The Holy and the Profane

Have you ever shopped for jewelry? I have no interest in jewelry, myself. In spite of this, a question from a sister helped me to see an important object lesson in a jewelry store. Do we properly distinguish between the holy and the profane? Which is more valuable: a ruby or God’s Word?

An Object Lesson in Jewels

When someone shops for jewelry, they are free to browse around and look at the various gems behind protective glass. The sales clerk will likely offer to help them shop. However, unless the customer requests it, the clerk is not going to take one out for a closer look. Even when the customer does ask to see, say, a ruby ring, the clerk will take it out themselves and hold it up carefully for the customer to look closer. They only let the customer try it on if they seem very likely to buy it.

Why? Because of the great value of gold, silver, and jewels. Not only is there a high risk of theft—that would be bad enough! But if all and sundry could freely pick them up whenever they wanted, they could easily smear, tarnish, or even damage those precious jewels.

Separating the Holy from the Profane

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

— Matthew 7:6

The Bible is full of precious truths more valuable than any ruby, pearl, or even pure gold. It is the holy Word of the great Jehovah. Do we at least handle its sacred pages with as much care as a hired clerk does a diamond? Or do we push our jewels into the hands of the profane and careless multitude—the scoffers, jesters and doubters? Do we ourselves open up those sacred pages with awe and reverence? Or do we read it as any other book?

Her priests have violated My Law, and have profaned Mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they showed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from My sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.

— Ezekiel 22:26

Where Is Our Humility?

Please consider these words from the pen of inspiration. Do we really consider what it means to study the holy Word of God? Do we realize that we are entering into His presence when we open those sacred pages?

God desires man to exercise his reasoning powers; and the study of the Bible will strengthen and elevate the mind as no other study can. Yet we are to beware of deifying reason, which is subject to the weakness and infirmity of humanity. If we would not have the Scriptures clouded to our understanding, so that the plainest truths shall not be comprehended, we must have the simplicity and faith of a little child, ready to learn, and beseeching the aid of the Holy Spirit. A sense of the power and wisdom of God, and of our inability to comprehend His greatness, should inspire us with humility, and we should open His word, as we would enter His presence, with holy awe. When we come to the Bible, reason must acknowledge an authority superior to itself, and heart and intellect must bow to the great I AM.

— E.G. White, Steps to Christ, pp. 109-110

This Is a Solemn Matter

Let us remember the holiness of God’s Word, my brothers and sisters. Let us come to the Scriptures with awe and humility to learn. And especially let us remember how precious are these truths that have been provided to us by the blood of the Son of God (and many martyrs) whenever we share them with others. Let us ask God for wisdom to know when someone shows real interest in the truth—and how much we should share with them—and when a person would just profane that which is holy. Beloved, let us all follow the counsel of the apostle:

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.

— 1 Peter 3:15

Amanda

Hi! I'm Amanda Bokovoy. So glad you have come to read this little article. May it bless you and help you to grow in spirit!

5 thoughts on “The Holy and the Profane

  • October 25, 2020 at 8:17 am
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    Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

    — Matthew 7:6

    I have always wondered exactly what Jesus meant by these verses. Will you explain.

    I am thinking He is saying do not give the gospel to anyone that does not want it but if that is true what about say; homosexual.? They don’t realize they need the truth until someone presents it to them. Please help me with this teaching.

    Reply
    • October 26, 2020 at 7:30 pm
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      Excellent question! Conveniently, Sister White directly addresses this statement in her book Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings.

      “Jesus here refers to a class who have no desire to escape from the slavery of sin. By indulgence in the corrupt and vile their natures have become so degraded that they cling to the evil and will not be separated from it. The servants of Christ should not allow themselves to be hindered by those who would make the gospel only a matter of contention and ridicule.

      “But the Saviour never passed by one soul, however sunken in sin, who was willing to receive the precious truths of heaven. To publicans and harlots His words were the beginning of a new life. Mary Magdalene, out of whom He cast seven devils, was the last at the Saviour’s tomb and the first whom He greeted in the morning of His resurrection. It was Saul of Tarsus, one of the most determined enemies of the gospel, who became Paul the devoted minister of Christ. Beneath an appearance of hatred and contempt, even beneath crime and degradation, may be hidden a soul that the grace of Christ will rescue to shine as a jewel in the Redeemer’s crown.” (Pages 129-130)

      Of course, the problem is recognizing the difference, isn’t it? We are told that we will know people by their fruits. Note how she ended the first paragraph: “those who would make the gospel only a matter of contention and ridicule”. It is one thing to deal with someone who does not know the gospel, and quite another to deal with one who mocks and derides the gospel. Many Hindus in India think they hate Christians, but completely change their minds when their GOD miraculously saves them from some terrible illness or curse. Many homosexuals think they hate GOD because they’ve been told over and over again by “Christians” that He hates them! But if they then meet Christians that teach them, first by example and then by words, that He actually loves them, that might just change the story.

      However, if one meets a kind, loving Christian, and mocks their meekness as weakness, or hears precious Bible truths and mocks the messenger as a “Bible thumper” or derides them as a “heretic”, I would conclude that is a person in the dog/swine category. It may be that GOD can still arrest that person in their path and bring about a conversion, but we are most likely to be wasting our time to try to share the gospel with them. Intercessory prayer is the best—probably even the only—tool to reach such a heart.

      Does that help?

      Reply
  • October 27, 2020 at 5:56 am
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    Yes it helps a lot. I have found myself in the position where the Holy spirit revealed it would be a waste of time to present the gospel to certain people. My son being one of them I am afraid. I follow my guide and keep going.

    I thought your reply is what He meant but I was not absolutely sure. Now I am, Thank you

    Reply
    • October 27, 2020 at 8:25 pm
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      Praise the LORD for giving me the answer you needed! 🙂

      Reply
  • October 31, 2020 at 3:42 pm
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    Wow ,Lisa and I have similar experience. Last summer I went on vacation with my Brother and one of his stepsons . And we got into a conversation about the bible and my Brother and Mark (well versed in the bible words) both argued agents it.Marks answer was that the bible has been changed so often it no longer the word of God, and Ed just will not read it or believe in it even thou he says he believes in God and that as long as he does not hurt anyone thats good enough for him. I read but am not able to retain it for that reason I am not able to verbalize my understanding of it. But because of that experience I understood this lesson and can understand what Lisa is going through. And I to appreciate your answer to her , it helped me to understand it as well.

    Reply

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