A soft answer turns away wrath,
I thought to start this word with something else entirely, but instead The Lord showed me something completely different through a recent real life experience.
On Saturday, we had the worst of weather — not storm, hurricane or typhoon, but heavy rain like we have never known before. Rivers burst their banks and hills and mountains collapsed sending mud and rock to block roads and bring a type of apocalypse imagined only in the movies. Those who interpret these things say that this is just the beginning — climate change in action. How does a soft answer turn away such wrath?
On that Saturday evening we gathered with a few friends and neighbours in the local hotel. The sort of thing we all do in times of uncertainty and bewilderment. The community comes together to show support one to another. Sadly not all, for a next door neighbour with a grudge — and heavily under the influence of ‘we know not what’ — decided to ‘raise issues’ at the top of his voice — not merely at Milady and I, but at our friends also. Our soft answers to his wrath were as nothing, but the barmaid merely spoke quietly to him and he left, with nothing but a twisted look through the window as a parting shot — very like something out of the Sherlock Holmes stories.
Does this suggest that the words in Psalm 15 are not valid? Most certainly not. We do not always know how our Lord works. It is a mystery. The barmaid’s soft but firm words immediately worked, although our little group were left somewhat beaten. But that is not the end of the matter; we are assured that the soft answer turned away wrath, but there is work yet to be done both in us and in the one of wrath.
The eyes of the Lord are in every place. He watches over all, and we see at the tail of our reading, that there are consequences for the unbridled tongue. So, yes we can say unequivocally that a soft answer turns away wrath, but not always in the way one might expect.
We have to see what we mean by soft? Soft implies weakness and timidity to man’s eyes, yet also says tenderness, compassion, to mollify, placate and bring peace. That tenderness and peace is the essence of our Lord, and the young girl — used to dealing with tough cases (so we understand) — brought peace to a difficult situation, because she was calm, clear and authoritative. The Lord used her to bring peace, because there was no argument in his leaving.
That is how our Lord speaks — clearly, peacefully and with authority. His gentle and peaceful answer turns anger into contrition, argument into acceptance and belligerence into peace. But how does this answer my original question about climate change chaos? Peter Horrobin in the latest post on his website mentioned this from Matthew 24:6-8…
And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
These words were spoken by Jesus, who concluded: But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
Pray. Pray like never before. Only He can save us. And pray for a soft answer.
MEDITATE ON THESE THINGS…
Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work,
A GENTLE ANSWER (Proverbs 15:1) — Leah Carolan
PRAYER REQUIRES WORK…
OVER AND OVER again men have turned to prayer, not in the extreme of weakness, but of limitation; whenever a man gets beyond the limit he unconsciously turns to God. Eliphaz claimed to know exactly where Job was, and Bildad claimed the same thing. Job was hurt, and these men tried to heal him with platitudes.
LISTEN TO THIS MEDITATION HERE…
COMING NEXT… #528 YET NOT I, BUT CHRIST LIVETH IN ME
MEDITATE ON THESE THINGS…
Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
GEORGE and GILL STEWART