Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-29:27 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. Proverbs 30-31 were added and preserved by the Holy Spirit. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 30:32-33: “If you have been foolish in exalting yourself, Or if you have devised evil, put your hand on your mouth. 33 For as the churning of milk produces butter, And wringing the nose produces blood, So the forcing of wrath produces strife.”
Actions always have consequences, and some actions are clearly illustrated: (1) “churning of milk produces butter;” (2) “wringing the nose produces blood.” Similarly, “the forcing of wrath produces strife,” or even a peaceable king can be forced into battle! Examples in Bible and History are almost too numerous to list. Think of how many lives, either in battles or in individual fights, that might have been spared if Solomon’s God-given Wisdom had been followed: “Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; And where there is no talebearer, strife ceases. As charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire, So is a contentious man to kindle strife” (Proverbs 26:20-21). Many authors, newspapers, radio/TV reporters and demonstrators have sparked and fanned the flames of conflagration!
If there is “a king whose troops are with him” (Proverbs 30:31), then to rise up with evil plans against him, thus, “forcing wrath” upon him, would surely have a serious consequence: “strife.”
Leading a rebellion against a King who is beloved by his troops is begging for trouble! Three things (“exalting yourself,” “devised evil,” “forcing of wrath”) can be avoided simply by covering your mouth! It’s bad enough to think the “evil,” but spoken words cannot be taken back, and may have sparked a “wrath”-ful outburst which causes “strife.” “The wrath of a king is like the roaring of a lion; Whoever provokes him to anger sins against his own life. It is honorable for a man to stop striving, Since any fool can start a quarrel” (Proverbs 20:2-3).
Just criticism would be welcomed by a righteous king, that is, all words that would help him follow God’s Wisdom: “It is an abomination for kings to commit wickedness, For a throne is established by righteousness” (Proverbs 16:12); “Take away the wicked from before the king, And his throne will be established in righteousness” (Proverbs 25:5).
Truly, it’s better not to say so much, than to say so much that’s not so!
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.