Evening, May 19
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Bible League: Living His Word
"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces."

Our verse for today is part of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. In a previous portion of the sermon Jesus said, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you" (Matthew 7:1-2). Although we should not judge others, our verse for today makes it clear that we should be discerning in our evaluation of people.

What do the metaphors "dogs" and "pigs" mean? In the Old Testament, dogs and pigs were considered unclean animals. Dogs were the scavengers of the Middle East. They were not given food that was offered in sacrifice because it was holy, but they were thrown the meat of animals torn by wild beasts because it was not holy (Exodus 22:31). Pigs were not to be used as food by the Israelites and, as a consequence, were not to be kept or fed (Leviticus 11:7-8). Jesus used dogs and pigs to represent people who are not worthy to receive anything sacred or anything as valuable as pearls.

What do the metaphors "sacred" and "pearls" mean? They both refer to God's word and especially the gospel message. The gospel message is very good and extremely valuable. Jesus is saying that one should not give the very good and very valuable message to those people who will not receive it or appreciate it. Although we should not judge people, we should discern whether or not they will accept the gospel.

What does the metaphor "trample them under their feet" mean? It refers to the rejection, ridicule, and mocking of the gospel by the people who will not receive or appreciate it. And "tear you to pieces" refers to the personal enmity and opposition of these people toward the people who give it to them.

In Matthew 7:6 Jesus is telling us that there is no obligation on our part to preach the gospel to people we know will not receive it or appreciate it. We should not judge them, but we need to be discerning. Proverbs 23:9 says, "Do not speak to fools, for they will scorn your prudent words."

Bible in a Year
Old Testament Reading
2 Kings 23, 24, 25

2 Kings 23 -- Josiah Renews the Covenant and Passover; Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim Follow


2 Kings 24 -- Jehoiakim; Deportation to Babylon; Jehoiachin; Zedekiah


2 Kings 25 -- Nebuchadnezzar's Siege, Burning and Plunder of Jerusalem; Jehoiachin's Release


New Testament Reading
John 7:1-31

John 7 -- Jesus Teaches at the Feast of Tabernacles; Diverse Opinions of Him among the People


Reading Plan Courtesy of Christian Classics Etherial Library.
Tyndale Life Application Daily Devotion
And some of the wise will fall victim to persecution. In this way, they will be refined and cleansed and made pure until the time of the end, for the appointed time is still to come.
God's messenger described a time of trial when even wise believers may stumble. This could mean (1) falling into sin, (2) being fearful and losing faith, (3) mistakenly following wrong teaching, or (4) experiencing severe suffering and martyrdom.
If we persevere in our faith, any such experience will only refine us and make us stronger. Are you facing trials? Recognize them as opportunities to strengthen your faith. If we remain steadfast in these experiences, we will be stronger in our faith and closer to God.
Morning and Evening by Spurgeon
1 Kings 19:4  And he requested for himself that he might die.

It was a remarkable thing that the man who was never to die, for whom God had ordained an infinitely better lot, the man who should be carried to heaven in a chariot of fire, and be translated, that he should not see death--should thus pray, "Let me die, I am no better than my fathers." We have here a memorable proof that God does not always answer prayer in kind, though he always does in effect. He gave Elias something better than that which he asked for, and thus really heard and answered him. Strange was it that the lion-hearted Elijah should be so depressed by Jezebel's threat as to ask to die, and blessedly kind was it on the part of our heavenly Father that he did not take his desponding servant at his word. There is a limit to the doctrine of the prayer of faith. We are not to expect that God will give us everything we choose to ask for. We know that we sometimes ask, and do not receive, because we ask amiss. If we ask for that which is not promised--if we run counter to the spirit which the Lord would have us cultivate--if we ask contrary to his will, or to the decrees of his providence--if we ask merely for the gratification of our own ease, and without an eye to his glory, we must not expect that we shall receive. Yet, when we ask in faith, nothing doubting, if we receive not the precise thing asked for, we shall receive an equivalent, and more than an equivalent, for it. As one remarks, "If the Lord does not pay in silver, he will in gold; and if he does not pay in gold, he will in diamonds." If he does not give you precisely what you ask for, he will give you that which is tantamount to it, and that which you will greatly rejoice to receive in lieu thereof. Be then, dear reader, much in prayer, and make this evening a season of earnest intercession, but take heed what you ask.

Daily Light on the Daily Path
Philippians 1:5  in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.

1 Corinthians 12:12,13  For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. • For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

1 Corinthians 1:9  God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

1 John 1:3  what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.

1 John 1:7  but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

John 17:1,20,21  Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, • "I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; • that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.

New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. For Permission to Quote Information visit http://www.lockman.org.

Morning May 19
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