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

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Proverbs 12

1 If you love learning, you love the discipline that goes with it—
    how shortsighted to refuse correction!

A good person basks in the delight of God,
    and he wants nothing to do with devious schemers.

You can’t find firm footing in a swamp,
    but life rooted in God stands firm.

A hearty wife invigorates her husband,
    but a frigid woman is cancer in the bones.

The thinking of principled people makes for justice;
    the plots of degenerates corrupt.

The words of the wicked kill;
    the speech of the upright saves.

Wicked people fall to pieces—there’s nothing to them;
    the homes of good people hold together.

A person who talks sense is honored;
    airheads are held in contempt.

Better to be ordinary and work for a living
    than act important and starve in the process.

10 Good people are good to their animals;
    the “good-hearted” bad people kick and abuse them.

11 The one who stays on the job has food on the table;
    the witless chase whims and fancies.

12 What the wicked construct finally falls into ruin,
    while the roots of the righteous give life, and more life.

Wise People Take Advice

13 The gossip of bad people gets them in trouble;
    the conversation of good people keeps them out of it.

14 Well-spoken words bring satisfaction;
    well-done work has its own reward.

15 Fools are headstrong and do what they like;
    wise people take advice.

16 Fools have short fuses and explode all too quickly;
    the prudent quietly shrug off insults.

17 Truthful witness by a good person clears the air,
    but liars lay down a smoke screen of deceit.

18 Rash language cuts and maims,
    but there is healing in the words of the wise.

19 Truth lasts;
    lies are here today, gone tomorrow.

20 Evil scheming distorts the schemer;
    peace-planning brings joy to the planner.

21 No evil can overwhelm a good person,
    but the wicked have their hands full of it.

22 God can’t stomach liars;
    he loves the company of those who keep their word.

23 Prudent people don’t flaunt their knowledge;
    talkative fools broadcast their silliness.

24 The diligent find freedom in their work;
    the lazy are oppressed by work.

25 Worry weighs us down;
    a cheerful word picks us up.

26 A good person survives misfortune,
    but a wicked life invites disaster.

27 A lazy life is an empty life,
    but “early to rise” gets the job done.

28 Good men and women travel right into life;
    sin’s detours take you straight to hell.

Psalm 57 

A David Psalm, When He Hid in a Cave from Saul

1-3 Be good to me, God—and now!

    I’ve run to you for dear life.
I’m hiding out under your wings

    until the hurricane blows over.
I call out to High God,

    the God who holds me together.
He sends orders from heaven and saves me,

    he humiliates those who kick me around.
God delivers generous love,

    he makes good on his word.

I find myself in a pride of lions
    who are wild for a taste of human flesh;
Their teeth are lances and arrows,

    their tongues are sharp daggers.

Soar high in the skies, O God!
    Cover the whole earth with your glory!

They booby-trapped my path;
    I thought I was dead and done for.
They dug a mantrap to catch me,

    and fell in headlong themselves.


I’m ready, God, so ready,
    ready from head to toe,
Ready to sing, ready to raise a tune:

    “Wake up, soul!
Wake up, harp! wake up, lute!

    Wake up, you sleepyhead sun!”


I’m thanking you, God, out loud in the streets,
    singing your praises in town and country.
The deeper your love, the higher it goes;

    every cloud is a flag to your faithfulness.


Soar high in the skies, O God!
    Cover the whole earth with your glory!

Psalm 58

A David Psalm

1-2 Is this any way to run a country?
    Is there an honest politician in the house?
Behind the scenes you brew cauldrons of evil,

    behind closed doors you make deals with demons.


The wicked crawl from the wrong side of the cradle;
    their first words out of the womb are lies.
Poison, lethal rattlesnake poison,

    drips from their forked tongues—
Deaf to threats, deaf to charm,

    decades of wax built up in their ears.


God, smash their teeth to bits,
    leave them toothless tigers.
Let their lives be buckets of water spilled,

    all that’s left, a damp stain in the sand.
Let them be trampled grass

    worn smooth by the traffic.
Let them dissolve into snail slime,

    be a miscarried fetus that never sees sunlight.
Before what they cook up is half-done, God,

    throw it out with the garbage!


