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

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Proverbs 17

1 A meal of bread and water in contented peace
    is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.

A wise servant takes charge of an unruly child
    and is honored as one of the family.

As silver in a crucible and gold in a pan,
    so our lives are assayed by God.

Evil people relish malicious conversation;
    the ears of liars itch for dirty gossip.

Whoever mocks poor people insults their Creator;
    gloating over misfortune is a punishable crime.

Old people are distinguished by grandchildren;
    children take pride in their parents.

We don’t expect eloquence from fools,
    nor do we expect lies from our leaders.

Receiving a gift is like getting a rare gemstone;
    any way you look at it, you see beauty refracted.

Overlook an offense and bond a friendship;
    fasten on to a slight and—good-bye, friend!

10 A quiet rebuke to a person of good sense
    does more than a whack on the head of a fool.

11 Criminals out looking for nothing but trouble
    won’t have to wait long—they’ll meet it coming and going!

12 Better to meet a grizzly robbed of her cubs
    than a fool hellbent on folly.

13 Those who return evil for good
    will meet their own evil returning.

14 The start of a quarrel is like a leak in a dam,
    so stop it before it bursts.

15 Whitewashing bad people and throwing mud on good people
    are equally abhorrent to God.

16 What’s this? Fools out shopping for wisdom!
    They wouldn’t recognize it if they saw it!

One Who Knows Much Says Little

17 Friends love through all kinds of weather,
    and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.

18 It’s stupid to try to get something for nothing,
    or run up huge bills you can never pay.

19 The person who courts sin marries trouble;
    build a wall, invite a burglar.

20 A bad motive can’t achieve a good end;
    double-talk brings you double trouble.

21 Having a fool for a child is misery;
    it’s no fun being the parent of a dolt.

22 A cheerful disposition is good for your health;
    gloom and doom leave you bone-tired.

23 The wicked take bribes under the table;
    they show nothing but contempt for justice.

24 The perceptive find wisdom in their own front yard;
    fools look for it everywhere but right here.

25 A surly, stupid child is sheer pain to a father,
    a bitter pill for a mother to swallow.

26 It’s wrong to penalize good behavior,
    or make good citizens pay for the crimes of others.

27 The one who knows much says little;
    an understanding person remains calm.

28 Even dunces who keep quiet are thought to be wise;
    as long as they keep their mouths shut, they’re smart.

Psalm 83 

An Asaph Psalm

1-5 God, don’t shut me out;
    don’t give me the silent treatment, O God.
Your enemies are out there whooping it up,

    the God-haters are living it up;
They’re plotting to do your people in,

    conspiring to rob you of your precious ones.
“Let’s wipe this nation from the face of the earth,”

    they say; “scratch Israel’s name off the books.”
And now they’re putting their heads together,

    making plans to get rid of you.

6-8 

Edom and the Ishmaelites,
    Moab and the Hagrites,
    Gebal and Ammon and Amalek,
    Philistia and the Tyrians,
    And now Assyria has joined up,
    Giving muscle to the gang of Lot.

9-12 

Do to them what you did to Midian,
    to Sisera and Jabin at Kishon Brook;
They came to a bad end at Endor,

    nothing but dung for the garden.
Cut down their leaders as you did Oreb and Zeeb,

    their princes to nothings like Zebah and Zalmunna,
With their empty brags, “We’re grabbing it all,

    grabbing God’s gardens for ourselves.”

13-18 

My God! I’ve had it with them!
    Blow them away!
Tumbleweeds in the desert waste,

    charred sticks in the burned-over ground.
Knock the breath right out of them, so they’re gasping

    for breath, gasping, “God.”
Bring them to the end of their rope,

    and leave them there dangling, helpless.
Then they’ll learn your name: “God,”

    the one and only High God on earth.

Psalm 84

A Korah Psalm

1-2 What a beautiful home, God-of-the-Angel-Armies!
    I’ve always longed to live in a place like this,
Always dreamed of a room in your house,

    where I could sing for joy to God-alive!

3-4 

Birds find nooks and crannies in your house,
    sparrows and swallows make nests there.
They lay their eggs and raise their young,

    singing their songs in the place where we worship.
God-of-the-Angel-Armies! King! God!

    How blessed they are to live and sing there!

