Jas 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
Jas 1:20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
Here it is close to the end of this month, and this is the first chance I’ve had to post a “Daily Bible Nugget” here this month. I have been busy helping with the garden. I have been busy finalizing features of the software edition of my greatly expanded cross reference collection. It will be called The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury.
I was preparing a post on July 15, 2016 about the wrath of man and the wrath of God. I selected that topic because the Internet was alive at the time with threats of a “Day of Rage” that was to be staged that Friday, as I recall. But something drastic happened in the news and turned the news cycle in a different direction that day, and the would-be protestors did not receive any attention. I’m glad the Lord allowed events to work out that way.
I did not get a chance to write this post on July 15 because I was called upon to help prepare my indexes to The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury for use in Bible software.
It is clear from the Bible that angry protests and violent protests are not the way to accomplish God’s will. The best way to promote change for the better is to follow the teachings of the Bible, and encourage others to do the same.
Which teachings of the Bible? And how can these teachings be found? I started this post with a Bible Nugget about how God tells us that we are to be slow to wrath, for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
I believe the simplest, most direct way to explore further the truths spoken of in James 1:19 and James 1:20 is to consult the cross references given for each verse. I will just share perhaps two or three references that are very clear about the wrath of man:
Psa 37:8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
Psa 37:9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.
Psa 76:10 Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.
Rather than stirring up our wrath, and stepping forth to wage protests whether peaceful or violent, the Bible presents most clearly what we are to do instead:
Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Now there is the answer, stated by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. This does not even scratch the surface of the truths of the Bible related to this important theme which can be studied by consulting the cross references for James 1:19 and James 1:20.
The second way to study this issue is to continue reading in James 1:21 to see what he tells us next:
Jas 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
The King James English of this verse may be unclear for some readers, so here is the same verse as translated in the Contemporary English Version or CEV:
Jas 1:21 You must stop doing anything immoral or evil. Instead be humble and accept the message that is planted in you to save you.
I like the King James Version much better, for it points to some very significant truths more clearly once you grasp what is being said. We are to “receive the engrafted word.” That “word” is the very words and message contained in the Bible, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If you truly receive that message by reading the Bible and believing it, believing that message will result in a total transformation in your life, expressed by James in this passage as “which is able to save your souls.”
If you do not know for sure that this transformation has taken place in your life, James has just given the simple directions for how to come to the place where you experience this for yourself.
What must you do? Spend regular quality time reading the Word of God found in the Bible, starting particularly with the New Testament, until the experience becomes yours. If you will read the Bible consistently and prayerfully, it both can and will happen. It happened to me!
One more thing about what I had planned to write about back on July 15, 2016, but only found time just now to do so: we must be very aware not only about what the Bible teaches about the wrath of man. We must have a firm grasp about what the Bible teaches about the wrath of God. One verse will be enough to make the point:
John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
No one in their right mind wants to experience the wrath of God. John 3:36 explains clearly how not to experience the wrath of God. The underlying term for wrath, speaking here of God’s wrath, is a word which expresses the concept of permanent, not temporary wrath.
Make very sure that you, personally, truly believe on the Son! Read and study the Bible to learn more about how continuing, genuine, obedient belief will produce in you a totally transformed life as you follow the Lord Jesus Christ. See 2 Corinthians 5:17!