Bible Study for Christian Women and Pastors Wives ~ I Am A Pearl of Great Price, Part 5
Matthew 7:6."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."
What are the pearls and who are the swine and who is in danger of torn asunder by them?
I am certain this verse is not talking about 4-legged critters, but 2-legged ones. Just before this verse, we are told not to judge. In this verse we are basically told to use discernment and to judge. Just after this verse, we are told how to doors by asking, seeking, and knocking.
This verse has sent me to several commentaries: J. Vernon McGee's Thru The Bible; Matthew Henry's Commentary; Oliver B. Greene's The Gospel According to Matthew; and Ryle's Expository Thoughts on The Gospels by J.C. Ryle.
While all have excellent illustrations and explanations, I would like to use the explanation from J.C. Ryle:
The second lesson contained in this passage, is the importance of exercising discretion as to the persons with whom we speak on the subject of religion. Everything is beautiful in its place and season. Our zeal is to be tempered by a prudent consideration of times, places, and persons."Reprove not a scorner,” says Solomon, “lest he hate thee." (Prov. ix. 8.) It is not everybody to whom it is wise to open our minds on spiritual matters. There are many, who from violent tempers, or openly proﬂigate habits, are utterly incapable of valuing the things of the Gospel. They will even ﬂy into a passion, and run into greater excesses of sin, if you try to do good to their souls. To name the name of Christ to such people, is truly to "cast pearls before swine.” It does them not good, but harm. It rouses all their corruption, and makes them angry. In short, they are like the Jews at Corinth, (Acts xvm. 6.) or like Nabal, of whom it is written, that he was “such a son of Belial, that a man could not speak unto him.” (1 Sam. xxv. 17.)
This is a lesson which it is peculiarly difficult to use in the proper way. The right application of it needs great wisdom. We are most of us far more likely to err on the side of over-caution than of over-zeal. We are generally far more disposed to remember the “time to be silent,” than the “time to speak.” It is a lesson, however, which ought to stir up a spirit of self-inquiry in all our hearts. Do we ourselves never check our friends from giving us good advice, by our moroseness and irritability of temper? Have we never obliged others to hold their peace and say nothing, by our pride and impatient contempt of counsel? Have we never turned against our kind advisers, and silenced them by our violence and passion? Alas! We may well fear that we have erred in this matter.
Our salvation, faith In God, and home for all eternity are indeed pearls of great value. We must treasure them as such.
Be blessed in The Name above every name, Jesus! I know I am!
Linda L Culbreth