5-7 

And how blessed all those in whom you live,
    whose lives become roads you travel;
They wind through lonesome valleys, come upon brooks,

    discover cool springs and pools brimming with rain!
God-traveled, these roads curve up the mountain, and

    at the last turn—Zion! God in full view!

8-9 

God-of-the-Angel-Armies, listen:
    O God of Jacob, open your ears—I’m praying!
Look at our shields, glistening in the sun,

    our faces, shining with your gracious anointing.

10-12 

One day spent in your house, this beautiful place of worship,
    beats thousands spent on Greek island beaches.
I’d rather scrub floors in the house of my God

    than be honored as a guest in the palace of sin.
All sunshine and sovereign is God,

    generous in gifts and glory.
He doesn’t scrimp with his traveling companions.

    It’s smooth sailing all the way with God-of-the-Angel-Armies.

Psalm 85 

A Korah Psalm

1-3 God, you smiled on your good earth!
    You brought good times back to Jacob!
You lifted the cloud of guilt from your people,

    you put their sins far out of sight.
You took back your sin-provoked threats,

    you cooled your hot, righteous anger.

4-7 

Help us again, God of our help;
    don’t hold a grudge against us forever.
You aren’t going to keep this up, are you?

    scowling and angry, year after year?
Why not help us make a fresh start—a resurrection life?

    Then your people will laugh and sing!
Show us how much you love us, God!

    Give us the salvation we need!

8-9 

I can’t wait to hear what he’ll say.
    God’s about to pronounce his people well,
The holy people he loves so much,

    so they’ll never again live like fools.
See how close his salvation is to those who fear him?

    Our country is home base for Glory!

10-13 

Love and Truth meet in the street,
    Right Living and Whole Living embrace and kiss!
Truth sprouts green from the ground,

    Right Living pours down from the skies!
Oh yes! God gives Goodness and Beauty;

    our land responds with Bounty and Blessing.
Right Living strides out before him,

    and clears a path for his passage.

Psalm 86 

A David Psalm

1-7 Bend an ear, God; answer me.
    I’m one miserable wretch!
Keep me safe—haven’t I lived a good life?

    Help your servant—I’m depending on you!
You’re my God; have mercy on me.

    I count on you from morning to night.
Give your servant a happy life;

    I put myself in your hands!
You’re well-known as good and forgiving,

    bighearted to all who ask for help.
Pay attention, God, to my prayer;

    bend down and listen to my cry for help.
Every time I’m in trouble I call on you,

    confident that you’ll answer.

8-10 

There’s no one quite like you among the gods, O Lord,
    and nothing to compare with your works.
All the nations you made are on their way,

    ready to give honor to you, O Lord,
Ready to put your beauty on display,

    parading your greatness,
And the great things you do—

    God, you’re the one, there’s no one but you!

11-17 

Train me, God, to walk straight;
    then I’ll follow your true path.
Put me together, one heart and mind;

    then, undivided, I’ll worship in joyful fear.
From the bottom of my heart I thank you, dear Lord;

    I’ve never kept secret what you’re up to.
You’ve always been great toward me—what love!

    You snatched me from the brink of disaster!
God, these bullies have reared their heads!

    A gang of thugs is after me—
    and they don’t care a thing about you.
But you, O God, are both tender and kind,

    not easily angered, immense in love,
    and you never, never quit.
So look me in the eye and show kindness,

    give your servant the strength to go on,
    save your dear, dear child!
Make a show of how much you love me

    so the bullies who hate me will stand there slack-jawed,
As you, God, gently and powerfully

    put me back on my feet.

Psalm 87 

A Korah Psalm

1-3 He founded Zion on the Holy Mountain—
    and oh, how God loves his home!
Loves it far better than all

    the homes of Jacob put together!
God’s hometown—oh!

    everyone there is talking about you!

I name them off, those among whom I’m famous:
    Egypt and Babylon,
    also Philistia,
    even Tyre, along with Cush.
Word’s getting around; they point them out:

    “This one was born again here!”

The word’s getting out on Zion:
    “Men and women, right and left,
    get born again in her!”

God registers their names in his book:
    “This one, this one, and this one—
    born again, right here.”

Singers and dancers give credit to Zion:
    “All my springs are in you!”

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