For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
Peter doesn’t look too nicely on those who have returned to their old lifestyle. He sees people that were sinners and lived lives of corruption and filth who are found and redeemed by Christ. He then sees them return to their old lifestyle and way of thinking, and he doesn’t like it. As a matter of fact, he uses two very interesting pictures to describe it. The first is the picture of a dog. As is the nature of dogs, they over-eat, or mis-eat, or something goes horribly wrong and the contents of their stomachs become the former contents of their stomachs (they puke). As is the tendency with dogs, all of which fall under the category of omnivore, they continue to mosey around the vicinity for a while until they find a steaming hot pile of food (former contents of their stomachs)….the rest is left for the imagination, let’s just say, the dog that returns to his vomit usually leaves stuffed. The other picture is that of a pig. The farmer comes and gets his pig. He cleans her up, gives her a bath, scrubs her hooves, cleans out her ears, and sets her back in the pigpen. Without missing a beat, she runs back over to the mud/pig waste puddle and begins to roll around, securely reapplying the recently removed filth. This is exactly what those who have been cleaned by Christ yet return to their former sin are doing. The word “backsliding” doesn’t paint the right picture. Peter prefers a term like “vomit-eating,” or “mud/pig waste wallowing.” And Peter’s perspective is spot on. Perhaps if we could get the vision of our sin that God has, we too would avoid it. But too often, the allurement of a moment blinds us to the absolutely disgusting nature of the very thing that entices us. If only we could peel off that layer of lust and feel the disgust. But many don’t and they fall back into the lifestyle out of which they were saved. He has washed you, now, stay clean.
Food For Thought: According to verses 20-21, what does Peter say about those who have been entangled and overcome by this false way of thinking?