Author Archives: Anthony Baker

About Anthony Baker

Husband, dad, pastor/preacher/teacher, musician, and Time Magazine's Person of The Year in 2006 (no joke!). Loves coffee (big time), good movies, and sarcastic humor. Currently pursuing a Doctorate of Ministry. Most importantly, a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. All glory belongs to Him!

He Met a Harlot

Proverbs 7:10

“And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.”

Simple Observations

I am sure that much could be said about this verse, but I would like to make some simple observations.

First Observation. “And, behold, there met him…” Believe it or not, there are some places a man, much more a Christian man, should never go. This applies to the women, also. There are places such as bars, strip clubs, night clubs, and chicken wing places with servers wearing next to nothing, that invite not only temptation, but leave one open to attack.

Notice, the young man went to a place “near her corner,” next to her house, in the dark, and late at night (7:8-9). Folks, when you walk into a spider’s lair, expect her to come out to meet you. She’s looking for you.

Second Observation. “with the attire of a harlot” Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages, there are ways to dress that are decent, and then there are ways to dress that make you look like a hooker. Why is this so hard for some to understand?

The whole idea, here, is that there is a woman on the prowl, and she has dressed herself in such a way to lure a man to his doom. If it didn’t matter how one dressed, then it wouldn’t have meant anything for Solomon to point out the obvious. But Solomon did point out that what this dangerous woman was wearing was typical of her trade.

Men, stay away from any woman who dresses in such a way that intentionally makes your eyes wander. Women, when you dress provocatively, you send a message that is ungodly. Parents, shame on you if you let your little girl leave the house looking like a prostitot!

Third Observation. “subtle of heart” I was curious about the use of the word “subtle.” According to one online dictionary*, “subtle” means “not loud, bright, noticeable or obvious in any way.” This didn’t seem consistent with what I was reading. There’s nothing much “subtle” about a woman who goes out into the dark wearing clothes that look like a harlot. So, I dug deeper.

It seems that the word translated “subtle” is the Hebrew word natsar**, which means “to guard, watch over, keep.” In other words, “subtle of heart” means something like, “you don’t know how hard, cold, and wounded her heart is.” She will never let you know the pain she hides, but she will unleash it on the fool she finds in the dark.

 

*Source: http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/subtle

**”Hebrew Lexicon :: H5341 (KJV).” Blue Letter Bible. Accessed 7 Nov, 2013. http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H5341&t=KJV

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Never Underestimate Jealousy

Proverbs 6:34-35

“For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance. He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts.”

These two verses are stocked full of practical insight which is lost on the man who fools around with a married woman. The wisdom of Solomon should be heeded, for nothing good comes from making a married man jealous. But there is also wisdom to be had for the woman.

Foolish Games

I recently read an article on a website called Selfgrowth.com entitled “How to Make a Guy Jealous – 5 Teasing Ways to Make Him Want You More.” In that article, written for girls, the writer suggests that “jealousy can also be good – just as long as it’s not destructive.” Really, what kind of wisdom is that? Well, I guess one should consider the source. Just read the author’s bio:

“Steffi Hall is a seduction and attraction expert who teaches men how to attract and pick up beautiful women. As a former model who has been sought after by many men, Steffi has the experience in passing on the skill of attraction, since she was a target of many men herself. There is no better teacher then the target itself, learn from the source.”

Do verses 25 and 26 of this chapter ring a bell? Why would anyone want to learn about relationships from a self-proclaimed seducer? How wise is it to tell your current man “about your other guy friends and what you usually do when you hangout,” or how your ex “was such a great kisser?”

Jealousy is a foolish game to play, for jealousy often leads to rage.

Rage Against Fools

Proverbs 6:27 and 28 talk about getting “burned.” Verse 33 talks about getting “wounds.” No wonder Solomon says in verse 32 that a man who commits adultery with a woman “lacketh understanding.” Aside from having no “heart,” the man is a fool. Does he ever stop to consider that the husband may want revenge?

