Unnavigable Stars for Sailing
Daily Devotional for December 8th
Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. Jude 1:12-13
What or who do you depend on to teach you the right direction for your life? Do you lean too heavily upon a man’s interpretation of scripture? In our attempts to understand more of God’s word and grow in grace and knowledge, we must call to attention the realization that men have crept in unawares who disguise themselves as sheep; more clearly, shepherds to the flock of God. But where are the guiding you?
The phrase wandering stars may not be clear on the outset, but comparing it with the surrounding words in the verses we see plainly that Jude is making nautical references liberally. The terms spots; i.e., reefs or rocks under the sea, carried about of winds, raging waves of the sea and wandering stars all have reference to a sailing ship navigating in the oceans. Particularly wandering stars is in reference to either moving planets that move around in the skies, or shooting stars. At sea, ships used stars to help them navigate in the night. Stars are very reliable and have become a dependable tool for sailors. Wandering stars could not be trusted because they did not hold a fixed position. Therefore they are unnavigable stars.
Jude was determined in his epistle to warn the Christian of the dangers that false teaching, doctrine and teachers would have on their faith. The entire epistle is a direct admonition for just that; Beware! We could have as many as ten thousand instructors in Christ, but do not have many fathers. 1 Corinthians 4:15. We can be taught by anyone, but to be guided is a totally different thing altogether. Although anyone can teach you anything, mentors and those who guide you should be few and far between. A thorough examination of these verses in Jude demands that we bring our understanding to one of navigating at sea in a ship.
Jesus has clearly revealed to us that His word is truth, and that the Comforter would lead us into all truth. John 16:13. The word of God is a very dependable navigational tool. The Holy Spirit who lives within every believer, is also very dependable. With both of these with us, there is very little opportunity to be misguided. Many teachers are leading Christians from the truth today by their teaching. Even though there are some wandering stars in the sky, it doesn’t mean that we have to look to them to guide us. Instead of giving ourselves to wandering stars, use the tools that Jesus has instructed.