“Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.” - Ephesians 4:26,27
Milton was a young teenager who looked up to his friend Ricky. Ricky was a couple years older and lived across the street. No matter what Ricky was doing Milton wanted to be there. He always wanted to be around Ricky even to the point where he would get up early and help Ricky on his newspaper route. Now Milton did not want to wake up his family in the morning as he helped Ricky. So he told Ricky that he would tie the end of a string to his toe and let it hang out the second story window, and when he began his paper route come and tug on that string to wake him up. So every morning Ricky would wake up, go across the street, and tug on the string hanging out the window to wake up Milton.
Interestingly, Milton had a few older brothers and they fought and were angry at one another all the time. So it happened that Milton’s brothers found out about the string tied to his toe hanging out the window. So in the middle of the night as Milton was asleep in bed his brothers went outside and started pulling on that string. Milton immediately woke up in a hysterical panic screaming because his brothers would not stop pulling the string. They kept pulling and pulling until Milton was pulled to the window with his leg hanging out the second story window. Fortunately, Milton got loose before falling to the ground.
Our verse in Ephesians 4 instructs us “let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” One reason Paul writes this is because it will “give place to the devil.” As some bible translations read, “do not give the devil a foothold.”
Many times when we are angry we defend ourselves believing we are merely defending our rights from the wrongs of others. The danger is not being angry per se, but holding on to such anger. At just a time as that is when our adversary the devil will strive to irritate us so that we would sin by holding on to a wrathful spirit – even while we try to sleep. Our adversary does so by piercing our mind with unholy thoughts, wicked imaginations, and lies about others and about ourselves. Do not listen to the lies, the slander, and the deception from the enemy of our souls. Do not yield to his temptation of holding onto angry feelings. When you give your adversary a place of opportunity then he will get a foothold and he will keep pulling and pulling until he pulls you out the second story window. Therefore, do not let the sun go down upon your anger – it will keep the devil from getting a foothold.
David C. Hale, pastor