Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces. Matthew 7:6
Now here, Jesus gives some wonderful wisdom that we need to be applying today. Dogs and pigs are both considered unclean, unholy animals. The term ‘dog’ was applied to those of worthless character.
But, what exactly is He talking about?
Proverbs 23:9 says, Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of your words.
Jesus is continuing His discourse about judging. He is speaking about unreasonable men who will ridicule you for the mildest criticism of their evil ways. This reference is to those we find obstinate after they hear the gospel. They may blaspheme it and persecute the preachers. The council is to not spend much time among these people, for it will be a waste of time and effort. Instead, share God’s truths with others.
Acts 13:41 ‘Behold, you despisers, Marvel and perish! For I work a work in your days, A work which you will by no means believe, Though one were to declare it to you.’ ”
As a rule, this is for all of us who have the urge to rebuke another. Our zeal against sin must be Holy Spirit guided. We must not go about giving instruction, counsel, and rebuke, much less comfort, to those determined to mock us and the Lord. It will certainly do no good. They will only be exasperated and enraged at us. Throw a pearl to a swine, and he will resent it as if you threw a stone at him.
Jeremiah 6:10 To whom shall I speak and give warning, That they may hear? Indeed their ear is uncircumcised, And they cannot give heed. Behold, the word of the Lord is a reproach to them; They have no delight in it.
Here is an instance where Jesus counseled His disciples about this very thing.
When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear and understand: Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”
Then His disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?”
But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. LET THEM ALONE. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.” Matthew 15: 10-14
And here is Peter’s counsel: …always be ready to give a defense to everyone WHO ASKS you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear. 1 Peter 3:15b
Their Asking is key.
Did you know that there isn’t any scripture that commands us to proclaim scripture to unbelievers? We are to LIVE OUT the Word among them until they ask about our beliefs.
So, yes, we are to go to Holy Spirit first before trying to bring correction to another or to even share the gospel by word with them. Holy Spirit is the only one who knows which hearts are ready to receive. But, do you see, that judging is in God’s hands. If He wants us to say something or do something, He will let us know. If not, He will likely also let us know. Our part is to go to Him, ask for His help, listen for His leading, and then do what He says.
God’s word and wisdom deposited into ready hearts at the right time produce a great harvest. Let us handle them by His Spirit.