Thursday, March 28, 2013

Dogs & Swine

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. ~Matthew 7:6~

Reading the Bible this morning I came upon this scripture.
I, like you, have read this many times. These are Jesus' words and this is a bit of scripture included in His Sermon on the Mount.
Strangely, this bit of verse stopped me this morning and I looked longer at it. I questioned Him in prayer to help me fully understand this and how to apply it in my own life.
In a time when so much seems to be in turmoil societally and morally speaking in our own nation, when do we NOT witness and speak His word in rebuke towards that which is clearly stated as sin in the Bible? When do we NOT attempt to comfort those that we know to be living in sin and not mindful at all of their spiritual condition?
And who exactly are the "dogs" and "pigs." mentioned in Matthew 7:6?

According to Barnes' Notes on the Bible:

 "Dogs" signify people who spurn, oppose, and abuse that doctrine; people of special sourness and malignity of temper, who meet it like growling and quarrelsome curs, Philippians 3:2; 2 Peter 2:22; Revelation 22:15. "Swine" denote those who would trample the precepts underfoot; people of impurity of life; those who are corrupt, polluted, profane, obscene, and sensual; those who would not know the value of the gospel, and who would tread it down as swine would pearls, 2 Peter 2:22;
Proverbs 11:22.

Other verses that mention dogs and swine are:

He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to the dogs."
~Matthew 15:26~

Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
~Revelation 22:15~

Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.
~Philippians 3:2~

Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.
~Isaiah 56:11~

And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcase.
~Deut 14:8~

Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked.
~Luke 8:33~

After reading several commentaries, I've come to more fully understand that the dogs in Matthew 7:6 signify those that are combative to the Word of God, and will vehemently justify their sin while verbally or even physically abusing those that may try to rebuke or correct them with the Word of God. The swine symbolize those that have no use for the Word of God and hungrily chase after the world while trampling underfoot that which is truly precious and life-saving eternally.
Very simplistic to some, I know... but for me, I'm just trying to figure out how it all fits and applies to my life.
When do we as Christians refuse to help those that are in physical and spiritual need? Or do we? When do we keep to ourselves the thirst-quenching and life-giving Words of our Lord and Savior?
Admittedly, I haven't spoken up of my faith and my love for my Savior in times that the Lord was convicting me to do so.
And once again, I'm gently reminded that we are to stay close to Him,... very close..., to be in His Word consistently and in constant prayer so that we will discern through the direction of The Holy Spirit those moments His word is to be spoken in reproof and love.   
Abiding in the One who sought me and bought me with His redeeming blood, Jesus Christ! 
Blessings, Julie