Proverbs 16:14-15

A king’s wrath is like a messenger of death,
but a wise person appeases it.
In the light of the king’s face there is life,
and his favor is like the clouds of the spring rain.

You’ve probably heard the expression before, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” That would be a very fitting expression to help grasp the concept of this proverb. “If the king ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”

We know it to mean that if mama is upset about something or at someone, the chances are pretty good there isn’t going to be peace in the house. This is true for most of us in the house. If dad’s not happy, if the kids aren’t happy – anyone unhappy can bring a house down. But, it’s much worse when it’s the leaders of the house who are unhappy.

Now, imagine what an entire kingdom would be like if the king was unhappy. When the king’s unhappy, the people of the kingdom are going to suffer. If the CEO of an organization is unhappy with the organization, it’s not going to be a fun place to work. In fact, it would probably be better to find a new CEO. If you’ve worked for a boss who really didn’t like the organization he/she was the boss of, then you know what I’m talking about. They aren’t just miserable to be around because they’re miserable. They make working there miserable for everyone the come in contact with.

So, how do you avoid this? What do you do if your boss is full of wrath? What do you do if your boss doesn’t like the company he is leading? To be honest, this is something I haven’t been very good at. And I didn’t even know that I was being unbiblical in doing so.

Here’s what you do. You appease them. This is a very interesting word. I had to do some research to figure this one out. Because, I’m not good at appeasing. The word generally means atonement, but can also mean to pacify. Okay, I get those. But, I’m not thrilled about them. When I was in those situations, I didn’t want to pacify my boss – I wanted my boss to be a better boss. But since, they’re the boss, you or I don’t really have any control over that.

But, as I was digging a little deeper on the word ‘appease’, I found that it also means “to cover over with pitch.” What in the world does that have to do with anything?! So I kept looking. What I found was that this word that is used here, is the same word that is used in Genesis 6:14 where God is telling Noah how to build the ark. When God tells Noah to cover the ark with pitch, the same word is used as here for appease. The word cover is the same word that is used in many other places for atonement.

How cool is that, that the word that would be used for atonement is also the same term that is used to describe how the pitch would be the thing that saved all mankind. It was the pitch that sealed the gaps between the wood on the inside and outside of the ark that kept it afloat for all that time. It was the fact that they covered the wood with pitch that Noah and his family were saved.

So, what should we do? We should appease the king. Because when the king is happy, so are we. We should pacify them, make them feel comfortable about us. That’s what a wise person does. A wise person knows how to appease the king. A wise person knows how to cover over the wrath of the king with pitch to keep the ship afloat. The wise person knows what to say or do to keep the king happy. The wise person knows that if the king ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

But if the king is happy, if his face it lit up, then there is life and joy for the whole kingdom. And when the king is happy it is like the clouds that bring the spring rains. It is in those clouds that we find life. It is the rain in those clouds that provides the water for the food that the kindgom lives off of. So, when the king is happy, the kingdom is happy. When you make the king’s face light up, when you win the favor of the king, it’s refreshing. The kingdom is happy. The ship stays afloat.

All that from this one little proverb.