"Wrath is fierce and anger is a flood, but who can stand before jealousy"
This is a comparison proverb to get us to take notice of the volatility of jealousy. We are most often drawn to notice anger and wrath as inappropriate reactions, but there are hundreds of other emotional reactions that can come from us. Solomon is trying to warn us that even though wrath and anger seem like big landmines to stay away from, do not underestimate the power of jealousy. The reason that jealousy needs to be noticed is that men especially can be tempted into flirting and side relationships that will make the key people in their life jealous. There is this idea that jealousy will fade with time, but it is not true. When a person is betrayed by another, they have a deep and long-lasting reaction that they will never get over completely. Solomon is warning us: don’t make the people in our life jealous; they will not get over it.
Wrath is the word hema which means white hot or hot displeasure. The word anger is the Hebrew word ap which means nostril, face, or anger. Each of these two first emotions is very strong and makes people move in various directions. But when compared to jealousy, these are nothing. Jealousy is the emotion of protected faithfulness violated or threatened with violation. Jealousy is the word qina which means zeal, jealous, ardor. It is an emotion that is extremely strong and attaches passiveness to a person or object even though the person or object might not reciprocate.
One further word must be said in a day and age of computer porn. Men do not see that their involvement in pornography has anything to do with their wives, but it does. To your wife your consumption of porn is a form of flirtation and mental adultery. To her she has been tried and found wanting. Your porn involvement develops jealousy which is something that will deeply damage your marriage. It may even destroy it. You may think that your viewing porn on the computer is not a relationship, but your wife knows different and she feels that difference – even if at one time she once watched it with you. Those images are her competition. She cannot measure up and she knows it. Even those women in real life cannot measure up with what they are made up to look like. The women in the pictures are not real. The time and attention and pleasure you derive from porn speaks deep into your wife’s soul about your priority on her. Do not awaken the monster of jealousy in any of its forms – even pornography. I wrote a book to help men turn away from porn, lust, and sexual temptation called Mission Possible: Winning the Battle over Temptation. In fact, you can even take an online class now! If you are moving in the wrong direction in this area, men or women, I would strongly suggest that you get help so that you do not cross a crucial line and awaken the monster of jealousy.