I have personally known of several men who had their wives betray them.  In one of those cases the husband killed the adulterer and the adulteress with a shotgun. In another, the husband killed his wife, then himself. The rage that results from being betrayed by a spouse in very dangerous, and in these two cases what Solomon warned came to pass – the husbands did not “spare in the day of vengeance.”

Fool’s Gold

Even if adultery doesn’t end in murder, it usually ends in divorce. What kind of fool thinks he can lay with another man’s wife and then smooth everything over with money and gifts? Evidently, some do. Some think they can bribe themselves out of any situation.

Solomon warns that a jealous man is one who cannot be bought off or placated with money or things. If money can’t buy love, it can’t replace love betrayed.


The Heartless Thief

Proverbs 6:32-33

“But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away.”

In verses 30 and 31 Solomon talked about a starving man. He said, “Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry.” But there is a huge difference between a man who will steal food and a man who will steal another’s wife.

Difficult Words

I have lost track of how many times I have written and deleted words, sentences, and whole paragraphs. Finding the right words for today’s “thought” has proven quite difficult. Why is that? Could it be because it’s late as I write this? Could it be that I am in a writer’s slump? Should I have let Jason Sneed write this post, instead?

Maybe the real reason I am having a hard time finding the right words is linked to verse 33. My disgust for the sin of adultery is making it hard for me to remain calm. Thinking about the excuses so many give for this crime makes me sick. Unlike the man who steals food to survive (v. 30), men do despise the adulterer.

No Heart

What kind of man commits adultery? Many do it because they say they couldn’t help themselves. Many blame others for their sin. But if the truth be known, an intriging word in verse 32 may hold a vital clue. That word is “understanding.”

When I asked my wife to describe for me what she thought “lacketh understanding” meant, she said, “An adulterer is a person who doesn’t understand what he is doing – he doesn’t comprehend the consequences – he’s clueless.” Yet, when I went to the original languages I found something else.

The word translated “understanding” in verse 32 is the Hebrew word leb (Strong’s H3820). More often than not, this word is used to describe the “inner part” of man, such as his heart, his soul, or his conscience. As a matter of fact, out of the 593 times this word is found in the Authorized Version, it is translated “understanding” only 10 times. It is translated “heart” 508 times.

What my wife suggested may be true, but it may also be true that an adulterer, a man that takes another man’s wife, is a man that has no “heart.” In other words, he doesn’t care who he hurts. All he cares about is getting what he wants – not what he needs.

Is it any wonder this man is worthy of dishonor and reproach?

Final Thought

Not all crimes deserve the same punishment. And even thought sin is sin, the consequences are not all the same. Galatians 6:7 says, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Stealing bread and stealing sex are totally different seeds.


Understandable Thievery

Proverbs 6:30-31

“Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry; But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house.”
Recap

Over the last 6 verses we have seen instruction dealing with a “whorish” woman, stuff related to walking on fire, and sleeping with hot coals. Who said the Bible was boring?

All in all, we have read nothing but warnings detailing the dangers of an “evil” woman. As a matter of fact, Solomon made it clear that the commandments of a father and the laws of a mother (6:20) were to be worn around the neck (6:21) specifically for the purpose of protecting one from a sweet-talking hussy (6:24; “hussy” was my word, not Solomon’s).

So, why is it that we now read of a hungry man stealing food? Well, as we will see, the purpose is to contrast a legitimate need and an understandable crime with an illegitimate desire and a crime that has no excuse – adultery.

Hunger

I have never gone more than a day and a half without food, so when it comes to the gnawing pains of true hunger I am not an expert. I have experienced hunger pangs, which are short reminders that our body wants to be fed really soon. However, I have never experienced the physical and emotional terrors that come as a result of literal starvation.

From everything I have read, hunger can drive sane men and women crazy. Hunger can make men do just about anything to survive, including eating things that would normally cause one to vomit. I’ve even been told that hunger is one of the most painful ways to die.

