Dream word – HARD
“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” NKJV
Dealing with the different lava flowsof both Levite and Leviathan
My friend was driving down the street in a city in South Florida when a man walking along the pavement spotted him. The well bling’d up gangsta, drew back his lips to their full extent, revealing an emblazoned gold grill’d, growling mouth. The message from this gangbanger was clear, “These are my streets, I am in control, don’t mess with me.”
Now my friend happened to be a rather large and more than well armed deputy from the Broward County Sheriff’s department, so in response to this silent but exceptionally aggressive display toward him, he turned around his car, and met up with the gangbanger for some genteel conversation, politely informing him of his bad judgement regarding the ownership of the streets and carefully instructing him in both who owned the streets and who was actually in control. Though none of us would have liked to have been involved in that particular genteel conversation, I can inform you that the results of it was that he was never, I mean never, flashed a growling grill again. You see, if the soft answer of our text had been applied in this particular situation, well, it would have got the Deputy killed at some date not long after the gangbanger grilling.
Our verse for tonight speaks of a passionate display of anger. It is better understood maybe, as red-hot displeasure, a most dangerous and violently bubbling pot of molten destruction born from justified rage. God Himself manifests this kind of fearful wrath, which seems wild and intemperate, itching for vengeance. Yes He does, and it is most clearly seen when Israel, led by Aaron the High Priest, made a molten calf and worshiped and unashamedly cavorted both around it and with it. God wanted to wipe them from the face of the earth over this incident and He wanted to kill Aaron in particular! (See Deuteronomy Chapter 9). I tell you tonight, if it was not for the calf like eye pleading gentleness of Moses, repeatedly interceding for them through forty days and forty nights, then Israel might have been consumed in God’s molten wrath on more than one occasion.
When we have been in the wrong, when we have stirred up righteous anger in others, when we have set the scene to justify wrath against us, then there is nothing better than a humble and pleading apology, an open acknowledgement of our wrong doing, seen in calf like tenderness and spoken with both reflective and confessional tones. Undoubtedly this kind of answer in that kind of situation, will go a long way to halt the flow of all consuming anger from the offended party. Maybe even recall it, reversing the destruction, refreshing the relationship, restoring the peace that once was there and returning everything to normal. Yes, we need strength, wisdom, honesty and humility to rightly offer soft responses in the face of such righteous and revengeful wrath.
When we have been acting righteously however and non-righteous aggression has been directed toward us, you know, if we are suffering directly for righteousness sake, then may God give us the grace to turn the other cheek, to walk the extra mile, to forgive our enemies. No apology is needed here, just courage and the ability to commit ourselves to God.
If someone however falls in the descriptive parameters of being an obnoxious jerk or a murdering madman, then maybe a visit from my friend, the very big and well-armed Deputy, would mightily help the situation. You see, sometimes turning the cheek is both dangerous and wrong. You see, the soft answer of our text, is in fact a repentant answer to sin which we must own. When there is no sin, then sometimes, we need to be more like a Leviathan than a Levite in our conversation, our walk and our presence. Think about that and may God grant us wisdom in the outworking of both.
Listen: “Can you draw out Leviathan with a hook, or snare his tongue with a line which you lower? Can you put a reed through his nose, or pierce his jaw with a hook? Will he make many supplications to you? Will he speak softly to you?” - Job 41:1-3 NKJV
Pray: Lord, make me wise tomorrow in both gentleness and strength, in Jesus name I pray, amen.
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