11 Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.
12 These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. 13 They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.
What is the way of Cain? There are traditions outside of the Bible that Jude is probably referring to. However, Cain, Balaam and Korah all were hung up on themselves. Cain was petulant because God did not look on his offering as equal with his brother’s. Abel offered the first-fruits to God. This does not only include what came first, but it includes what was first in quality. Cain seems to have given his offering with indifference and duty. He was not focused with lavishing love on another, but he wanted to look after himself. Balaam was hired to prophesy against Israel. His donkey tried to stop him and God warned him not to do something so foolish as to prophesy against those set apart by God. However, he persisted in trying to prophesy against Israel but was unable to. For profit he insighted the King of Moab to send his women to sexually lead the men of Israel astray. The end was disastrous for Israel and Moab who both suffered at the hands of God. Korah turned people against Moses but the motives are somewhat unclear. It seems that they wanted Moses to share his power with them, but he did not. In summary, then, false teachers are seeking glory, praise, wealth, and power. We have to gauge ourselves to see if that is our motive.
No wonder, then, that these leaders are ruining the church. They feed their own appetites by devouring the very flock that they claim to serve. Theough they should be bringing life to the churches and its congregants, they are sucking the life out of the church. Instead of being creative and bringing life, they are the anti-creation of the primordial seas of chaos. They destroy. We see, too, allusion to the spiritual nature behind the teachers’ physical presence. Like fallen angels, they will be consumed with darkness.
Listen to Wandering Stars and read the lyrics below the song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEQNAZGoZrw