2 Peter 2:22
“But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: ‘A dog returns to his own vomit,’ and, ‘a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.’”
A few years ago, I was in northern Ghana with a group of people from our church. Our purpose was to bring the Gospel to remote villages that had yet to be reached for Christ. Just as Paul developed a custom of going first to the synagogue, then to the market squares, we too, had developed our own custom. Because of the practices of their culture, it is customary, when a traveler arrives at their home, to gather the family, offer the traveler a drink and ask “What brings you here and do you have a message for us?” As you can imagine, this provides a wide open door to share Christ.
On one particular day, as we were walking through a village, going from hut to hut with the gospel, I turned a corner and startled a large pig. He immediately arose from his mud hole and walked off. When he stirred up the mud, the stink was so strong it almost knocked me over. I continued down the path, then turned back, thinking of this verse in 2 Peter 2, wondering what would happen next. Sure enough, as soon as he thought it was safe, the pig walked back to the mire and plopped down.
Peter explains, while it is expected for a pig to return to its mire, you are not a pig. Once you have come to Christ, it is unnatural for you to turn back to the sins from which He saved you. He writes that returning to our past lives, results in being in a worse condition than we were prior to being saved. That worse condition is caused by the hardening of our hearts.
Each time we take a step away from the Lord, the Holy Spirit convicts us, reminding us of the promises of the Word, and the danger of that course of action. When we ignore His warnings and continue to move toward sin and away from God, our hearts become just a little harder. Soon we are able to sin without feelings of guilt or remorse. That is in no way a sign of freedom, but of extreme bondage. When sin no longer shames us, we are shackled by its deadly grip.
A good application from this text would be to take inventory. Are you allowing things back into your life that might lead you away from the Lord and back into your old life style? Turn those things back over to the Lord, before you find yourself neck-deep in the mire.
Questions for 2 Peter 2
1. False prophets, there are many out there. What warning does Peter give us in verses 1-3?
2. God will bring judgment, because of His grace and mercy; He allows people the opportunity to repent. Dwell on verse 9, what does this say about our Savior?
3. Verses 10-11 describe people that do not believe, maybe even describe people you know? Do you know Christians that act this way? Do you?
4. Deception and unbelief are the fruit a false prophet in verses 12-17. This is the opposite of how Christians should be. Pray for the people you know that have this kind of heart, Jesus wants to save!
5. Verse 19 is a horrid deception. What does this verse mean to you?
6. Verse 20-22, Peter is telling us about false prophets who had known the way of righteousness. Have you been to a church, heard the good news of Jesus, yet heard so much guilt and condemnation (bondage as Peter says)? It can be very confusing if you don’t understand Gods word. Read John 10:10.