Category Archives: Fools

Playing With Fire

Proverbs 6:27-29

“Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned? So he that goeth in to his neighbour’s wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.”

Playing With Fire

Do you remember how the king of the monkeys in The Jungle Book wanted to learn the secret of man’s red fire? Like the monkey king I used to be fascinated by fire when I was a child. I just loved to strike matches and make fire. I especially enjoyed bonfires and always looked forward to the annual celebration of bonfire night on 5 November. Where I lived in Guernsey people from our road would meet at one of the vineries where there would be a massive bonfire, soup, hot dogs, and fireworks. Bonfire night was a real treat for the kids, but we were always warned to keep a safe distance from the fire and not to pick up the remnants of any fireworks. Our parents knew the dangers and taught us that if we played with fire we would probably get burned.

Desire

Desire is no different to fire. If you desire the wife or husband of another person and surrender to your desire you will get burned. The problem is that fire is hard to contain and inevitably causes devastation elsewhere. Images of firefighters trying to extinguish wild fires come to mind. In similar fashion extramarital activity usually causes untold damage to many lives.

No Immunity

The Church is not immune. Satan loves to mess up Christian marriages. Why else would such warnings be included in Scripture? God gave men and women a special gift. He intended it to be used within the boundaries of marriage. This was defined from the very beginning as ‘one man, one woman, together for life’ (Genesis 2:22-24).

I have watched first hand as friends have been tempted from their marriage partners, and I have witnessed the damage, much of it collateral. They always begin with excuses such as “I don’t think I ever loved her in the first place.” They talk themselves into believing that no one will be hurt. They tell friends that what they are doing is for the best. But these are not excuses, they are lies. It is inevitable that adults and children will be damaged by the pain and the hurt, that lives will disintegrate, and tears will flow.

If you play with fire you will get burned. But so will others. You have been warned.

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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.


Stay On the Path

Proverbs 5:21-23

“For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings. His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins. He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.”

Stay On the Good Path

There is a line in Disney’s “It’s A Bug’s Life” that to me describes these verses. It starts with two fire flies that are buzzing around a bug zapper. One of the bugs is headed straight into the bug zapper while the other is warning him to look away. The conversation continues with one bug saying “No, Harry, No – Don’t look at the light”. Harry responds, “I can’t help it, it’s so beautiful!” As soon as the word beautiful comes out of Harry’s mouth, you hear and see Harry being zapped by the bug zapper. (VIDEO)

God is yelling to us and warning us to stay on the good path and not be lead astray by our own folly!

God’s Eyes

There was a little chorus that I was taught when I was little. It says “O be careful little eyes what you see; O be careful little eyes what you see; for the Father up above is looking down with love; O be careful little eyes what you see!”

We need to always remember that God is watching our every step. Nothing takes him by surprise. Even those times when we think that no one is watching us or that no one will ever find out – GOD KNOWS! Our ways are before the eyes of the Lord.

Our Choice

Something that has always fascinated me is that we (man) have the freedom of choice. We have the freedom to chose to follow God or not to follow God. One of the things that I find intriguing about verse 22 is that when we make the decision not to follow God and His laws – we find ourselves in bondage.

Warren Wiersbe says this about the power of sin:

The cords of sin get stronger the more we sin, yet  sin deceives us into thinking we’re free and can quit sinning whenever we please. As the invisible chains of habit are forged, we discover to our horror that we don’t have the strength to breath them.

God again is yelling at us “No, no, don’t go down that road! Don’t let sin entrap you and keep you in bondage!

John 8:36 says “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed”. Only Jesus Christ can set us free from our bondage of sin!

Within thy circling power I stand;
On every side I find Thy hand;
Awake, asleep, at home, abroad,
I am surrounded still with God.

– Isaac Watts

Let’s surround ourselves with God each and every day and stay focused on Him!

Lord, we thank you for your instructions to help us keep our path straight. Help us each and every day to die to self and completely give our lives to you.


Deadly Lips

Proverbs 5:3-5

“For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: but her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.”

Still Relevant 

Many question the ability of a 3000 year old text to address the issues of modern life. They wonder how something written so long ago can have any relevance today. Yet, the wisdom of Proverbs came from the same Source that could see all of time in a glance.

The advice Solomon shared with his sons in these verses (and the next three) is as true today as it was back then. The siren song of a temptress can still woo a foolish, gullible man into the depths of hell.

Don’t Be Fooled

Unlike the modern intellectual who insists “perception is reality,” Solomon warns that false perception can kill. In effect he says, “Boys, don’t let a harlot fool you; she’s not what she seems.” In reality, her pucker is poison, and her “sweet nothing’s” a sword.

I’m reminded of the way Indians used to kill wolves. They would repeatedly dip a sharp knife in blood, freezing each layer, until the blade was completely covered. When a wolf smelled the blood it would find the popsicle and lick away. As its tongue became lacerated, its own blood made it lick more, until it bled to death.

In much the same way, a man’s desire for beautiful women is as natural as a wolf’s craving for blood. And because the Enemy knows our weaknesses, he places lipstick-covered blades in our path (and on our computer screens). Only wisdom can discern the danger.

Heed the Warning!

An old country song said, “If loving you is wrong, I don’t want to be right.” Sadly, that’s what many men say when captured by her spell. Translation: “Her lips are sweet; her mouth is smooth; and I will partake of her pleasures all the way to the grave.”

