Making a Meal with What Makes Us Sick
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Like a dog that returns to his vomit
is a fool who repeats his folly.
Nobody seems to know exactly how to explain this disgusting canine habit. (Try not to think about it the next time a dog wants to lick you in the face!) One theory is that they smell bits of food and devour the whole mess to get it, not knowing or caring that they are making a meal of what made them sick. Sounds reasonable. But it’s still disgusting.
Whatever the explanation, this vile habit paints a vivid picture of repeated sin. Counselors know the pattern very well—abusers, addicts, compulsives who get sick of their behavior and vow to do differently, only to return to it in weeks. Or days. Or hours. But all of us have a bit of the dog in us. We vow to break a habit, and fail . . . again. We fall back into old habits we thought we had broken. We repent and do the same thing, maybe the same day! We constantly feed on what makes us sick.
The very disgust we feel with this proverb teaches us to take it seriously. The Apostle Peter warned about becoming slaves of corruption, using this very image. Some have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of Christ, he says, but are again entangled in them and overcome—in whose case the last state has become worse for them than the first, for knowing the truth, they have turned back from it. They are like the dog in Solomon’s proverb (2 Pet. 2:19-22).
Welcome to Christ Church this Lord’s Day. God grant us grace and mercy to love the truth and reject the evil that draws us back to make us slaves. Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flatters himself in his own eyes that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated. The words of his mouth are trouble and deceit; he has ceased to act wisely and do good. (Ps. 36:1-3).
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