Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 16 : Do Not Cast Pearls | Day 108

Recognize Dangerous "Dogs"!

We typically view dogs as friendly family pets and refer to them as "man's best friend." However, in Bible times, dogs freely roamed the countryside. In this wild and hungry state, they presented a constant threat of danger to those who encountered their fury.

Wild dogs are highly symbolic in Scripture, representing that which is low and contemptible. When a wicked man cursed King David, David's General reacted, “... Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king?...” (II Samuel 16:9). Paul warned in Philippians 3:2, “Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers ....”

We are not to judge the motives of people, but we are to discern the dangerous nature of "dogs" and "swine."

God condemned the leaders of Israel by stating: “His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. 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 ..." (Isaiah 56:10-11). Solomon uses a characteristic of the dog to describe the nature of a foolish man: “As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly” (Proverbs 26:11).

To help us understand the analogy in this command, we must realize that the nature of both wild dogs and swine is different from our human nature. They are not impressed with the "jewels" that we have. They are concerned only with satisfying their physical appetites, and they do not care whom they hurt or abuse in the process. If we offer them jewels, they will lunge for them, but when they realize that they were misled by our attention to them and see our failure to fulfill their expectations, they will trample the jewels we have given them and turn to attack us.

The primary point of Jesus' command is that we cannot give that which is holy to one whose very nature has no comprehension or appreciation for holy things.

As we seek to share Christ and the treasures of His Word with those around us, it is important for us to remember that simply giving holy things to unholy people will not make those individuals holy. They must first come to repentance for their sins. Then their hearts and their spirits will be reborn, and they will be given the holy nature of God. This rebirth will allow them to understand and appreciate spiritual things.

Let's purpose to discern the ability of listeners to appreciate or comprehend the spiritual truths we want to give them, and let's follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit in what we share.

“Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine ...” (Matthew 7:6).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard