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

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Proverbs 13

1 Intelligent children listen to their parents;
    foolish children do their own thing.

The good acquire a taste for helpful conversation;
    bullies push and shove their way through life.

Careful words make for a careful life;
    careless talk may ruin everything.

Indolence wants it all and gets nothing;
    the energetic have something to show for their lives.

A good person hates false talk;
    a bad person wallows in gibberish.

A God-loyal life keeps you on track;
    sin dumps the wicked in the ditch.

A pretentious, showy life is an empty life;
    a plain and simple life is a full life.

The rich can be sued for everything they have,
    but the poor are free of such threats.

The lives of good people are brightly lit streets;
    the lives of the wicked are dark alleys.

10 Arrogant know-it-alls stir up discord,
    but wise men and women listen to each other’s counsel.

11 Easy come, easy go,
    but steady diligence pays off.

12 Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick,
    but a sudden good break can turn life around.

13 Ignore the Word and suffer;
    honor God’s commands and grow rich.

14 The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life,
    so, no more drinking from death-tainted wells!

15 Sound thinking makes for gracious living,
    but liars walk a rough road.

16 A commonsense person lives good sense;
    fools litter the country with silliness.

17 Irresponsible talk makes a real mess of things,
    but a reliable reporter is a healing presence.

18 Refuse discipline and end up homeless;
    embrace correction and live an honored life.

19 Souls who follow their hearts thrive;
    fools bent on evil despise matters of soul.

20 Become wise by walking with the wise;
    hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.

21 Disaster entraps sinners,
    but God-loyal people get a good life.

22 A good life gets passed on to the grandchildren;
    ill-gotten wealth ends up with good people.

23 Banks foreclose on the farms of the poor,
    or else the poor lose their shirts to crooked lawyers.

24 A refusal to correct is a refusal to love;
    love your children by disciplining them.

25 An appetite for good brings much satisfaction,
    but the belly of the wicked always wants more.

Psalm 62 

A David Psalm

1-2 God, the one and only—
    I’ll wait as long as he says.
Everything I need comes from him,

    so why not?
He’s solid rock under my feet,

    breathing room for my soul,
An impregnable castle:

    I’m set for life.


How long will you gang up on me?
    How long will you run with the bullies?
There’s nothing to you, any of you—

    rotten floorboards, worm-eaten rafters,
Anthills plotting to bring down mountains,

    far gone in make-believe.
You talk a good line,

    but every “blessing” breathes a curse.


God, the one and only—
    I’ll wait as long as he says.
Everything I hope for comes from him,

    so why not?
He’s solid rock under my feet,

    breathing room for my soul,
An impregnable castle:

    I’m set for life.


My help and glory are in God
    —granite-strength and safe-harbor-God—
So trust him absolutely, people;

    lay your lives on the line for him.
    God is a safe place to be.

Man as such is smoke,
    woman as such, a mirage.
Put them together, they’re nothing;

    two times nothing is nothing.


And a windfall, if it comes—
    don’t make too much of it.


God said this once and for all;
    how many times
Have I heard it repeated?

    “Strength comes
Straight from God.”


Love to you, Lord God!
    You pay a fair wage for a good day’s work!

Psalm 63

A David Psalm, When He Was out in the Judean Wilderness

God—you’re my God!
    I can’t get enough of you!
I’ve worked up such hunger and thirst for God,

    traveling across dry and weary deserts.


So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open,
    drinking in your strength and glory.
In your generous love I am really living at last!

    My lips brim praises like fountains.
I bless you every time I take a breath;

    My arms wave like banners of praise to you.


I eat my fill of prime rib and gravy;
    I smack my lips. It’s time to shout praises!
If I’m sleepless at midnight,

    I spend the hours in grateful reflection.
Because you’ve always stood up for me,

    I’m free to run and play.
I hold on to you for dear life,

    and you hold me steady as a post.


Those who are out to get me are marked for doom,
    marked for death, bound for hell.
They’ll die violent deaths;

    jackals will tear them limb from limb.
But the king is glad in God;

    his true friends spread the joy,
While small-minded gossips

    are gagged for good.

Psalm 64

A David Psalm

Listen and help, O God.
    I’m reduced to a whine
And a whimper, obsessed

    with feelings of doomsday.