Is it any wonder, then, why some men would stoop to stealing food? If it meant the difference between life or death; if one’s body was convulsed by pain, eating its own tissue for energy; who could blame a normally law-abiding citizen for illegally taking another’s food?

Wrong, but not Hated

Solomon said “men do not despise a thief” if he steals because he’s hungry. He doesn’t excuse stealing, but acknowledges that sometimes a man’s hunger can make him do regrettable things. This type of man is to be pitied, not despised. At least his need was legitimate, and his crime understandable.

If we were to despise anyone, we should despise those who won’t give to the poor, or charge so much that the poor are forced to steal. Don’t hate the man who is just trying to survive.

Still a Crime

Stealing, however, for whatever reason, is still stealing, and a price must be paid. A crime is still a crime. That is why, even though a man be hungry, breaking God’s commandment (thou shalt not steal) must have consequences.

It should be noted, though, that when we force others into doing wrong, we are also guilty of the same crime. Many people are hungry only because others are greedy and selfish.

If you would like to donate to help feed the hungry, click here.


Dangerous Eyes

Proverbs 6:25

“Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.”

Blink Like an Egyptian

When I think of seductive eyes, I think of Susanna Hoffs. Her name might not ring a bell with a lot of people these days, but back in the 80’s she had everybody walking “like an Egyptian.” In the last few second of a music video, Susanna Hoffs, lead singer for The Bangles, paused, looked side to side, and made every red-blooded male swoon (and buy records, cassette tapes, and posters).

It was amazing…no music…no seductive clothing showing…just those eyes. Susanna Hoffs reminded the world how powerful they can be.

A Little Irony

The above verse contains a very ironic twist: the eyes of the deceived are taken by the eyes of the deceiver. Do you see it? When we lust after someone, we fall victim to a trap set for our eyes. In this case, the eyes are the bait.

It is so dangerous to lust after a woman. Yet, we live in a culture that depends on lust to make billions of dollars every year. Seductive beauty is everywhere, and hard to avoid. But avoid it we must! It is in the moment of lusting we run the danger of eye contact. When she sees us looking, she looks back, and it’s over.

Real Danger

Believe it or not, do a quick search on the internet and you’ll find plenty of instructions for seducing with the eyes. “How to Seduce Someone Using Only Your Eyes: 6 Steps” and “Eye Seduction Secrets” are only a fraction of the links available. Obviously, there are plenty of women who want that info.

One suggestion in WikiHow reads, “Spend about 20 minutes a day or more practicing this in front of a mirror. The look you want in your eyes could best be described as ‘intense’. Think lustful thoughts…” Isn’t that sad? Some women are spending far more time each day practicing the art of seduction than most men ever spend in God’s Word. Is it any wonder why so many fall prey to their “eyelids?”

Decide Now

Men (and women), we need to be more like Job in the Old Testament. We need to decide beforehand what we allow our eyes to see. We should avoid people, places, and things that tempt us to lust. We should also know our weaknesses. But like Job, we should make “a covenant with [our] eyes not to look with lust at a young woman [or man].” – Job 31:1 NLT

When we don’t decide early on, that is when we are subject to fall. And as we will see in the next few verses, a fool falls hard.


A False Witness

Proverbs 6:19a

“[These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:] … A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

Slander

“The slanderer is amongst the greatest of social curses. He robs his fellow creature of his greatest treasure – his own reputation, and the loving confidence of his friends.” – Joseph S. Exell*, 1905.

Daniel Webster (1828 dictionary) called slander “that worst of poisons.” And that is what the above verse is speaking of – poison that destroys reputations, confidence, and even lives.

No Weapons Needed

My little ninja daughter and a ninja friend.

If you were to ask me to paint a picture in my mind of the perfect assassin, all I would need is a little black paint. On my mental canvas I would paint a Ninja warrior, armed to the teeth with swords, shuriken, darts, spiked gloves, and smoke grenades. As far as I know, ninja are the elite of stealthy killers.

Then again, I wouldn’t necessarily have to paint my ninja with weapons in hand. His hands are weapons to themselves. A ninja can slay 50 people with his pinky finger – just ask Chuck Norris.

But in reality, no assassin is more evil than “a false witness that speaketh lies.” No secret killer is more deadly than one who slanders the reputation of another. The slanderer needs no weapons, not even hands, to wipe out multiple lives. All he/she has to do is speak.

Totally Opposite

In the book of Genesis we can read the story of creation. In the book of John we can read even more…

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” – John 1:1-3 KJV

The Word created everything that is. When there was absolutely nothing, not even time, Jesus, the Word of God made flesh (John 1:18), turned nothing into everything. He created. He brought life. He made life.On the other hand, the one who bears false witness does nothing but destroy with every word that comes from his/her mouth. What a contrast! Is it any wonder why God abhors this person?

“If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.” – James 1:26 KJV

“For the Scriptures say, “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies.” – 1 Peter 3:10 NLT

Granny’s Advice

I think my granny may have actually met Solomon. She always said, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Maybe Granny was right.

*Exell, Joseph S. The Biblical Illustrator, (New York: F. H. Revell, 1905), 170.

Swift to Mischief

Proverbs 6:18b

“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,”
Thinking of Nugget

I was sitting and thinking about the above verse, the one about “swift feet” running to mischief, and one thing came to mind – our little dog, Nugget.

Nugget is a little Chorkie (Chihuahua/Yorkie) with a desire to run, and run, and run. Not only does he like to run, but he likes to run away! Any time he can get out of the house without a leash, Katie bar the door (which is ironic, because if Katie had barred the door, he wouldn’t have gotten out).

Normally, when we let Nug out on a long string, even though he has 50 ft., it’s not enough. As a matter of fact, he could run all over our front yard, but he doesn’t. Usually, he just looks sad and depressed. He knows what lies just out of reach – freedom.

“I’m Free!”

When Nugget gets loose, his little feet turn into a blur as he tears up the grass. Like a little streak of furry lightning he takes off for the back yard, to the same place, right where there’s a hole in the neighbor’s fence. Believe me, he knows he’s not supposed to go out of our yard, but the temptation to play with bigger dogs is too much.

When he does get loose, a tiny smile becomes visible, exposing his tiny little underbite, as his feet run swiftly to mischief. Freedom from restraint causes him to bark, “I’m free!” as I begin to chase him through the neighborhood (in our car).

Yard Dogs

My dad used to have a saying. Whenever he talked about people who had no moral restraint, especially in the area of promiscuity, he would say, “They’re no different than a bunch of yard dogs.” In his mind he equated people who run to sin with dogs having no restraint, no morals, and an animalistic desire to fulfill the flesh.

Surely the above verse applies to those who, like Nugget, like a dog, are immediately drawn to cross every boundary. Like “yard dogs,” people with feet that are “swift in running to mischief” do so no matter how much the Master calls. Is it any wonder why He gets disgusted?

“I’m Constrained”

The difference between an unbeliever who runs to evil, and a Christian who doesn’t, can be found in the words of the Apostle Paul: “the love of Christ constrains me” (2 Cor. 5:14).

When a person truly makes Jesus Christ Lord of his life, he no longer needs to be tied down by external restraints. He doesn’t need a leash around his neck – there’s a leash in his heart (Jer. 31:33). The Christian, reflecting upon the manifested love of Christ (1 John 4:9), keeps his feet planted on righteous soil.

When the big dogs call; when there’s a hole in the fence; when we are tempted to run to mischief; the love of God within our hearts cries, “I’m constrained! I’m constrained!” Without a leash, we play with our Master in fields of grace.

He loves that.

UPDATE: Nugget disappeared in August of 2017. He is still greatly missed by all.