A proverb a day to order your public life...

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Proverbs 10

1 Wise son, glad father;
    stupid son, sad mother.

Ill-gotten gain gets you nowhere;
    an honest life is immortal.

God won’t starve an honest soul,
    but he frustrates the appetites of the wicked.

Sloth makes you poor;
    diligence brings wealth.

Make hay while the sun shines—that’s smart;
    go fishing during harvest—that’s stupid.

Blessings accrue on a good and honest life,
    but the mouth of the wicked is a dark cave of abuse.

A good and honest life is a blessed memorial;
    a wicked life leaves a rotten stench.

A wise heart takes orders;
    an empty head will come unglued.

Honesty lives confident and carefree,
    but Shifty is sure to be exposed.

10 An evasive eye is a sign of trouble ahead,
    but an open, face-to-face meeting results in peace.

11 The mouth of a good person is a deep, life-giving well,
    but the mouth of the wicked is a dark cave of abuse.

12 Hatred starts fights,
    but love pulls a quilt over the bickering.

13 You’ll find wisdom on the lips of a person of insight,
    but the shortsighted needs a slap in the face.

14 The wise accumulate knowledge—a true treasure;
    know-it-alls talk too much—a sheer waste.

The Road to Life Is a Disciplined Life

15 The wealth of the rich is their bastion;
    the poverty of the indigent is their ruin.

16 The wage of a good person is exuberant life;
    an evil person ends up with nothing but sin.

17 The road to life is a disciplined life;
    ignore correction and you’re lost for good.

18 Liars secretly hoard hatred;
    fools openly spread slander.

19 The more talk, the less truth;
    the wise measure their words.

20 The speech of a good person is worth waiting for;
    the blabber of the wicked is worthless.

21 The talk of a good person is rich fare for many,
    but chatterboxes die of an empty heart.

Fear-of-God Expands Your Life

22 God’s blessing makes life rich;
    nothing we do can improve on God.

23 An empty-head thinks mischief is fun,
    but a mindful person relishes wisdom.

24 The nightmares of the wicked come true;
    what the good people desire, they get.

25 When the storm is over, there’s nothing left of the wicked;
    good people, firm on their rock foundation, aren’t even fazed.

26 A lazy employee will give you nothing but trouble;
    it’s vinegar in the mouth, smoke in the eyes.

27 The Fear-of-God expands your life;
    a wicked life is a puny life.

28 The aspirations of good people end in celebration;
    the ambitions of bad people crash.

29 God is solid backing to a well-lived life,
    but he calls into question a shabby performance.

30 Good people last—they can’t be moved;
    the wicked are here today, gone tomorrow.

31 A good person’s mouth is a clear fountain of wisdom;
    a foul mouth is a stagnant swamp.

32 The speech of a good person clears the air;
    the words of the wicked pollute it.

Psalm 47

A Psalm of the Sons of Korah

1-9 Applause, everyone. Bravo, bravissimo!
    Shout God-songs at the top of your lungs!
God Most High is stunning,

    astride land and ocean.
He crushes hostile people,

    puts nations at our feet.
He set us at the head of the line,

    prize-winning Jacob, his favorite.
Loud cheers as God climbs the mountain,

    a ram’s horn blast at the summit.
Sing songs to God, sing out!

    Sing to our King, sing praise!
He’s Lord over earth,

    so sing your best songs to God.
God is Lord of godless nations—

    sovereign, he’s King of the mountain.
Princes from all over are gathered,

    people of Abraham’s God.
The powers of earth are God’s—

    he soars over all.

Psalm 48

A Psalm of the Sons of Korah

1-3 God majestic,
    praise abounds in our God-city!
His sacred mountain,

    breathtaking in its heights—earth’s joy.
Zion Mountain looms in the North,

    city of the world-King.
God in his citadel peaks

    impregnable.

4-6 

The kings got together,
    they united and came.
They took one look and shook their heads,

    they scattered and ran away.
They doubled up in pain

    like a woman having a baby.

7-8 

You smashed the ships of Tarshish
    with a storm out of the East.
We heard about it, then we saw it

    with our eyes—
In God’s city of Angel Armies,

    in the city our God
Set on firm foundations,

    firm forever.

9-10 

We pondered your love-in-action, God,
    waiting in your temple:
Your name, God, evokes a train

    of Hallelujahs wherever
It is spoken, near and far;

    your arms are heaped with goodness-in-action.

11 

Be glad, Zion Mountain;
    Dance, Judah’s daughters!
    He does what he said he’d do!

12-14 

Circle Zion, take her measure,
    count her fortress peaks,
Gaze long at her sloping bulwark,

    climb her citadel heights—
Then you can tell the next generation

    detail by detail the story of God,
Our God forever,

    who guides us till the end of time.

Psalm 49

A Psalm of the Sons of Korah

1-2 Listen, everyone, listen—
    earth-dwellers, don’t miss this.
All you haves

    and have-nots,
All together now: listen.

3-4 

I set plainspoken wisdom before you,
    my heart-seasoned understandings of life.
I fine-tuned my ear to the sayings of the wise,

    I solve life’s riddle with the help of a harp.

5-6 

So why should I fear in bad times,
    hemmed in by enemy malice,
Shoved around by bullies,

    demeaned by the arrogant rich?

7-9 

Really! There’s no such thing as self-rescue,
    pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.
The cost of rescue is beyond our means,

    and even then it doesn’t guarantee
Life forever, or insurance

    against the Black Hole.

10-11 

Anyone can see that the brightest and best die,
    wiped out right along with fools and dunces.
They leave all their prowess behind,

    move into their new home, The Coffin,
The cemetery their permanent address.

    And to think they named counties after themselves!

12 

We aren’t immortal. We don’t last long.
    Like our dogs, we age and weaken. And die.

13-15 

This is what happens to those who live for the moment,
    who only look out for themselves:
Death herds them like sheep straight to hell;

    they disappear down the gullet of the grave;
They waste away to nothing—

    nothing left but a marker in a cemetery.
But me? God snatches me from the clutch of death,

    he reaches down and grabs me.

16-19 

So don’t be impressed with those who get rich
    and pile up fame and fortune.
They can’t take it with them;

    fame and fortune all get left behind.
Just when they think they’ve arrived

    and folks praise them because they’ve made good,
They enter the family burial plot

    where they’ll never see sunshine again.

20 

We aren’t immortal. We don’t last long.
    Like our dogs, we age and weaken. And die.

Psalm 50

An Asaph Psalm

1-3 The God of gods—it’s God!—speaks out, shouts, “Earth!”
    welcomes the sun in the east,
    farewells the disappearing sun in the west.
From the dazzle of Zion,

    God blazes into view.
Our God makes his entrance,

    he’s not shy in his coming.
Starbursts of fireworks precede him.

4-5 

He summons heaven and earth as a jury,
    he’s taking his people to court:
“Round up my saints who swore

    on the Bible their loyalty to me.”

The whole cosmos attests to the fairness of this court,
    that here God is judge.

7-15 

“Are you listening, dear people? I’m getting ready to speak;
    Israel, I’m about ready to bring you to trial.
This is God, your God,

    speaking to you.
I don’t find fault with your acts of worship,

    the frequent burnt sacrifices you offer.
But why should I want your blue-ribbon bull,

    or more and more goats from your herds?
Every creature in the forest is mine,

    the wild animals on all the mountains.
I know every mountain bird by name;

    the scampering field mice are my friends.
If I get hungry, do you think I’d tell you?

    All creation and its bounty are mine.
Do you think I feast on venison?

    or drink draughts of goats’ blood?
Spread for me a banquet of praise,

    serve High God a feast of kept promises,
And call for help when you’re in trouble—

    I’ll help you, and you’ll honor me.”

16-21 

Next, God calls up the wicked:

“What are you up to, quoting my laws,
    talking like we are good friends?
You never answer the door when I call;

    you treat my words like garbage.
If you find a thief, you make him your buddy;

    adulterers are your friends of choice.
Your mouth drools filth;

    lying is a serious art form with you.
You stab your own brother in the back,

    rip off your little sister.
I kept a quiet patience while you did these things;

    you thought I went along with your game.
I’m calling you on the carpet, now,

    laying your wickedness out in plain sight.

22-23 

“Time’s up for playing fast and
    loose with me.
I’m ready to pass sentence,

    and there’s no help in sight!
It’s the praising life that honors me.

    As soon as you set your foot on the Way,
I’ll show you my salvation.”

Psalm 51

A David Psalm, After He Was Confronted by Nathan About the Affair with Bathsheba

1-3 Generous in love—God, give grace!
    Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record.
Scrub away my guilt,

    soak out my sins in your laundry.
I know how bad I’ve been;

    my sins are staring me down.

4-6 

You’re the One I’ve violated, and you’ve seen
    it all, seen the full extent of my evil.
You have all the facts before you;

    whatever you decide about me is fair.
I’ve been out of step with you for a long time,

    in the wrong since before I was born.
What you’re after is truth from the inside out.

    Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.

7-15 

Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean,
    scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life.
Tune me in to foot-tapping songs,

    set these once-broken bones to dancing.
Don’t look too close for blemishes,

    give me a clean bill of health.
God, make a fresh start in me,

    shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
Don’t throw me out with the trash,

    or fail to breathe holiness in me.
Bring me back from gray exile,

    put a fresh wind in my sails!
Give me a job teaching rebels your ways

    so the lost can find their way home.
Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God,

    and I’ll sing anthems to your life-giving ways.
Unbutton my lips, dear God;

    I’ll let loose with your praise.

16-17 

Going through the motions doesn’t please you,
    a flawless performance is nothing to you.
I learned God-worship

    when my pride was shattered.
Heart-shattered lives ready for love

    don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.

18-19 

Make Zion the place you delight in,
    repair Jerusalem’s broken-down walls.
Then you’ll get real worship from us,

    acts of worship small and large,
Including all the bulls

    they can heave onto your altar!

The Message Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson