Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury, and the expression of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was usually heated. And he ordered some of the mighty men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their cloaks, their tunics, their hats, and their other garments, and they were thrown into the burning fiery furnace. Because the king’s order was urgent and the furnace overheated, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
There is a high cost to our anger and pride. It doesn’t just affect us, it hurts those around us. Nebuchadnezzar’s pride and anger cost the lives of some of his best soldiers. His anger burned, and so did his soldiers.
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
What does the anger of man produce when left to itself? It certainly does not produce God’s righteousness, according to James. Our anger and pride can destroy a church, a family, a marriage, a friendship, a business, etc. King Neb was so upset his orders were not followed that he lost his mind and went so far that good men died.
It is a sobering reminder for us today that we must have, with God’s help, calm spirits that are slow to anger.
Proverbs 14:29 – Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.
Proverbs 15:18 – A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.
Proverbs 16:32 – Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
Proverbs 19:11 – Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.