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18 November, 2013

Devotional and Practical Meditations on the Book of Ecclesiastes - Anger

"Anger rests in the bosom of fools." Ecclesiastes 7:9

God's estimate of folly is different from man's. In Scripture words:
the godless man is a fool (Psalm 14)
the base man is a fool (Job 30)
the rash man is a fool (Proverbs 14)
the slanderer is a fool (Proverbs 10)
the mocker is a fool (Proverbs 14)
the idolater is a fool (Romans 1)
the lover of pleasure is a fool (Ecclesiastes 7:4)

the undutiful man is a fool (Proverbs 15)
the self-confident man is a fool (Proverbs 28)

the spendthrift is a fool (Proverbs 21), and here,
the angry man is a fool (Job 5:2; Proverbs 14:17).
It must be so. God's Word is ever right.

Wisdom is the opposite of folly. Wisdom, we know is peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated. Meekness itself is called wisdom — the wisdom from above (James 3.) — the wisdom of saints made perfect; the wisdom of God Himself.

Is meekness wisdom — then anger must be folly. Does not your own experience confirm it? When were you happy in your anger? A savage pleasure it may give you, while it lasts; but it leaves a sting behind!

Is it, then, wise to be unhappy, when you can have it otherwise? Is it wise to lose your temper, and thus reap anger's bitter fruits? The heaving bosom; the flashing eye; the sharp contention; the sullen mind; the feeling of estrangement from each other; and conflicts between your duty and your moodiness, between pride and due confession of your fault — when did these make you happy? When did you come uninjured from your anger? Whom did you hurt the most — yourself, or him, with whom you lost your temper?

Does anger help you in your prayers? Can you draw near to Jesus in your wrath? Or if He visits you, how does He look on you? Can you return his look? Ah, no; you dare not look on Jesus in your folly. Say not, "I cannot help it." How often they are spoken wrongfully in sin and shame!

Meekness is wisdom; anger is folly. This we may learn from Moses' history. When Moses walked in meekness, he was wise — for then he found favor with God, and dignity with man. (Numbers 12.) When he was angry, he proved his folly. For this he forfeited his entrance to the promised land. (Numbers 20; Deuteronomy 1:37.) My soul, this was written for your learning Then learn your lesson well.