Daily Encouragement Net
The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.

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Thursday, July 1, 2021

Sows in wallow
Sows in wallow.
(Click on photo to enlarge)

Oh, to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy grace, Lord, like a fetter, bind my wan-d’ring heart to Thee:
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it; prone to leave the God I love.
Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it; seal it for Thy courts above.

"The Peril Of Returning To The Wallow"

Message summary: Are you a faithful follower of Jesus Christ and seeking to live by His commands?  Always be aware of the peril of going back and returning to the wallow!

Listen to this message on your audio player.

"For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. What the true proverb says has happened to them: 'The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire'" (2 Peter 2:20-22). "But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles, to which you want to be enslaved all over again?" (Galatians 4:9).

Yesterday Ester joined the Lapp family for a visit to Hershey Park, a large amusement park in Hershey, PA about 15 miles from our home. Brooksyne and I drove over to the Old Windmill Farm mid-morning to pick them up and took two vehicles to the park to fit everyone in.

It was hot, hot, hot! Temperatures yesterday afternoon were in the hi 90's with a RealFeel® of 106° and a new (to me) measurement called RealFeel Shade™ of 100°. I have heard the expression "a 100° in the shade". But they, along with thousands of others in a very crowded park, had a great time although we sure had some sleepy riders on the way home!

When we picked them up at the farm in the morning it was already hot and we witnessed a view that Peter alluded to in the Bible. I doubt if many of our readers have purposefully memorized today's first 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.

But as part of the Holy Scriptures which are all profitable (2 Timothy 3:16,17) let us consider it today.

Peter uses two rather unseemly Bible animal illustrations in our text, both still observable today. He is warning against the peril and foolishness of returning to the miry mud of sin. It is a warning that Peter's initial readers not turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. We do well to heed Peter's illustrative warning as well.

"It has happened to them according to the true proverb". When we think of Proverbs we may rightly consider the sayings in the Biblical Book of Proverbs but the definition of a proverb is "an easily memorized nugget of wisdom" and that is the sense we get from this verse made even more understandable by Peter's second saying, "the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire". This verse is not found in the Biblical Book of Proverbs. *

"Wallow" is not a word we commonly use. Of animals as a verb it means to "roll about or lie relaxed in mud or water, especially to keep cool, avoid biting insects, or spread scent". As a noun a wallow is "a muddy area or one filled with dust used by animals for wallowing".

"Wallow" has also been used of humans as well such as the phrase "wallow in self-pity" and also a verb describing those mired in some sort of destructive sin.

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 mud puddle and a Christian is not satisfied to live in sin. There is an animal that feels at home in a mud puddle; the Bible classifies the false teachers who return to their native habitat of sin with sows wallowing in the mire".

Ultimately we have all, in one way or another and certainly to different degrees, wallowed 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).

The focus of Peter using these proverbs is that we do not go back to our old way of life and beliefs. In Galatians Paul uses this theme as well. "But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles, to which you want to be enslaved all over again?" (Galatians 4:9).

Are you a faithful follower of Jesus Christ and seeking to live by His commands?  Always be aware of the peril of going back and returning to the wallow!

So we say:
I won't go back, can't go back, to the way it used to be
Before Your presence came and changed me

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man 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 return to the wallow 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.

* Proverbs 26:11 states "Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly."

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"I Won't Go Back"  Video  Brooklyn Tabernacle Singers

"I Have Decided To Follow Jesus"  Video   No turning back!

"Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing"  Video  Shane and Shane

Cows in shade
Pigs may wallow in the mud to cool down, but these heifers congregate in the shade on Harvest Road! Take notice of the middle heifer straddling two other lying heifers. Let's hope they don't decide to stand up suddenly causing the straddling heifer to have a belly ache for the rest of the day.

Baling straw
The grain is harvested, now they are baling straw on Grandview Road north of Mount Joy.

Straw bales in field
A freshly harvested field with straw bales on Grandview Road.
(Click on photo to enlarge)

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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