The pig is also unclean; although it has a divided hoof, it does not chew the cud. You are not to eat their meat or touch their carcasses.
- Deuteronomy 14:8
Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.
- Proverbs 11:22
This is what the Lord says:
“Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool.
Where is the house you will build for me?
Where will my resting place be?
Has not my hand made all these things,
and so they came into being?”
declares the Lord.
“These are the ones I look on with favor:
those who are humble and contrite in spirit,
and who tremble at my word.
But whoever sacrifices a bull
is like one who kills a person,
and whoever offers a lamb
is like one who breaks a dog’s neck;
whoever makes a grain offering
is like one who presents pig’s blood,
and whoever burns memorial incense
is like one who worships an idol.
They have chosen their own ways,
and they delight in their abominations;
so I also will choose harsh treatment for them
and will bring on them what they dread.
For when I called, no one answered,
when I spoke, no one listened.
They did evil in my sight
and chose what displeases me.”
- Isaiah 66:1-4
When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!”
Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”
“My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.
A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.
- Mark 5:6-13
“There is nothing progressive about being pigheaded and refusing to admit a mistake.”
- C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
As for the Scriptures, if you do a search of pig, you get 33 references to pig in the NIV, but 12 of those, 11 of the 17 in the Old Testament, refer to pigeons, only 21 refer to pigs. The twelfth reference to pigeon, the one in the New Testament, is in Luke 2 as a quote from the Old Testament, the sacrifice (either two doves or two pigeons) made by Joseph and Mary at the Temple, signifying that they were poor when they presented Jesus according to Levitical Law.
But as for the pigs, they had split hooves but did not chew the cud, thus unclean. So, having 21 references to pigs is remarkable, but do not be shocked. Have you ever heard of pigs? Sorry, have you ever heard of a herd of pigs? When you realize that the story of the “Legion” of demons that was cast out is in all three synoptic Gospels, cast into a herd of pigs, that demands much of the references, and then you must add the prodigal son feeding pigs. Yes, the Bible does not say many things about pigs, and none of the words kindly.
I seem to be in a mood for confession lately. The C. S. Lewis quote brings one aspect to mind. I could have taken the quote and written pages about the secular progressives and how they are pigheadedly regressive and bent on the destruction of our government as it now exists. As a sworn upholder of the Constitution, I take offense to the direction our elected leaders have gone. Socialism has failed in the past and the only ones that Socialism benefited were those in power, but I will leave that thought for others to expand upon.
I refer to my own pigheadedness. My parents taught me well, their 17th or 18th Century set of values. That was unkind. A few of their values may have been 19th Century, maybe even late 19th Century. Yet, living in the 20th and even a bit into the 21st Centuries. But I pigheadedly followed those values and some that I invented along the way that dovetailed modern thought on those subjects but stayed close to Biblical values.
Most of these values of my parents came from the King James Version of the Bible, and my father used such language right before he started to smite me. The KJV was first published in 1611, early in the 17th Century.
But I digress a bit, just for background. Hebrews 13 says that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever, so why not use KJV values? The methods may change, but the values should not.
But I confess because God gave me the responsibility of being a loving father to my two boys. God wanted me to show my boys His Love. I think I failed. Especially in the mercy department – thus my pigheadedness.
My wife told me within the past few days that I was not a Christian when we live in South Carolina. I immediately protested, but I saw, in part, what she meant. During those ten years, when my boys went from being 4 and 1 years old to being 14 and 11 years old, I had my world turned upside down. While everything prior to that time, I had the Midas touch, during those ten years, I was the chosen scape goat. I was blamed for countless projects that failed, including projects where I was not assigned and had no knowledge of them. I think my employment jacket had a red ribbon attached that said, “In Case of Emergency… blame this guy.”
In spite of a career destruction beyond my control – while working as the department head of several departments at the same time at one point – I was a deacon in the church for three years, chairman of the board the last year and founding board member of an inner city mission; I listened to an audio Bible to and from work every day, a 45 minute drive each way; and I felt that God had led me to the local Scouting organization to help and encourage others for the last seven of those ten years. There are many Christians that could not claim such things.
But I was not doing God’s perfect will for my life. I got a glimpse of what that might be. I turned to my brother, an ordained minister, and I suggested that the two of us could write as a team and develop Sunday school material. His response was, “Are you insane?!?!?!” But now, after my brother’s passing, I am doing something similar without his help.
Because my wife was not a fully aware Christian until about ten years after we left South Carolina, maybe she was unable to see Christ within me during those years, or maybe my frustration at work led to the quiet moments that only the family saw where I kept asking God, “Why?!?!”
I loved the Lord. I trusted the Lord. But why did it seem everything that I touched turned into mud and trickled through my fingers? Why was I never given an earthly reward for all my diligence and faithfulness?
I can look back and see why. God wanted me to be a blogger and “blogging” and “blogs” had not been invented yet.
But when you grow from 4 to 14 or from 1 to 11 years old, you do not see this spiritual battle. Your world centers around yourself and how the problems of others, like your parents, affect you. All you see is Daddy calling out to God and God turning a deaf ear.
My younger son came to a saving knowledge of Jesus in college, when his friends strong armed him into the car and took him to a weekend retreat. I had nothing to do with that. Our younger son found Jesus in spite of me.
God is not the grandfather who loves seeing children having fun, at least most of the time He is not. I think that is a loose C. S. Lewis quote. God guides us, those who love Him, where He needs us, and sometimes when we have no notion that God is manipulating things at the time. I weep for those whom I may have shown the wrong side of that coin.
God, forgive me of my sins and thank you for showing me how to forgive those who have treated me unfairly over the years. Touch their hearts so that they can know You, too. Amen.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.