Oh, that men would heed this warning! Oh, that our sons would remember “favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain” (Prov. 31:30). A woman that feareth the Lord is not only worthy of praise, but she probably won’t poison, stab, and waltz you through the gates of hell.

I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman. For what has God above chosen for us? What is our inheritance from the Almighty on high? Isn’t it calamity for the wicked and misfortune for those who do evil? Doesn’t he see everything I do and every step I take?” – Job 31:1-4 NLT


Listen Up, Recruit!

Proverbs 4:10

“Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many.”

While pondering this verse, an image of older, more experienced men came to mind; men who have “been there and done that.”

The policeman

Street weary, he is wary of a new partner to train. He knows the rookie has been taught self-defense, state laws, patrol procedures, arrest techniques, and how to drive a squad car. But what the old cop also knows is that experience can’t be learned in a classroom.

“Listen, son,” the policeman says, “and pay attention to what I tell you; and you just might see retirement.”

The soldier

Only 22, in 6 months he has seen more than 6 lifetimes of pain. A new recruit, straight out of boot camp, is sent to fill a vacated spot. The young sergeant can tell the recruit is fit, equipped, and ready to defend his country. But the veteran also knows the terrain, the trails, the smells, and the sounds that are unique to his battlefield.

“Listen up, boy!” the vet growls. “If you want to live to read your first letter from Mom, pay attention to what I tell you.”

Solomon

“Listen to me, oh my son; take hold of what I am telling you.” Can you hear the warning in his words? Do you sense he knows something his son does not? Is it possible Solomon has walked down roads his son has not yet traveled? Yes, and more than likely it was he who recorded his experiences in the book of Ecclesiastes.

Wisdom calls out to us. The message is clear: listen, and live.

Self

Yet, self has to have its own way. It chooses what feels good and cries out, “If loving you is wrong, I don’t want to be right.” Self says, “I’ll do it my way.” And with no view toward the future, self concludes life is too short to be burdened by the warnings of old fools.

So, black bands continue to be place on badges; helmets still get placed on the butts of rifles; and parents still find themselves living longer than their children. Oh, that we would listen to the voice of wisdom.

 


Inheriting Glory

Proverbs 3:35

“The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.”

There are two ways to look at this proverb.

Earthly implications

The first way is to understand that those who are wise have a good name, may have prosperity in some way, and will be respected. Fools will find that they lose everything, are disgraced, and have trust-issues.

However, since there is ample evidence that the opposite can be true, especially in this upside-down world, let us look at the other meaning of this verse.

Eternal implications

As Psalms 14:1 and 53:1 both mention, the fool believes and says that there is no God. The only hope he has is in this world; after this life, all he can expect is destruction.

As for those who pursue Wisdom, there is the promise of eternal life with God. All we have to do is come to Christ with the faith of a child. Jesus said:

“Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.” – Mark 10:14-5 KJV

We have to believe God is who He says He is; otherwise, we are doomed. However, when we live a life of wisdom by following Christ, we are promised glory.

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. … And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” – Romans 8:14, 17 KJV

Gracious God, guide us in full wisdom that we may not only inherit the chance to live with You in glory, but that we may have a good name on this earth that You might be glorified through us.


No Laughing Matter

Proverbs 3:34

“Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.”

Those Who Scorn

Have you ever been a scorner? The definition of the Hebrew word used in this verse is shown in Strong’s as ‘make mouths at’ to scoff, mock, or deride. Pause a while and let the meaning sink in. Would you want to be known as a scorner?

Our world is full of those who scorn. Some might call it comedy. If we consider stand-up comedians, then most derive their living from scorning others. Their targets may be politicians, celebrities, or even family members. Sometimes they pick on people in the audience. But you don’t have to be a comedian to scorn. It happens daily throughout all levels of society. It happens in schools, in the workplace, and sadly even in church.

Jesus knew what it was like to be scorned. There are many examples in Scripture of ways in which Jesus was mocked by the Pharisees during His public ministry. One such incident occurs in Luke 16 after Jesus told a parable about an unrighteous servant:

The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. (Luke 16:14 NIV)

Far worse was the mocking that Jesus endured after His arrest, during His trial, and even while He hung on the cross. I am moved to tears as I consider how and what He suffered, knowing that He did it all for me. He did it knowing that 2,000 years ago I would more likely have been one of the scorners than one of His followers. My failure to follow Him in the earlier years of my life places me firmly in that category. But the whole point of Jesus dying on the cross was to bring the possibility of forgiveness to all, even those who scorn.

The Opposite to a Scorner

The opposite to a scorner? It is defined in last word of Proverbs 3:34: He giveth grace to the lowly. God gives grace, kindness, favor to the lowly, the gentle, the needy, the humble, the meek, the poor. Jesus reemphasized this in the Sermon on the Mount, specifically in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12). Each Beatitude begins with the word ‘blessed.’ Which would you rather be? A scorner or one who is blessed?

Lord Jesus you know the times in my life when I have been far from being lowly, gentle, meek or humble. You have watched as I have joined in with the scorners. Despite this you chose to be a recipient of scorn, and you allowed yourself to be treated with appalling cruelty so that your Father could forgive me for mine. Through your absolute grace please bring to completion the change in my heart from being a scorner to becoming lowly. Thank you.