How carefully do you speak and act when you’re facing your worst enemy? Jude contrasts the reckless speech of ungodly teachers with the wise engagement of the archangel Michael in his dispute with the devil.
But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” (Jude 1:9 NIV)
This is certainly a strange text. The Old Testament indicates that the LORD God buried Moses, thus keeping the gravesite from the eyes of millions who might make it a “holy site.” What was the point of discussion/dispute between Michael and the devil?
a) Was it the location of the body of Moses?
b) Was it the reason why the LORD opted to bury the body Himself rather than permit the family of this great leader care for this task?
We are simply not told! I’m sure in two thousand years of church history there has been plenty of speculation but the text does not indicate. Jude’s ‘point’ is that one of God’s angels crafted his rebuke of the devil with care.
False teachers tend to be presumptuous, arrogant and careless in their spiritual language and conduct. What kind we learn from this?
a) Be careful how you speak of spiritual matters!
b) Don’t presume to possess a spiritual authority higher than God Himself!
c) Listen carefully to the language of your “teachers.” Do they subject themselves to God’s word? Do they profess almost infinite knowledge of every topic ever raised in discussion or does their humility shine through as they honestly confess, at times, “I don’t know!”