I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of that great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
God tells the truth. He only tells the truth. He always tells the truth. It is Who He is. When God says something, without a doubt, it will come to pass. He has never uttered something that did not come to pass. This is vitally important in understanding how He interacts with mankind throughout history.
At times, we see the drastic consequences of man’s disobedience, and somehow walk away with a feeling of “WOW! Really?!?!? Did God really just react that way!?!” It is as if we see God extend the punishment that He promised, and somehow it seems a bit over the top. We must not lose sight of the fact that while the consequences of sin are dark and sometimes startling, they are not poured out on the undeserving. As a matter of fact, a gracious God is always kind enough to warn those He would judge. He sends agents of truth to offer liberty to those who stand in opposition to Him. The only gracious, omnibenevolent God always tells the truth when He lovingly warns of the consequences to sin.
Jude plays out a reminder of three of these instances: the doubting Israelites who had been delivered from the Egyptian slavery; the fallen and, subsequently, judged angels; the Twin Cities of fornication, Sodom and Gomorra, that were obliterated by cataclysmic sulfur-balls.
God told the Israelites that He delivered to simply trust Him. He would help them conquer their baby-murdering enemies. After the angels had seen Him in His glory, they foolishly chose separation from Him, and earned their forgiveless banishment. Sodom and Gomorra proved to be the epitomization of the depravity of unbridled lust. None of them trusted Him, and when they leapt into the fire of His justice, they were consumed with its flames.
God lovingly had offered the way of truth, and they had foolishly rejected it. He was the One Who had told the truth. They preferred to close their ears to truth, and rather live in the lies of their own hearts and in the error of deceit-blinded peers.
Our reaction to the stories of Scripture that tell of a God of Justice, should not be one of recoil. We need not question His goodness, because He lovingly warns of the consequence long before it ever pours out on the heads of the disobedient.
Food For Thought: What is the proper perspective of God when we see the punishment of the wicked in their own devices? What did God do to liberate man from his bondage to this self-destructing cycle?