Don’t let them find me—
    the conspirators out to get me,
Using their tongues as weapons,

    flinging poison words,
    poison-tipped arrow-words.
They shoot from ambush,

    shoot without warning,
    not caring who they hit.
They keep fit doing calisthenics

    of evil purpose,
They keep lists of the traps

    they’ve secretly set.
They say to each other,

    “No one can catch us,
    no one can detect our perfect crime.”
The Detective detects the mystery

    in the dark of the cellar heart.


The God of the Arrow shoots!
    They double up in pain,
Fall flat on their faces

    in full view of the grinning crowd.


Everyone sees it. God’s
    work is the talk of the town.
Be glad, good people! Fly to God!

    Good-hearted people, make praise your habit.

Psalm 65

A David Psalm

1-2 Silence is praise to you,
    Zion-dwelling God,
And also obedience.

    You hear the prayer in it all.


We all arrive at your doorstep sooner
    or later, loaded with guilt,
Our sins too much for us—

    but you get rid of them once and for all.
Blessed are the chosen! Blessed the guest

    at home in your place!
We expect our fill of good things

    in your house, your heavenly manse.
All your salvation wonders

    are on display in your trophy room.
Earth-Tamer, Ocean-Pourer,

    Mountain-Maker, Hill-Dresser,
Muzzler of sea storm and wave crash,

    of mobs in noisy riot—
Far and wide they’ll come to a stop,

    they’ll stare in awe, in wonder.
Dawn and dusk take turns

    calling, “Come and worship.”


Oh, visit the earth,
    ask her to join the dance!
Deck her out in spring showers,

    fill the God-River with living water.
Paint the wheat fields golden.

    Creation was made for this!
Drench the plowed fields,

    soak the dirt clods
With rainfall as harrow and rake

    bring her to blossom and fruit.
Snow-crown the peaks with splendor,

    scatter rose petals down your paths,
All through the wild meadows, rose petals.

    Set the hills to dancing,
Dress the canyon walls with live sheep,

    a drape of flax across the valleys.
Let them shout, and shout, and shout!

    Oh, oh, let them sing!

Psalm 66

1-4 All together now—applause for God!
    Sing songs to the tune of his glory,
    set glory to the rhythms of his praise.
Say of God, “We’ve never seen anything like him!”

    When your enemies see you in action,
    they slink off like scolded dogs.
The whole earth falls to its knees—

    it worships you, sings to you,
    can’t stop enjoying your name and fame.


Take a good look at God’s wonders—
    they’ll take your breath away.
He converted sea to dry land;

    travelers crossed the river on foot.
    Now isn’t that cause for a song?

Ever sovereign in his high tower, he keeps
    his eye on the godless nations.
Rebels don’t dare

    raise a finger against him.


Bless our God, O peoples!
    Give him a thunderous welcome!
Didn’t he set us on the road to life?

    Didn’t he keep us out of the ditch?
He trained us first,

    passed us like silver through refining fires,
Brought us into hardscrabble country,

    pushed us to our very limit,
Road-tested us inside and out,

    took us to hell and back;
Finally he brought us

    to this well-watered place.


I’m bringing my prizes and presents to your house.
    I’m doing what I said I’d do,
What I solemnly swore I’d do

    that day when I was in so much trouble:
The choicest cuts of meat

    for the sacrificial meal;
Even the fragrance

    of roasted lamb is like a meal!
Or make it an ox

    garnished with goat meat!


All believers, come here and listen,
    let me tell you what God did for me.
I called out to him with my mouth,

    my tongue shaped the sounds of music.
If I had been cozy with evil,

    the Lord would never have listened.
But he most surely did listen,

    he came on the double when he heard my prayer.
Blessed be God: he didn’t turn a deaf ear,

    he stayed with me, loyal in his love.

Psalm 67

1-7 God, mark us with grace
    and blessing! Smile!
The whole country will see how you work,

    all the godless nations see how you save.
God! Let people thank and enjoy you.

    Let all people thank and enjoy you.
Let all far-flung people become happy

    and shout their happiness because
You judge them fair and square,

    you tend the far-flung peoples.
God! Let people thank and enjoy you.

    Let all people thank and enjoy you.
Earth, display your exuberance!

    You mark us with blessing, O God, our God.
You mark us with blessing, O God.

    Earth’s four corners—honor him!

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