by Jefferson David Tant
The Jamaican Patois dialect is colorful, unique, and humorous. It is my desire to share some of the philosophy shown in this mix of colorful phrases that are witty as well as thought-provoking. I hope the readers both profit and enjoy. In my quarter-century plus of teaching there, I have come to appreciate some things about their culture.
Patois: Yu no too close or yu stuk
English: Don’t get too close to the thornbush or you will get stuck
Meaning: Be wary of even small sins before you get entangled
A man traveling in Jamaica noticed a curious shrub near the roadside. His friend said that the Jamaicans called it the “wait a bit” bush. Inspecting it closely, his clothes were snared by thorns that resembled fishhooks. The more he tried to free himself, the more he became entangled by the barbs. Finally, he had to rely on his friend to release him from his hopeless situation.
That’s a good lesson about our relationship to sin. Far too often those who profess to be religious and/or righteous, get drawn away and entangled in sin when that surely was not their intention.
Satan is very sly and cunning and knows that Christians probably won’t be lured to sin by some blatant and obvious wrong-doing that confronts us. How many faithful Christians do you know who would fly to Las Vegas, Nevada, with the purpose of going to a whore house? Prostitution is legal in Nevada, and it is openly provided. I have known various acquaintances through the years who fell into the sin of fornication, but I never knew anyone who started in Las Vegas or Reno.
How does one get started in sexual immorality? There are various ways. There are certainly magazines that portray pictures of scantily clad or even nude women. They used to be hidden under the counter at the convenience store but now are more openly displayed.
Then there are the movies and TV shows. Long ago, a married couple in a movie could not be shown sleeping in the same bed. Now? Fornication openly showed on the screen, and I wonder if producers now don’t provide enough money to buy decent clothes. Oh, and the internet. There is quite a bit of differing information about porn on the internet, but some studies show that 87% of men are viewers and 28.5% are women. A few years ago it was reported that there were some 70 million searches per day on porn sites, and 60% of the sites are located in the US. The nation was shocked when Rhett Butler uttered one bad word in the 1939 movie “Gone With the Wind.” And any kind of sex scene was unheard of.
What led to David’s sin with Bathsheba? I would suggest possibly two things.
- Bathsheba should have not been bathing in an area where she could be seen.
- I would think that if David had accidentally seen her, he would have turned away, so as not to be tempted.
But in time he called for her, a married woman. They committed adultery, which led to her becoming pregnant and this eventually led to David having her husband killed in an effort to cover up the sin.
Consider the covenant Job made: “I have made a covenant with my eyes; How then could I gaze at a virgin?" (Job 31:1). Adam Clarkes’ Commentary says: “My conscience and my eyes are the contracting parties; God is the Judge; and I am therefore bound not to look upon anything with delighted or covetous eye, by which my conscience may be defiled, or my God dishonoured.” And Christ warned us: “but I say to you, that everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). Don’t get too close to the thornbush or you will get caught.
And sisters, you can be a great help with this as Paul exhorts “women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments; but rather by means of good works, as befits women making a claim to godliness" (I Timothy 2:9-10). Paul is not forbidding jewelry or nice clothes, but emphasizes good works, along with modest apparel.