Monthly Archives: November 2005

A Dog That Returns to His Own Vomit

Is there a better description of a fool? Proverbs 26:11 –“Like a dog that returns to its vomit Is a fool who repeats his folly.”

2 Peter 2 deals with the rise of false prophets among the scattered Christians (diaspora) throughout the Roman world. Basically, in the first 3 verses Peter describes the influence these false teachers can have on Christians and even the truth.

  • They secretly introduce destructive heresies
  • They deny their creator
  • They bring swift destruction upon themselves
  • They malign the truth for the followers of this sensuality
  • They will exploit you with their greed through false words

Peter then describes the certainty of their destruction in verses 4-8 by remembering God’s just acts in the past.

  • God did not spare angels when they sinned. (By implication how much more will he punish humans in their sin?)
  • God did not spare the ancient world, but destroyed it by the flood saving only Noah and his family.
  • God did not spare Sodom and Gomorrah, but turned it to ashes as an example to those who would live ungodly lives in the future.

Peter seems to be setting the groundwork for his statement in verse 9: “then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment. 10, and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority.”

Now lets get to the whole vomit thing–Peter is reminding the people that God is ABLE to keep them from temptation and from false teaching. The implication here is that the people are not trusting in God’s faithfulness to rightly judge and rule.

This is a big problem because, in verse 20, the people are described as knowing the Lord Jesus as Savior, but they are again being entangled and in fact overcome by sin. Peter says in 21 that it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness at all than to know it and turn away from it. This is like a dog throwing up on the sidewalk and coming back in fifteen minutes and licking it up (verse 22)! He also compares it to a pig getting washed off and then jumping back in a pile of manure.

I don’t know about you, but Peter has adequately described my daily life. You see, I have the knowledge of my sin and of my need for Christ. However, so many times I prefer my own vomit to the cool, nourishing fountain of life that never runs dry. Weird huh? Of course I mean my own ideas, plans, desires (my vomit) as opposed to feasting on the all sufficient Savior and gulping down the water of the Word. This really puts a new spin on putting the trivial things in my life before eternal things.

May God give us eyes to see His beauty and a thirst for the clean water of the Word!

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What Does It Mean To Be Blessed?

The answer to the question posed in the title is found in Psalm 32.
Psalm 32 (NAS)

A Psalm of David. A Maskil.

How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered! 2 How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit! 3 When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away Through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night Thy hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. Selah.

5 I acknowledged my sin to Thee, And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”; And Thou didst forgive the guilt of my sin. Selah.

6 Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to Thee in a time when Thou mayest be found; Surely in a flood of great waters they shall not reach him. 7 Thou art my hiding place; Thou dost preserve me from trouble; Thou dost surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah.

8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you. 9 Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding, Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check, Otherwise they will not come near to you. 10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked; But he who trusts in the LORD, lovingkindness shall surround him. 11 Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous ones, And shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.

One of the biggest challenges for pastors, in my opinion, is to show people their true needs. Perhaps you are aware of the concept of “felt needs.” These are the things in life that we feel or think we cannot do without. These are the answers to the question: “How has God blessed you?” I’m suggesting that our answer to that question should be David’s answer: “God has blessed me by forgiving my sins and not imputing iniquity to my account.” Is this how we think of blessing? Our greatest needs are not comfort or even health. We are in need because we are by nature children of wrath, enemies of God. Our state before God is comparable with someone who is tied down on a railroad track, with the train fast approaching. The most important thing to that person is not their material possessions, position or realm of influence. Are we in a different situation than this poor soul on the tracks? Jesus not only untied our bounds, but he voluntarily laid down in our place and was crushed violently by the oncoming train. Does that change your priorities? How are you blessed?

Continue to read this Psalm and notice how the blessed man is guided:

  1. Out of the peril of sin and the anger of God (verses 1,2)
  2. Enduring the “heavy hand” of God to bring about repentance (3,4)
  3. In the forgiveness of sin and the pardon of guilt. (5,6)
  4. To pray to this fountain of life, while He may be found. (6)
  5. In the way he or she should go, through the wise counsel of the Lord (8,9)
  6. In the surrounding of lovingkindness (10)
  7. In the all surpassing joy that is only found in Jesus! (11)