I have always loved dogs, often finding some wayward stray to welcome unannounced into my home, irritating not only my parents, but later in life, my husband. I then passed the gift of pooch rescue on to my son, who was always on the lookout for some sappy stray to re-home. Dogs are faithful friends, protective, and loyal. However, my affection for dogs took a nosedive recently when a neighboring household added two Rottweiler puppies to their home. Those dogs grew into vicious pack-hunters, stalking their prey with uncanny precision and ruthlessness. For a brief time, those dogs were allowed to roam our neighborhood unconstrained, wreaking havoc on anyone or anything unfortunate enough to wander through their territory. After personally experiencing a few close calls with those creatures, including a bike accident caused by their territorial stalking, the neighbor was forced to fence in those dogs so as to prevent any future injury to an innocent bystander.
Although I’m sure that the Holy Spirit was not referring to my neighborhood meanies, the apostle Paul does sternly warn us to “Beware of dogs.” Most dogs in the ancient eastern cultures lacked masters, roaming the streets and fields, devouring whatever they could find to survive, even corpses. They were often chained before the door of a Roman home to pose a threat, appointed to guard the home. They were considered ceremonially unclean, and to call someone a dog was an expression of contempt. Paul, when referring to dogs, is warning of those false teachers who were attempting to set aside the great doctrines of Christ, to cut and to mutilate salvation’s free gift, and to corrupt the gospel with legalism or profaneness. Even Jesus warned not to take “the children’s bread, and cast it to dogs.”
Centuries prior to Paul’s time, Isaiah would issue a similar warning, referring to the watchmen of Israel as “dumb dogs, they cannot bark, loving to slumber.” These watchmen, or pastors over God’s people, were knowingly “blind” to the sins of the nation, apathetic, indifferent, and unfaithful. They failed to “bark” God’s warnings, to guard and to defend the cause of truth for the people of God. They were ineffective and lax; they slumbered while the nation wallowed in iniquity. And God was not pleased.
Beware of dogs in YOUR life. Be cautious of anyone or anything that sows discord in your Christian life, attempts to pull you away from your foundation of truth by mixing in falsehood. Reject anything that adds to the completed work of Christ on Calvary, or subtracts from His mercy and grace. But also be on guard for lax leadership, those given the charge over God’s children, but who refuse to warn and to guide the flock of God faithfully. Stay true to truth!
Philippians 3:2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.
Lord, keep me aware of those who would draw me away from You. Help me to beware of those dogs who would lessen the great gift of grace accomplished by You in my stead.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-1307-6332dc48e7093' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=1307&origin=grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-1307-6332dc48e7093' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-1307-6332dc48e7093' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>