“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)
This scripture is timely advice from Jesus Christ. It teaches those of us who are Christians to be careful about who we give our godly counsel to and to exercise wisdom when we share God’s blessings with others. The two animals mentioned in this scripture represents two types of people, both types being non-Christian. In the Old Testament, God gave strict dietary guidelines as to what animals Jews could eat. Generally, only four-footed animals that parted the hoof and at the same time chewed the cud were considered clean. Parting the hoof is symbolic of a clean walk before God while chewing the cud is symbolic of pure intents and thoughts of the heart.
Dogs neither part the hoof nor chew the cud. Therefore, dogs symbolize people who have no claim to being righteous and have no concerns about who God is or what pleases him. Swine part the hoof but do not chew the cud. They symbolize people who claim to be righteous and have the outward appearance of being religious, but their hearts are full of wickedness and they are really not concerned about godly things. Jesus considers both of them evil, having the same nature which is:
- They sneer at and mock godly counsel or other things that are sacred in God’s eyes.
- They feed their unbridled lust for things to satisfy their fleshly, ungodly nature.
- They are spiritually unclean, having no fear of God in their hearts.
The world is full of people who are like dogs in that if you try to give them godly advice because you want to see them improve themselves, they don’t appreciate it whatsoever and take offense to your pointing out their shortcomings. Then there are the swine. You try to share something of value with them like how they can be free of a sinful habit they are in bondage to if they surrender their lives to Christ, but they can’t distinguish the pearls you give them from regular rocks so they assume you are trying to start an argument with what they consider to be your harsh words. Or maybe you have some extra money that God blessed you with and you see that they need financial help with their bills, so you give them money, but they blow it on gambling instead. The result of both instances would be they end up despising you in their hearts and in some cases will go out of their way to try to hurt your reputation by lying about you behind your back. Yet at the same time they claim to be good people and in some cases claim to be Christians.
Christ says we should make sure we don’t waste our valuable, God-given resources in these ways. How can we really tell if a person is a dog or swine? We test them according to how the Holy Spirit leads us in each situation. This may call for us to test them maybe two or three times to make sure we have them pegged correctly. If they fail the tests miserably, then we would do well to heed Christ and the following scriptures:
“Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.” Proverbs 9:8
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.” Proverbs 12:15
–posted by Harry A. Gaylord–