Ecclesiastes 7:9 Offended Quickly

Blowing a flame

Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools. Ecclesiastes 7:9 

Being offended by something is common among many people. They like their way of doing things and way of thinking. When someone else does or thinks differently, they are offended that someone could be that way.

Words are often spoken that are truth, but contain some ugly fact about someone or some event in them. People desiring to forget the past, will often quickly take offense to what is said, forgetting the real truth.

Once a person becomes provoked or offended, they will often quickly say or do something that is wrong in retaliation. This is where many fights and battles begin, is in retaliation to an offense.

In this passage today, one is told not to be quickly provoked. The anger that arises in provocation is something that only fools possess.

Sadly many believers are very quickly provoked to anger. They will very quickly take offense with the way a non-believer lives or wants things to be. Instead of showing love and care, they strike back in anger with words and sometimes actions.

This not only happens outside the church, but often occurs within the church. People take offense with the pastor or other church members. They do not like the way something is said and get angry. Then they talk about the offense under the pretense of care or concern, but rather as gossip and causing division among the believers.

Every believer is supposed to be filled with God’s Holy Spirit. One of the results of being filled with His Holy Spirit is the fruit of peace. This believer will be at peace and remain calm when someone tries to provoke or offend him.

Jesus had every reason to be provoked, but He remained in control and did not retaliate in anger.

Allow yourself to be guided by God’s Holy Spirit and filled with the peace Jesus gives you. There will be days when someone will do or say something to provoke you to anger. Sometimes this will be on purpose, other times it is just who they are.

Do not allow yourself to be quickly angered, becoming a fool and making a bad choice in word or action. Allow God to control your emotions in the situation and choose to walk the path of love and compassion.

Allow God’s peace to reign in your heart and mind.

I pray today that you will know God’s peace in your heart; that God will give you strength to overlook an offense; that God will help you to chose love over retaliation; and that your choices will reveal God’s character of love. 

2 Samuel 16:11-12 Ignoring The Curses Of Others

David then said to Abishai and all his officials, “My son, my own flesh and blood, is trying to kill me. How much more, then, this Benjamite! Leave him alone; let him curse, for the LORD has told him to. It may be that the LORD will look upon my misery and restore to me his covenant blessing instead of his curse today.” 2 Samuel 16:11-12

David’s son was setting himself up to kill David and take the throne, so David and his men were on the run. As they were going, Shimei, who was part of Saul’s family, started to curse him and throw stones at him. He was angry because David had taken Saul’s place as king. Some of the men wanted to strike Shimei down for his disrespect to David, but David stopped them. He felt that maybe it was God’s hand that was causing Shimei to curse him and David trusted in God’s faithfulness.

When a person is cursed by someone, most people will strike back. They will curse the person also, or ask God to strike that person down. It is very common to hear a person retaliate in the same way.

David did not retaliate against Shimei. He ignored the cursing and trusted the situation to God, just as he did as King Saul was trying to kill him. He trusted that God would see his situation and have mercy on him.

Several thousand years later, Jesus would tell the people to love and pray for their enemies. As Jesus was being crucified, He prayed for them and did not strike or curse back. Believers are to ignore the cursing that others place on them.

There will be times that someone will be mad at you for something and will begin to curse you. This cursing usually will be in the form of talking bad about you to others. It can happen in your neighborhood, at your workplace, or even in your church. It can public or it can be done in private.

You have a choice to make. You could be like the world and retaliate in the same way. Or you could be like David and Jesus and ignore the curses, and love and pray for that person.

How will you react today?

As the world?

Or as Jesus?

I pray today that God will fill you with His love for your enemies; that God will strengthen you to ignore the cursing of others; that God will show His mercy to you; and that God will restore all that the enemy has taken from you.

1 Peter 2:23 Trust in Suffering

“When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” 1 Peter 2:23

Peter is talking about Jesus in this passage. When Jesus was betrayed by Judas and brought before the authorities He did not fight for His rights. When Pontius Pilate asked Jesus for His defense, Jesus had no defense. When the soldiers pounded the nails into His hands and feet, Jesus did not cry out or strike back or curse them. What Jesus did was trust Himself in God’s hands and let them do what they did.

Jesus is God and had all the authority in heaven and earth to retaliate. He was the one who created the heavens and earth and had the power to destroy them. Yet, Jesus did not do that. He went through the suffering because He knew it was God’s will that He should do so, and He trusted God to take care of Him in the end.

Today a very common phrase is heard everywhere: “It is my right to do…” Our government has given laws that give each person certain rights. As individuals many people will stand up for those rights and fight anyone who tries to take away those rights. Courts are filled with lawsuits about “rights” being violated. This happens both in the church and in the world.

Just a few verses before this passage, Peter tells you that you should follow in the footsteps of Jesus. After that is when he describes how Jesus did not fight back. How many times have your “rights” been violated? Most people can answer that it happens a lot. How did you react to that violation? Did you fight back? Run to authorities? File a lawsuit? Talk bad about the one who did the violation? Or did you, like Jesus, trust yourself to God and not retaliate or threaten. In fact Jesus finishes with a prayer that God would forgive the people for what they did to Him.

You may never know or understand why you are going through a bad situation, but you can always trust that God knows and is in control. You can trust that God will take vengeance for you when the time is right. Today, do not retaliate or talk bad about a person. Pray for that person, that God will touch his heart and become real to him. Pray blessings not curses. Allow God to be in control.

I pray that today God will give you His strength to not fight back for your rights; that God will give you peace in that He is in control of the situation; that you will walk in the steps of Jesus daily; that you will be a living example of Jesus everyday; and that God will pour blessings on you for your trust in Him.