Proverbs in 365 Devotions
Proverbs 21:14 A gift in secret averts anger, and a concealed bribe, strong wrath. 15 When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.
The Gift That Averts Anger
Today we will begin with verse 14 and focus most of our time on it. Then tie in verse 15 at the end.
Now the giving of gifts may remind us of other verses in Proverbs but it is actually quite distinct.
You can check out the devotions from Proverbs 17:8, 18:16 and 19:6 if you like but today's angle on gift giving is different. I’ll read it again.
Proverbs 21:14 A gift in secret averts anger, and a concealed bribe, strong wrath.
Notice in this verse Solomon gives two examples of giving and in both cases they are given one on one and not publicly. These gifts are not for buying friendship… they are not to get you in the doors to see a king or president… Again both of these example share another commonality… they are to stave off or turn away anger and wrath. And this gift giver in both cases is not making a publicity stunt… The gift is private… Something has likely gone wrong within their personal relationship… Its not about gain, its about restoration. It’s a gift of repentance… It accompanies words like: “I’m sorry, I have offended you personally and our relationship has suffered… I bear the blame and ask for forgiveness.”.
Men have brought this truth to action for hundreds of years… When the relationship between them and their spouse has suffered they bring a gift like chocolates or flowers which accompany their humility and words of love.
This verse makes me think of mankind relationship with God… how Adam and Eve turned away from him and were put out of his fellowship… And how we all take on these same rebellious traits as our ancestors and must be brought into a good association with God being accepted and rejoiced over by him. And although we are the rebels and although he is the one who has been angered with good cause… and in his justice we are the ones who will face his wrath…in all that, still he has so loved us that he has given us a great gift that will avert his anger and wrath for all who accept his offering.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
That's where our Proverbs 21:15 verse comes in… 15 When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.
He is paid for our sin on the Cross that we may rejoice in his justice in salvation and judgment.