Proverbs 19:11-12 – A call for restraint in a day of road rage

road rageProverbs 19:11“The discretion [prudence; wisdom; discernment] of a man deferreth [i.e. patience; prolong; outlive] his anger [wrath]; and it is his (the patient man’s) glory [honor; beauty; pride] to pass over [overlook; take away; pass on] a transgression [another man’s sin, trespass, rebellion].”

Proverbs 19:11 certainly runs contrary to the conventional wisdom of our day that is characterized by road rage, unprovoked attacks and the ruthless demand for “a pound of flesh”.  Solomon challenged his son to exercise discretion when provoked and restrain an angry reaction [including bridling one’s tongue–the little instrument that too often inflames conflicts rather than assuage them – Proverbs 17:20; 21:23; James 3:5-6].

A man of wisdom and good will does not respond in kind or manner when provoked. It is his honor, his glory to overlook the sin of another (19:11b).

Proverbs 19:12 is a lesson in courting the favor of a leader and avoid provoking him to wrath.

Proverbs 19:12“The king’s wrath [rage; indignation] is as the roaring [growl] of Roaring_Liona lion; but his (the king’s) favour [delight; goodwill; pleasure] is as dew upon the grass.”

Like the roaring of a lion, the wrath of a king engenders fear and anxiety; but the king’s pleasure is refreshing like the morning dew on the grass. A wise man is conscious that the power of judgment or blessing rests in the hands of a leader.