We respond out of anger. It’s that simple. It’s also that wrong.
The Jewish people had returned to their homeland after 70 years of captivity in Babylon. It was a harsh return. Life wasn’t as they’d expected or had been living in Babylon. Jerusalem was in shambles.
Taxes were so high that people were selling their children into slavery to pay their debts. They mortgaged their homes to buy food for their families. The Jews were ready to revolt. The people took out their frustrated anger on their newly appointed governor.
Governor Nehemiah, was a godly man, a man of prayer, yet it’s never easy to be verbally attacked by angry people. Nehemiah wrote, I became very angry when I heard their outcry and words. After serious thought … (Nehemiah 5:6-7).
The Jewish people were angry at their circumstances and lashed out. Nehemiah was angry at being attacked, but rather than responding in anger, he seriously thought about the complaints and his reply before saying or doing anything.
On the cross, Jesus exemplified the same wisdom as Nehemiah. He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb silent before its shearer, so He opened not His mouth (Acts 8:32). If anyone had a reason and right to lash out, it was Jesus, yet He didn’t.
A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back (Proverbs 29:11).