â€œThese are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having menâ€™s persons in admiration because of advantage.â€ (Jude 1:16)
Judeâ€™s book cites several incidents in the early history of Israel right after they were wonderfully delivered from slavery in Egypt. Within a very short time, they had come through the Red Sea, had bitter water made sweet, seen water come out of a rock, and been fed with â€œangelsâ€™ foodâ€ from heaven. Yet when the 12 spies came back from the land of Canaan that had been promised to them, there was a widespread revolt against God and against Mosesâ€™ leadership.
The ten spies who â€œmurmuredâ€ against God â€œdied by the plague before the LORDâ€ (Numbers 14:37). Some who had previously sided with the defeatist words of the spies tried to take matters into their own hands and â€œpresumed to go upâ€ to fight against the Canaanites and were killed or scattered (Numbers 14:44-45).
Much of the history of Israel is marked by various ways of turning away from God. Psalm 81 provides a good summary of how God sees this behavior: â€œI am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me. So I gave them up unto their own heartsâ€™ lust: and they walked in their own counselsâ€ (Psalm 81:10-12).
Jude uses a rather unusual word picture to describe those who use others for their personal advantage. They speak â€œgreat swelling wordsâ€ to gain the association. The Greek word is huperogkos, which conveys something like â€œbeyond weightâ€ or â€œtoo heavy.â€ The words are coming from hearts that are lustful and attempting to manipulate others for their own benefit. It appears that those who â€œmurmurâ€ and â€œcomplainâ€ will use â€œheavyâ€ words to achieve their ends. HMM III