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!


5 thoughts on “A Dog That Returns to His Own Vomit

  1. G. says:

    Great post Travis. Now I know why my breath smells so bad.

    Keep it up.

  2. Emily says:

    Travis, this passage touched me so deeply when I was in a place of great destruction. God placed it in my mind continuously so that I would recognize how nasty my continuous sin actually was. Thank you so much for this post brother!

  3. Thanks for using the Word to create an even greater distinction between the vileness of sin and the delectable taste of God’s Glory!

    “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” Psalm 34:8

  4. Jackie says:

    Thanks for your great post i am doing a study on this and you really helped me out here




  5. Anne says:

    wondered about this verse for so many years. tonight I got quiet enough for God to encourage me to look it up online. Now I begin to understand possitive change. Now God will show me just what that looks like going forward. Only He can reach a fool and make life right. Bless and Praise God He does!

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