Memory loss is a serious matter. We joke about a “Senior’s moment,” but the reality of dementia and memory failure proves traumatic in most cases.
The audience to whom Jude was writing were believers in Jesus Christ. They had been rescued by God through the finished work of Jesus Christ and had entered into the amazing realm of grace. Yet even grace-filled Christians need reminding.
“Though you already know all this, I want to remind you….” Jude introduces this next paragraph in his one chapter letter with these words. His readers knew the Old Testament. They had recounted God’s dealings through countless centuries and had plenty of examples to learn from as they lived out their faith.
Jude has three accounts of God’s judgment to bring as evidence in this letter which demands a verdict.
1) The deliverance of God’s people out of Egypt, yet His destruction of those who did not believe;
2) The rebellion of the angels who misused the authority with which they had been trusted, and God’s postponed reserved judgment in their case;
3) The perversion and sexual deviance of Sodom and Gomorrah and their punishment by fire.
How well do we remember the examples scripted through the pages of God’s Word? What lessons have we really gained from years of Bible stories, Bible reading and teaching? Knowledge is a dangerous thing, especially “religious knowledge” “spiritual information.” Instead of driving us to well-worn knees, we may have ‘puffed-up heads’ as we contemplate just how much we know.
The acquisition of Bible knowledge is not an end in itself. We may well excel in Bible trivia, quizzes and the like, yet have hearts that have not been radically dealt with as the Master Surgeon brings the Sword of the Spirit to pierce our lives to the core. We like James are called to be “doers of the Word” and not “hearers only.”
When we conveniently ‘forgot’ the accounts of Scripture and stubbornly pursue paths of evil, we may well expect the discipline of God. As Hebrews 12 reminds us, God punishes His children who disobey, and without holiness noone will even see the LORD. Let’s bow this day and with sincerity plead with God to change our thinking, to grant us repentance, to learn the lessons which we have failed to learn because of our obstinate “memory loss.” How soon we forget!