The wickedness of despising powers and authorities is illustrated by the curious case of Michael the archangel and the Devil.  It is difficult to say very much about the incident mentioned here, because this is the only place that we read of it.  There is a passage somewhat similar in Revelation 12:7-9 where we read of war in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting with the devil and his angels.  It may be that these two incidents are one and the same, though it seems impossible to prove one way or another.  At any rate, it appears from this passage that, when contention arose between holy Michael and fallen Lucifer about the body of Moses, Michael refrained from using railing accusation because of the great spiritual power and authority with which Satan is endowed.  One could speculate endlessly about the nature of their dispute over the body of Moses.  I feel unable to say anything farther than that the contention must have been around the fact that God Himself had buried Moses in a place of which no man knows.  One may go so far as to presume that the Devil wished to inflict some kind of dishonor on that great man of God, and Michael and his angels went forth to resist him.  But it seems that in the context of Jude’s argument the precise nature of this dispute is immaterial.  Jude’s point is that the false teachers despise dominion and speak evil of dignities.  He wishes us to recognize their arrogant presumption, which stands our starkly when contrasted with Michael’s refusal to rail upon Satan during a bitter dispute, but to resort to the one invincible weapon in his arsenal, “The Lord rebuke thee.”  There is a place for rebuking even the highest of wicked authorities, but it must always be done with care, and with based upon the authority and the word of our sovereign God.

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