The righteous will call up their friends
    when they see the wicked get their reward,
Serve up their blood in goblets

    as they toast one another,
Everyone cheering, “It’s worth it to play by the rules!

    God’s handing out trophies and tending the earth!”

Psalm 59 

A David Psalm, When Saul Set a Watch on David’s House in Order to Kill Him

1-2 My God! Rescue me from my enemies,
    defend me from these mutineers.
Rescue me from their dirty tricks,

    save me from their hit men.


Desperadoes have ganged up on me,
    they’re hiding in ambush for me.
I did nothing to deserve this, God,

    crossed no one, wronged no one.
All the same, they’re after me,

    determined to get me.


Wake up and see for yourself! You’re God,
    God-of-Angel-Armies, Israel’s God!
Get on the job and take care of these pagans,

    don’t be soft on these hard cases.


They return when the sun goes down,
    They howl like coyotes, ringing the city.
    Then suddenly they’re all at the gate,
    Snarling invective, drawn daggers in their teeth.
    They think they’ll never get caught.


But you, God, break out laughing;
    you treat the godless nations like jokes.
Strong God, I’m watching you do it,

    I can always count on you.
God in dependable love shows up on time,

    shows me my enemies in ruin.


Don’t make quick work of them, God,
    lest my people forget.
Bring them down in slow motion,

    take them apart piece by piece.
Let all their mean-mouthed arrogance

    catch up with them,
Catch them out and bring them down

    —every muttered curse
    —every barefaced lie.
Finish them off in fine style!

    Finish them off for good!
Then all the world will see

    that God rules well in Jacob,
    everywhere that God’s in charge.


They return when the sun goes down,
    They howl like coyotes, ringing the city.
    They scavenge for bones,
    And bite the hand that feeds them.


And me? I’m singing your prowess,
    shouting at cockcrow your largesse,
For you’ve been a safe place for me,

    a good place to hide.
Strong God, I’m watching you do it,

    I can always count on you—
    God, my dependable love.

Psalm 60 

A David Psalm, When He Fought Against Aram-naharaim and Aram-zobah and Joab Killed Twelve Thousand Edomites at the Valley of Salt

1-2 God! you walked off and left us,
    kicked our defenses to bits
And stalked off angry.

    Come back. Oh please, come back!

You shook earth to the foundations,
    ripped open huge crevasses.
Heal the breaks! Everything’s

    coming apart at the seams.


You made your people look doom in the face,
    then gave us cheap wine to drown our troubles.
Then you planted a flag to rally your people,

    an unfurled flag to look to for courage.
Now do something quickly, answer right now,

    so the one you love best is saved.


That’s when God spoke in holy splendor,
    “Bursting with joy,
I make a present of Shechem,

    I hand out Succoth Valley as a gift.
Gilead’s in my pocket,

    to say nothing of Manasseh.
Ephraim’s my hard hat,

    Judah my hammer;
Moab’s a scrub bucket,

    I mop the floor with Moab,
Spit on Edom,

    rain fireworks all over Philistia.”


Who will take me to the thick of the fight?
    Who’ll show me the road to Edom?
You aren’t giving up on us, are you, God?

    refusing to go out with our troops?


Give us help for the hard task;
    human help is worthless.
In God we’ll do our very best;

    he’ll flatten the opposition for good.

Psalm 61 

A David Psalm

1-2 God, listen to me shout,
    bend an ear to my prayer.
When I’m far from anywhere,

    down to my last gasp,
I call out, “Guide me

    up High Rock Mountain!”


You’ve always given me breathing room,
    a place to get away from it all,
A lifetime pass to your safe-house,

    an open invitation as your guest.
You’ve always taken me seriously, God,

    made me welcome among those who know and love you.


Let the days of the king add up
    to years and years of good rule.
Set his throne in the full light of God;

    post Steady Love and Good Faith as lookouts,
And I’ll be the poet who sings your glory—

    and live what I sing every day.

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