Do not give dogs what is sacred;
do not throw your pearls to pigs.
If you do, they may trample them under their feet,
and turn and tear you to pieces.
I have always felt there was more for me to understand in this confusing scripture. Let me share what I think the Lord was recently showing me.
In Bible times, dogs and pigs were not the type of animals we think of today. Dogs were not pets; they were wild animals that roamed the streets looking for garbage to eat. These savage dogs growled and attacked people nearby. Pigs were unclean and impure animals who liked to wallow in their own filth. They ate whatever leftover scraps were thrown to them. Neither dogs nor pigs watched where they stepped so they trampled down whatever was in their paths.
In contrast to dogs and swine, Matthew also mentioned sacred things and pearls. To the Jews, sacred things were objects dedicated while making sacrifices in the temple. They were common items set aside for a holy or sacred purpose. Pearls described the lustrous gems made within an oyster’s shell costing the oyster its life.
I believe Matthew was speaking symbolically regarding dogs, swine, sacred things and pearls. The four-legged animals could have represented people who were lost in sin and weighed down by garbage in their lives. He could have been describing people who were consumed with their own filth and wallowed in the negatives. My Reader, do you have “someone special” in your life who fits Matthew’s description of a dog or a pig? If we are honest, most of us will admit to being concerned about such a person.
Let’s move on to the sacred things and pearls. My Reader, these items refer to you. Over the years of walking with the Lord, you have gained great wisdom from common living that has allowed you to be set apart for a sacred and holy purpose unto God. Your prayers are pearls of great price that the Lord receives into His holy presence.
My Reader, your “special someone” may be living a wild dog type of life. He/she may be wallowing in the filth of sin. You care about your “special someone” and so does God. However, now may not be the appropriate time for you to express your opinion. Your pearls of wisdom are too precious to the Lord for Him to allow your spiritual knowledge to be trampled by a muddy pig. Sometimes you just need to be quiet. The uncleanness and unrighteousness that is dominating your “special someone’s” life will not allow him/her to currently receive your precious pearls. Momentarily, you may just need to leave your “special someone” in the pig pen and keep your pearls to yourself. However, this is not the end of the story. Let’s look at additional scripture. Luke 15 tells about a lost son who was able to get out of his pig pen.
So he (the lost son) went and hired himself out to one of the
citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed
swine. And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the
pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving
anything to him. But when he came to his senses, he said,
‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough
bread, but I am dying here with hunger! I will get up and go
to my father, and will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned
against heaven, and in your sight;'”
While in the muck and mire of the pen, this son came to understand his sinful nature and returned to his father who welcomed him back into the family. He was hungry for more than just food.
Continuing to love his son, the father kept watching for his return. He never gave up hope. The father understood that he had to wait for his son to come to his senses. If he had tried to say anything, his words could have caused his son to wallow longer. The day finally came when Dad saw his son coming up the driveway. He ran out to meet him and embraced him. My Reader, you are the father if you are waiting for a “special someone” to get out of a filthy lifestyle. I encourage you to keep loving and waiting and watching. Continue to bring your pearls of prayer to the Lord. You may feel like you are being torn to pieces as you wait for peace, but be assured that the Lord knows your feelings as well as the situation of your “special someone.” May the day soon come when you can welcome him/her home.
My interpretation of these scriptures is meant to be an encouragement for anyone who is waiting for “someone special” to get out of the muddy life of a pig pen. Please do not use my words as an excuse to ignore a person who is wallowing in a filthy lifestyle if the Lord is leading you to be more proactive in his/her life. My Reader, seek the Lord for direction on how to handle the pig pen position with your “special someone.”