11 As a dog returns to its vomit,
so fools repeat their folly.
This is a rather unpleasant verse, but Solomon has a great truth here for us.
Ever seen your dog go outside and munch on grass? He hasn't suddenly turned over a new leaf and taken up vegetarianism . . . something is troubling his stomach, and he wants relief. The grass will make him vomit, and then his tummy will stop bothering him.
But, yeah, he will sometimes go right back and ingest what was hurting his stomach, and go through the whole process again.
Thank you, Solomon.
Actually, yes, thank you Solomon. You have illustrated for us a concept that we need to be aware of, as we try to witness to and minister to others. If an unsaved person, a sinner, a fool as it were, tries to tell us that he has figured out just what his problem is --- and he will never go back to the problem again, just remember this verse. It will help you understand.
Without God's grace, that person will continue to be pulled in again and again by the particular sin that is his "folly." It may be alcohol, or it may be drugs. It could be the crowd that he/she wants to run with. It could be sexual sin, or it could be gambling. The list of possibilities is as long as the years that Satan has been roaming this earth, "seeking whom he may devour." (I Peter 5:8)
The person may muster up an extra dose of will-power. They may have someone that they know, to hold them accountable. They may have a token or talisman in their pocket that will remind them of their determination to avoid that sin. They may be enrolled in an awesome self-help course that promises results.
But when that accountability-friend is not there, or their will-power wanes, there they go again . . . back to that same sin that they swore they'd avoid.
Sometimes they are facing personal catastrophe; sometimes they are hurting the family that loves them; sometimes they are disillusioning their peers. It's just human nature, they say. I can't help it.
And you know what? They are right. They can't.
The Person who can help is our Father God; He can change them. He can make them a new creature, and give them hope, and guide them. As long as he/she stops trying to do it himself!
If that sinner will trust in Christ, and get into His word -- then wait on the Lord to lead, then they will experience success.
Don't jump out ahead of God, for you will make the same mistakes as before -- Wait on the Lord to lead you, for His timing is perfect. Even if it seems like it will take "forever" He will guide you, through His word and your prayer life.
Don't trust yourself . . . trust Him.
If you are ministering to someone who is in this destructive cycle, try to remember this, and be compassionate to them as you try to witness.