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2 Peter 2:22: What The True Proverb Says Has Happened To Them: "The Dog Returns To Its Own Vomit

2 Peter 2:22
[22] 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.” (ESV)

In this verse the Apostle Peter uses some graphic illustrations to describe the behavior of false teachers who have heard the truth and continued to live in their sinful condition. One of the illustrations is taken from the book of Proverbs. The other one is apparently original with the Apostle Peter. We will look at each one of them individually.

Proverbs 26:11 tells us: "Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly." The false teachers, like everyone on earth, were sinners. They came to an understanding of the truth found in Scripture. Sadly, they did not obey the truth. Instead of repenting of their sins, and submitting their lives to the truth, they went right back to their barf-like behavior.

In Peter's own illustration, he compares these false teachers to a sow, who after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire. What is worse, in this situation, is that the sow is cleaned, but only on the outside. Men who clean up their behavior on the outside, but do nothing to address the uncleanness on the inside of their wicked hearts, are doubly disgusting.

What is clear from both illustrations is that God desires for us is that we live lives of truth and purity. These false teachers not only rejected the invitation to be pure on the inside, but they led other people astray as well. Many people will follow false teachers. They will also return to their own vomit, just like the teachers, and be filthy inside and out.

Consider the words of David, the Psalmist. Meditate on this truth from Psalm 51:6: "Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart."