The King’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion.
Proverbs 19:1-12 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
On Life and Conduct
Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity
Than he who is perverse in speech and is a fool.
2 Also it is not good for a person to be without knowledge,
And he who hurries his footsteps errs.
3 The foolishness of man ruins his way,
And his heart rages against the Lord.
4 Wealth adds many friends,
But a poor man is separated from his friend.
5 A false witness will not go unpunished,
And he who tells lies will not escape.
6 Many will seek the favor of a generous man,
And every man is a friend to him who gives gifts.
7 All the brothers of a poor man hate him;
How much more do his friends abandon him!
He pursues them with words, but they are gone.
8 He who gets wisdom loves his own soul;
He who keeps understanding will find good.
9 A false witness will not go unpunished,
And he who tells lies will perish.
10 Luxury is not fitting for a fool;
Much less for a slave to rule over princes.
11 A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger,
And it is his glory to overlook a transgression.
12 The king’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion,
But his favor is like dew on the grass.
The end of today’s text, Proverbs 19:12 says: The king’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion,
But his favor is like dew on the grass. I thought to myself what does this mean that the wrath of God, the King, is like a roaring lion? When does the lion roar, before the kill or after? The lion roars after he has conquered his prey. He does not roar as an idle threat, but rather to declare that he indeed is the victorious king. That is how it is like the wrath of God. Once one experiences the wrath of God it is too late. There will come a day when the earth does experience the wrath of God against sin and evil. 2 Peter 3:10-13 says: The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Until that day, God does not roar about the day of His coming wrath. Instead, as it says previously in 2 Peter 3:7-9: The heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. Whether days away or many years, the day of the Lord will come, but instead of releasing His wrath now, God is patient and longsuffering, not wishing any to perish. Now, rather than wrath and judgment, God has released love, compassion, mercy and grace. None of us know the day of the Lord, but this we do know, now, today it is not too late. Now is the day and the time to respond to His love. John 3:16 says: “God so loved the world that He gave His only begottenSon, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Romans 5:8 says: God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 2 Peter 3, asks the question: What manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God? First and foremost we should be people who respond to His love and grace. If we accept His love and grace, given through Christ and the cross, then we will not only not fear the day of the Lord, we will look forward to it and in whatever way possible hasten its coming. When the lion king roars after defeating his prey, the whole pride roars with him. We too, like those in the pride, will roar with the King in His day. For now though, if we are with Him, then we like Him will wish that none would perish or know His wrath. We will be those who share the good news of God’s great love and compassion, of His mercy and grace. We will share the message of Christ and the cross; that there is nothing to fear from the wrath of God for those who are in Christ. As it says in 2 Peter, we will do it, in holy conduct and godliness. In Matthew 5:13-16 Jesus says: “You are the salt of the earth;but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.Nor do theylight a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.Let your light so shine before men,that they may see your good works andglorify your Father in heaven.” We are to be those who reveal the light and goodness of God in and to the world. We are to be those who preserve what is good and right in the midst of evil and unrighteousness.
The writer of proverbs says: A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who tells lies will perish. We then should be those who speak truth and not lies. Many things are viewed in our culture as relative or subjective. Each person has their own reality or truth. That though, is a lie. The truth of God is absolute and unchanging. It is not subject to the whims or discretion of man. He says: Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20) Jesus says: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) He says: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6) If we would be witnesses of truth, not false witnesses, we would be witnesses of Christ, the Truth. The text in Proverbs continues: Luxury is not fitting for a fool; Much less for a slave to rule over princes. As children of God, we are princes (not gender specific) of His kingdom, both in heaven and on earth. It is not fitting then for us to be ruled by the foolishness or the fools of the world. In John 10:10 Jesus says: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
We are to live an abundant life in Christ. We are to be witnesses of truth, which is Christ. We are to be those who demonstrate the love of God in and to the world, living in holy conduct and Godliness. Walking in and displaying His love, compassion and grace today, we will roar with Him, in His day.
Thank You, heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit. Amen.