(#59) The Proverbs of Solomon 12:16-Keep A Lid On It!

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 12:16: “A fool’s wrath is known at once, But a prudent man covers shame.”

The contrast is with a “fool” who is quick to explode, and a “prudent man” who can control his temper. “Wrath” is the “shame” of the second phrase. Losing control of one’s thoughts, words, and actions makes a person a “fool,” and everything done or said in that condition shows total weakness, not strength! Policemen and Soldiers should show strength “under fire.” Road rage or foot rage, it is all the same. All athletes that erupt or benches that empty, demonstrate what weaklings they are. Whether involving an “ex,” a “former” spouse or friend, or provoked child, domestic disputes that end in violence are committed by a “fool.” Wrathful explosions are always from wimps, never from winners! Shadrach, Meshach, Abed-Nego were stronger than Nebuchadnezzar who was “full of fury” and cast them into the fiery furnace (Daniel 3:13, 19). Saul of Tarsus was “breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord” (Acts 9:1) until he ran up against Jesus Christ (Acts 9:3-20). Jesus Christ was the epitome of “prudent,” “who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously” (1 Peter 2:23).

Other proverbs that express this include: “A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, And a man of wicked intentions is hated” (Proverbs 14:17); “He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, But he who is impulsive exalts folly” (Proverbs 14:29); “A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1); “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city” (Proverbs 16:32); “A man of great wrath will suffer punishment; For if you rescue him, you will have to do it again” (Proverbs 19:19); “Make no friendship with an angry man, And with a furious man do not go, Lest you learn his ways And set a snare for your soul” (Proverbs 22:24-25); “Whoever has no rule over his own spirit Is like a city broken down, without walls” (Proverbs 25:28). Like an unprotected city, “an angry man” has no defense for what he says and does! Medals for Bravery should be given to each person who “rules his spirit,” as Purple Hearts should be given to those who have to live with “a quick-tempered man.” Don’t learn the ways of an angry man by using “harsh words,” rather master the art of “a soft answer.” This wisdom from above for Christians is summarized by James: “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

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