Command of Christ # 16

Hello! Hope you are having a good week!
This week's command is 'Do Not Cast Pearls." I don't know about you, but I am in no hurry to throw precious pearls out! I don't think many are, so what is Jesus talking about here? Jesus said, "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 7:16).

Jesus is using figurative language here when talking about dogs, pearls, and pigs. In Jesus' day dogs were not seen as cute, cuddly, best friends, but were seen as troublesome and vicious. Other places in Scripture we see that evil men, wicked persons, and male prostitutes are called dogs. Basically, to be called a dog, or likened to one, meant you were evil and exceedingly wicked. I don't have to say much about pigs for you to get a clear mental picture; in general they are pretty filthy creatures.

I am going to quote other Scripture verses to expand the meaning of this command.
Philippians 3:2 "Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision."

Prov. 23:9 "Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words."

Prov. 14:7 "Go from the presence of a foolish man when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge."

Prov. 9:7-8 "He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot. Reprove not a scorner lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man and he will love thee."

God is commanding us to be wise with whom we share 'pearls' of wisdom. Not every person we encounter is ready to hear the words of truth. There are different kinds of fools in Scripture and we are told that some will only bring us grief if we try to share God's wisdom with them (see verses above). We need to be discerning in whether a person is a scorner or is steadfast in his wicked ways. Rather than debating and getting into fruitless intellectual battles with these people, we should pray for them, that their heart would be softened and prepared to hear the truth. We should also be discerning in recognizing the person that is ready and willing to hear, so that we will be ready to give an answer.

I remember telling my boss (who was very liberal) about some things I had learned at a conference. I explained how the wife should be submissive to the husband, and that the husband should love her and treat her in a loving way. He wasn't impressed with what I had learned. He wasn't willing to hear about the things of God. From then on he didn't speak very kindly to me and would make comments about evolution and other topics that were clearly not Biblical. It was usually unfruitful to bring up spiritual matters.

We should be diligent in sharing with others about Christ, but we must realize that not everyone will receive the Gospel the same. Having discernment and discretion will make us more effective and will avoid unneeded strife.

-Am I praying that God will show me who is ready to hear and who I should avoid?
-Have I prepared my own heart by asking for wisdom and discernment?
-Am I prepared to share the Good News with those God brings into my path who are ready to hear the truth?

"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear" (I Peter 3:15).

Notes adapted from IBLP's Commands of Christ study guide and pocket guide

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