They are . . . wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame. (v. 13)
Have you ever had sea foam candy? It's a mixture of white sugar, brown sugar, and corn syrup (liquid sugar) whipped up into little airy, spongy balls and coated with chocolate (dark sugar). When you eat it, it just melts away in your mouth.
Wouldn't it be nice if real sea foam was as sweet as sea foam candy? Real sea foam on the ocean shore tends to be a frothy, scummy mess. Jude compares the church's false teachers to sea foam.
Maybe Jude had Isaiah 57:20 in mind as he wrote: "the wicked are like the tossing sea that cannot keep still; its waters toss up mire and mud." There is amazing power in the tides and currents of the ocean, but power without purpose is a waste. Those "wild waves of the sea" that cast up their own shame bring to mind the tried and true maxim "Don't mistake activity for achievement."
The good use of power is a great challenge in leadership. Unbridled power can be a horrible thing—one only needs to imagine a hurricane or tsunami. Contrast these images with Jesus Christ, who "emptied himself, . . . humbled himself and became obedient to . . . death on the cross" (Philippians 2:7-8). His power was revealed through sacrifice.
Prayer: Lord, give us wisdom, direction, and purpose today. Amen.
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