Here in Jude, we see the curtain to the spiritual dimension pulled back just a crack. As the archangel, Michael contends with the devil over the body of Moses. In this spiritual warfare, we learn a key point to learn. In verse 9, we see that Michael knows who is ultimately in control.
But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”
He did not make it about him, or tell the devil off. Instead, he said four words, “The Lord rebuke you!” He said it with authority and conviction as denoted by the explanation mark. He didn’t do it on his own strength.
The word for Lord used in verse 9 is kýrios, which means supreme in authority, and is used as God, Lord, And Master. The devil knew what was in store for him once Michael called on God.
Michael didn’t remind the devil of his future. The devil already knows what God has planned for him and wants to take as many as he can with him. There is nowhere in the Bible that we are told to remind the devil of his future. As a matter of fact, most of the memes with the popular quote, “The next time Satan reminds you of your past remind him of is future.” are based on the verse Matthew 25:41;
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”
This is not a verse on spiritual warfare. Jesus is talking here about the final judgement. He is talking about those that are in need and whether or not if we help them. That by helping them we are actually doing it to Him.
Michael didn’t go on his own strength. Remember the story in Acts 19:11-17, where several Jews tried to use the name of Jesus to exercise a demon. They wanted to be known as Paul was. It had nothing to do with Jesus, just to make themselves look good. The demon’s response says it all in verse 15;
And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?”
Then the Jews were overpowered by the man with the demon. To paraphrase my pastor, any time you walk away from a fight naked, you lost the fight.
We need to follow Michaels example when we are in spiritual warfare and remember the latter part of 2 Chronicles 20:15;
Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.