this same sort of error. They attempt to fleece God's flock for the sake of their own posh lifestyle. Balaam's sin, as well as those popular ministers today, is the sin of greed and misleading the children of God. Trading the Gospel message for the sake of high living was never the intent of Jesus who had "no place to lay his head."
Lastly, we have the sin of Korah. He and those who rebelled with him were in opposition to those whom God had placed in authority over them; namely, Moses and Aaron. I see this same sin a lot throughout the week in Christians who feel that they are not beholden to those in authority over them. Somehow they have managed to tear out entire portions of God's Word, which instructs us to obey those in authority and to give honor to those who honor is due. To them the rules do not apply.
If we were to wrap this verse up into a package it would look like this:
There are people who reject God's way of salvation for a lie; who exercise their spiritual gifts for the sake of greedy gain while leading others down the same trail. Additionally, these people reject the authority God has placed over them. This combination is a recipe for destruction and it is something we all must be wary of both in ourselves and in our churches.
Intersecting Faith & Life: Have your kids or some neighborhood kids help you make a special pie. Start with a bowl full of some mud. Add old vegetables to the mix representing Cain's sacrifice, mix in some dirty coins representing Balaam's greed. Stir the concoction and then set in the sun to "bake." Lastly, dig a hole and crush the mud pie into the hole and bury it representing Korah's destruction.