Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, For anger resides in the bosom of fools.Ecclesiastes 7:9(NASB)
The vain, meaninglessness of life without God and the vital importance of having the Lord in our lives, is summed up at the end of the book of Ecclesiastes: "We are to fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man."
There is so much that can be learned from the preacher who wrote Ecclesiastes for he spent the best years of his life pursuing every kind of meaningful activity the world offers and indulging in every sort of self-gratifying pleasure. However, his final analysis is that life without God is meaningless - life without God is nothing but vanity.
He participated in every pleasure and attempted many beneficial assignments in order to discover the purpose of life. But it was all to no effect, for he found that every activity, assignment, and indulgence, was vain and meaningless. Life is fruitless and unprofitable without the Lord.
He did recognise the sense in making the best out of life, whether we live in poverty or in affluence... and he emphasised the brevity of this life and discussed the prudence of enjoying the gifts and graces that God has placed in each of our lives in preference to bemoaning the things that we do not have.
During his various exploits to discover the meaning of life and the purpose for living, his overriding conclusion was that without God, life is meaningless - however, he certainly discovered some important lessons from which we too can profit.
And in this verse, he expounded on the serious consequences of nursing anger in our hearts, and advises us: "Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, for anger resides in the bosom of fools."
The Word of God speaks much about fools and the overriding consensus in the sight of God is that fools are indeed foolhardy. Even when they consider themselves to be wise. And when the world applauds their godless 'wisdom' they remain fools!
The caution in this verse is not to fly into an angry rage or react negatively to some incident in resentment or pique. It is a warning that highlights the danger of nursing anger in our breast or flying into a fit of rage... from which we can all learn a valuable lesson. Such unrighteous anger reveals a lack of self-control and it exposes a decidedly weak character and an ungodly attitude.
Anger can be exhibited in many forms, from silent disdain or the smouldering of a hidden grudge, to an explosion of expletives or the eruption of a nonsensical behaviour - but the Bible clearly states that: "Anger is hidden in the heart of fools."
Let us seek to eschew all evil and live godly lives during our time on earth, and let us endeavour to reverence our Heavenly Father and ensure that every moment of our life is consecrated to the Lord, for His praise and glory.
Let us refrain from the unrighteous anger that lodges in the hearts of fools and worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness - and may it be the deep desire of our heart to do all to the honour of His name.
Heavenly Father, prevent me from nursing foolish anger in my heart. Endow me with godly wisdom and a gracious spirit so that I may reflect the beauty of Jesus in my life and be a witness to Your goodness and grace, to Your praise and glory. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.