A Pressing Matter


Zechariah 10:1–11:17
Revelation 18:1-24
Psalm 146:1-10
Proverbs 30:33


Proverbs 30:33 (ESV) “For pressing milk produces curds, pressing the nose produces blood, and pressing anger produces strife.”


In our Verse for Today, we see the beauty of the book of Proverbs. In order to share a nugget of wisdom, the truth that Solomon is trying to get across is compared to other things that would have been familiar to his readers.

“For pressing milk produces curds,
pressing the nose produces blood,
and pressing anger produces strife.”
(Proverbs 30:33)

While some other English translations use differing words for each phrase, the word translated “pressing” in the English Standard Version is the same word in the Hebrew. The same word is used all three times.

The “pressing of milk produces curds” (“butter” or “cream” would be a better translation). My grandma had a butter churn that she obtained from her mom. My great-grandma must have used that churn to make cream and butter. She would have put milk into it and then thrust the plunger up and down. As she continually pressed and agitated that milk (along with some additives), it would have thickened. The “pressing” caused the milk’s qualities to change.

The “pressing of the nose produces blood.” I’ve never had the desire to press my nose to produce blood but my nose has certainly been hit and bumped a few times. On occasion, that’s all it took for me to get a nose-bleed. The “pressing” caused my nose to do something undesirable.

With these two word-pictures in mind, Solomon now makes his ultimate point: “and pressing anger produces strife.”

We all know what it’s like to be wronged. We know what it’s like for someone to say something unkind to us or to do something that was completely inappropriate. We also know how easily it is for us to get a little upset after such a scenario.

But, our Verse for Today paints of a picture of someone who “presses their anger.” They stoke the fires. They feed that anger until it grows and grows. Just like milk and a nose will produce something very different when pressed, so does anger. It produces strife. It produces rifts in relationships. Maybe a relationship will even be severed. And all of this because anger was allowed to be pressed.

Don’t do it! Don’t “press your anger.” Instead, do what Jesus has called us to do – love others. His message was consistent with the cry of the Old Testament…

“Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.” (Proverbs 10:12)

So, what happens when love is pressed? It produces noble character. It works to mend relationships. It brings joy and happiness to the heart. It pleases God. On and on the benefits go.

So, don’t let your anger fester. Ask God to enable you to love those who have mistreated you. Read 1 Corinthians 13 to understand what your love should look like. And then, after putting it into action, enjoy the benefits of following God’s wonderful commands.

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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