A Dog Returns to His Vomit


“As a dog returns to his own vomit, So a fool repeats his folly.” (Prov. 26:11).

Can I be honest with you? That Proverb presents us with a disturbingly graphic picture. Whenever I hear it, it reminds me of when I was a junior high boy, watching my little black dog Sammy do that very thing. My dog had just thrown up, and now it was sitting there eating its own vomit. It was disgusting! I wonder why Solomon used this imagery in his Proverb? Matthew Henry, that great commentator of the Bible, had this to say about that Scripture:

“What an abominable thing sin is, and how hateful sometimes it is made to appear, even to the sinner himself. When his conscience is convinced, or he feels smart from his sin, he is sick of it, and vomits it up; he seems then to detest it and to be willing to part with it. It is in itself, and, first or last, will be to the sinner, more loathsome than the vomit of a dog, Ps. 36:2. How apt sinners are to relapse into it notwithstanding. As the dog, after he has gained ease by vomiting that which burdened his stomach, yet goes and licks it up again, so sinners, who have been convinced only and not converted, return to sin again, forgetting how sick it made them.” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary).

In the New Testament, the Apostle Peter quoted this Proverb in his first letter. He wrote: “And when people escape from the wicked ways of the world by learning about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up with sin and become its slave again, they are worse off than before. It would be better if they had never known the right way to live than to know it and then reject the holy commandments that were given to them. They make these proverbs come true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and “A washed pig returns to the mud.” (1 Peter 2:20-22).

Even the Apostle Paul could relate to this struggle with sin. He said, “I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate.” (Romans 7:15). So what can we do so that we don’t return to that sin that so easily ensnares us? How can we keep from returning, like a washed pig, back to the mud? Paul writes: “Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 7:25).

If you want to keep from falling back into sin, “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2). We need to renew our minds by God’s Word if we want to be transformed into a new person! So get into God’s Word. Read your Bible. Study your Bible. And most importantly, hide God’s Word in your heart, and it will help to keep you from sin. Someone said once that either sin will keep you from the Bible, or the Bible will keep you from sin. Get into the Word today, and be transformed!


(Note – the above photo is a pic of our King Charles Cavalier Spaniel – Cooper).

Pastor Chris Jordan



About Chris Jordan

Husband. Father. Author. Pastor. High School Bible Teacher. Follower of Jesus. And I enjoy a good cup of coffee!
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