A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
This last weekend we had a faint translucent rainbow arched over the clouds.
"Lesson From A Wallowing Sow"
Message summary: Are you a faithful follower and seeking to live by His commands? Always be aware of the peril of returning to the wallow!
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"It has happened to them according to the true proverb: A dog returns to its own vomit, and, 'a sow, after washing itself, wallows in the mud'" (2 Peter 2:22).
I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore,
Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more;
But the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry,
From the waters lifted me, now safe am I.
I doubt if many of our readers have purposefully memorized today's Bible verse, unless you've spent a significant amount of time on a farm! It's just not the type of verse we draw from to receive encouragement and assurance.
Our farmer friend Jesse sent us a photo he had taken on the Old Windmill Farm with an allusion to this verse. Those who raise pigs are a bit more observant of a verse like this when they read the Bible. The sow is comfortably wallowing in the mud, oblivious to the Old Windmill Farm guests in the background. (It's been dry around here so the sow would probably have preferred it be a lot muddier.)
Peter uses two rather unseemly Bible animal illustrations in our text, both which are still observable. He is warning against the peril and foolishness of returning to the miry mud of sin.
The previous verses are rather hard to interpret but present a vital caution regarding false teachers; a caution appropriate for all generations of the Church and certainly our own. Many false teachers are out there.
"Wallow" is not a word we commonly use. Of animals it means to "roll about or lie relaxed in mud or water, especially to keep cool, avoid biting insects, or spread scent". It has also been used of humans for those mired in some sort of destructive sin. I watched a video about the drug problem in Seattle and what a pitiful sight to see humans wallowing in the sludge of sin.* Wallow is also a noun describing the place where one wallows.
John Ensor observes, "Sheep and swine can both end up in the mire. Yet the essential difference in their two natures is quite visible from the reaction each has to its fallen condition. While sheep do stray and stumble into the mire, they quickly loathe the situation and struggle to get free. They may be dirty, but they desire to be clean. They may be stuck, but they bleat for their shepherd to come and save them out of the muck. But swine, in keeping with their nature, wallow in the muck, content to stay there all day."
Vance Havner comments in his typically colorful way, "Jesus says that His sheep know Him and that sheep follow the Shepherd; a sheep is not at home in a mudhole and a Christian is not satisfied to live in sin. There is an animal that feels at home in a mudhole; the Bible classifies the false teachers who return to their native habitat of sin with sows wallowing in the mire".
Ultimately apart from grace we are all wallowing in sin, some more visible outwardly for sure but the Bible says, "we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6).
Today, examine your heart. Regardless of outward appearances are you wallowing in sin? His love can lift you up from the sinking sand, pull you out of the miry clay, and set your feet upon a rock to stay - that Rock being Jesus, our firm foundation!
Are you a faithful follower and seeking to live by His commands? Always be aware of the peril of returning to the wallow!
Love lifted me! Love lifted me!
When nothing else could help, Love lifted me.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, how grateful we are that You saw us at our greatest time of spiritual need and did not turn us away. Instead Your love saved and lifted us from the pit of despair and eternal damnation. Our lives have never been the same. And yet there is that horrible reality that at times we are prone to wander, even tempted to wallow again in the muck and mire of our previous sin ridden state. We wholeheartedly offer to You our heart, mind and our soul. Take and seal that which we have for Your courts above and for Your kingdom here on earth. Through Christ Jesus our Lord we pray. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Love Lifted Me" Video Encounter Music The same traditional song we sang as young Christians but a newer beautiful arrangement.
"Love Lifted Me" Video Travis Cottrell and his daughter Lily Cottrell Another uplifting song we had never heard before.
"Love Lifted Me" Video Ashmont Hill What a neat place to sing from! Does anyone recognize this city skyline? We do.
"Love Lifted Me" Video Congregational Hymn (the way we remember singing it!)
"I Won't Go Back" Video Brooklyn Tabernacle Singers Amen!
"He Brought Me Out Of The Miry Clay" Video Brooksyne's note: When I came across this video I was wishing I could be there in person to sing along with the song leader, choir and congregation in this Arkansas church, though I did sing along here at the computer and have included the words for you to sing as well. This is the kind of congregational singing I enjoy and where I am edified! Thank God He brought me out of the pit of sin! We dedicate this to our Arkansas friend, Tommy Carpenter, who we suspect has been in this church. He likely preached and sang a solo!
He Brought Me Out
by Henry J. Zelley (1898)
My heart was distressed 地eath Jehovah痴 dread frown,
And low in the pit where my sins dragged me down;
I cried to the Lord from the deep miry clay,
Who tenderly brought me out to golden day.
He brought me out of the miry clay,
He set my feet on the Rock to stay;
He puts a song in my soul today,
A song of praise, hallelujah!
He placed me upon the strong Rock by His side,
My steps were established and here I値l abide;
No danger of falling while here I remain,
But stand by His grace until the crown I gain.
He gave me a song, 稚was a new song of praise;
By day and by night its sweet notes I will raise;
My heart痴 overflowing, I知 happy and free;
I値l praise my Redeemer, Who has rescued me.
I値l sing of His wonderful mercy to me,
I値l praise Him till all men His goodness shall see;
I値l sing of salvation at home and abroad,
Till many shall hear the truth and trust in God.
I値l tell of the pit, with its gloom and despair,
I値l praise the dear Father, who answered my prayer;
I値l sing my new song, the glad story of love,
Then join in the chorus with the saints above.
Finally today: Yesterday we showed a photo of a very fancy car we saw on Sunday afternoon at a Crackerbarrel parking lot. A reader sees the resemblance in a car known as the Panther DeVille (see these photos). But this video appears to show the same car. If so it's modified drastically from a 1984 Mercury Cougar called a Tiffany.
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