Proverbs 16:14

The wrath of a king is as messengers of death: but a wise man will pacify it.

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You have no king, so you must imagine a little to grasp this proverb. When kings had absolute power and punishment was severe, it was wise to appease their anger (Ec 8:2-5).

You do have a government and other authorities, and the same wisdom applies. When a ruler or person in authority is angry with you, it is smart to appease their wrath and end it.

Consider Nebuchadnezzar as the greatest of kings (Dan 2:37-38). If he favored your cause, he could promote you and decree death for your enemies (Dan 3:28-30). If he did not favor your cause, he could cut you in pieces and turn your house into a dunghill (Dan 2:5). You have never seen power like this. Such a king is a beautiful sight (Pr 30:29-31).

With such a king, you would learn to live respectfully and obediently. You would know that his favor was wonderful and his wrath horrible (Pr 16:15; 19:12). And getting such a king angry was as foolish as writing your own death sentence (Pr 20:2; Rom 13:4-5).

Therefore, it is wise to deal with rulers by pacifying, or appeasing, any anger they have against you. Understand this simple word. The Oxford English Dictionary reads,

Pacify. To allay the anger, excitement, or agitation of (a person); to calm, quiet; to appease.

The Holy Spirit also uses “pacify” this way, which is what we must consider (I Cor 2:13). Everyone knows how a gift can allay, calm, quiet, or appease a person’s anger (Pr 21:14). And you can read the anger of kings being pacified in Esther 7:10 and Ezekiel 16:63.

The sister verse to this proverb is found in Ecclesiastes 10:4, where Solomon gave the same advice in similar words. He taught, even if your offences are great, you can appease the spirit of the ruler by staying in your place of submission and yielding to him.

You can appease and persuade a prince, and even break his bones, by holding your anger, using soft answers, and forbearing with him for a long time (Pr 15:18; 15:1; 25:15).

Wicked fools hate authority and fight government (Pr 17:11; 24:21). God curses these ignorant wretches as rabid dogs needing to be destroyed (II Pet 2:10-12; Jude 1:8-10).

Dear reader, is any authority figure in your life offended with you? Pacify him today.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the greatest King in the universe. He is the King of kings. And His anger against enemies is greater than any earthly king. What is the warning of the Bible to those kings? They better serve and appease Him, lest He destroy them when His anger is raised even a little (Ps 2:12). Reader, kiss the Son! And put your trust in Him!