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

Scroll down to read the Psalms.

Proverbs 20

1 Wine makes you mean, beer makes you quarrelsome—
    a staggering drunk is not much fun.

Quick-tempered leaders are like mad dogs—
    cross them and they bite your head off.

It’s a mark of good character to avert quarrels,
    but fools love to pick fights.

A farmer too lazy to plant in the spring
    has nothing to harvest in the fall.

Knowing what is right is like deep water in the heart;
    a wise person draws from the well within.

Lots of people claim to be loyal and loving,
    but where on earth can you find one?

God-loyal people, living honest lives,
    make it much easier for their children.

8-9 Leaders who know their business and care
    keep a sharp eye out for the shoddy and cheap,
For who among us can be trusted
    to be always diligent and honest?

10 Switching price tags and padding the expense account
    are two things God hates.

11 Young people eventually reveal by their actions
    if their motives are on the up and up.

Drinking from the Chalice of Knowledge

12 Ears that hear and eyes that see—
    we get our basic equipment from God!

13 Don’t be too fond of sleep; you’ll end up in the poorhouse.
    Wake up and get up; then there’ll be food on the table.

14 The shopper says, “That’s junk—I’ll take it off your hands,”
    then goes off boasting of the bargain.

15 Drinking from the beautiful chalice of knowledge
    is better than adorning oneself with gold and rare gems.

16 Hold tight to collateral on any loan to a stranger;
    beware of accepting what a transient has pawned.

17 Stolen bread tastes sweet,
    but soon your mouth is full of gravel.

18 Form your purpose by asking for counsel,
    then carry it out using all the help you can get.

19 Gossips can’t keep secrets,
    so never confide in blabbermouths.

20 Anyone who curses father and mother
    extinguishes light and exists benighted.

The Very Steps We Take

21 A bonanza at the beginning
    is no guarantee of blessing at the end.

22 Don’t ever say, “I’ll get you for that!”
    Wait for God; he’ll settle the score.

23 God hates cheating in the marketplace;
    rigged scales are an outrage.

24 The very steps we take come from God;
    otherwise how would we know where we’re going?

25 An impulsive vow is a trap;
    later you’ll wish you could get out of it.

26 After careful scrutiny, a wise leader
    makes a clean sweep of rebels and dolts.

27 God is in charge of human life,
    watching and examining us inside and out.

28 Love and truth form a good leader;
    sound leadership is founded on loving integrity.

29 Youth may be admired for vigor,
    but gray hair gives prestige to old age.

30 A good thrashing purges evil;
    punishment goes deep within us.

Psalm 98 

Sing to God a brand-new song.
He’s made a world of wonders!

He rolled up his sleeves,
He set things right.

God made history with salvation,
He showed the world what he could do.

He remembered to love us, a bonus
To his dear family, Israel—indefatigable love.

The whole earth comes to attention.
Look—God’s work of salvation!

Shout your praises to God, everybody!
Let loose and sing! Strike up the band!

Round up an orchestra to play for God,
Add on a hundred-voice choir.

Feature trumpets and big trombones,
Fill the air with praises to King God.

Let the sea and its fish give a round of applause,
With everything living on earth joining in.

Let ocean breakers call out, “Encore!”
And mountains harmonize the finale—

A tribute to God when he comes,
When he comes to set the earth right.

He’ll straighten out the whole world,
He’ll put the world right, and everyone in it.

Psalm 99 

1-3 God rules. On your toes, everybody!
He rules from his angel throne—take notice!
God looms majestic in Zion,
He towers in splendor over all the big names.
Great and terrible your beauty: let everyone praise you!
    Holy. Yes, holy.

4-5 Strong King, lover of justice,
You laid things out fair and square;
You set down the foundations in Jacob,
Foundation stones of just and right ways.
Honor God, our God; worship his rule!
    Holy. Yes, holy.

6-9 Moses and Aaron were his priests,
Samuel among those who prayed to him.
They prayed to God and he answered them;
He spoke from the pillar of cloud.
And they did what he said; they kept the law he gave them.
And then God, our God, answered them
(But you were never soft on their sins).
Lift high God, our God; worship at his holy mountain.
    Holy. Yes, holy is God our God.

Psalm 100 

A Thanksgiving Psalm

 1-2 On your feet now—applaud God!
    Bring a gift of laughter,
    sing yourselves into his presence.

Know this: God is God, and God, God.
    He made us; we didn’t make him.
    We’re his people, his well-tended sheep.

Enter with the password: “Thank you!”
    Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
    Thank him. Worship him.

For God is sheer beauty,
    all-generous in love,
    loyal always and ever.

Psalm 101 

A David Psalm

 1-8 My theme song is God’s love and justice,
    and I’m singing it right to you, God.
I’m finding my way down the road of right living,
    but how long before you show up?
I’m doing the very best I can,
    and I’m doing it at home, where it counts.
I refuse to take a second look
    at corrupting people and degrading things.
I reject made-in-Canaan gods,
    stay clear of contamination.
The crooked in heart keep their distance;
    I refuse to shake hands with those who plan evil.
I put a gag on the gossip
    who bad-mouths his neighbor;
I can’t stand
    arrogance.
But I have my eye on salt-of-the-earth people—
    they’re the ones I want working with me;
Men and women on the straight and narrow—
    these are the ones I want at my side.
But no one who traffics in lies
    gets a job with me; I have no patience with liars.
I’ve rounded up all the wicked like cattle
    and herded them right out of the country.
I purged God’s city
    of all who make a business of evil.

Psalm 102 

A Prayer of One Whose Life Is Falling to Pieces, and Who Lets God Know Just How Bad It Is

1-2 God, listen! Listen to my prayer,
    listen to the pain in my cries.
Don’t turn your back on me
    just when I need you so desperately.
Pay attention! This is a cry for help!
    And hurry—this can’t wait!

3-11 I’m wasting away to nothing,
    I’m burning up with fever.
I’m a ghost of my former self,
    half-consumed already by terminal illness.
My jaws ache from gritting my teeth;
    I’m nothing but skin and bones.
I’m like a buzzard in the desert,
    a crow perched on the rubble.
Insomniac, I twitter away,
    mournful as a sparrow in the gutter.
All day long my enemies taunt me,
    while others just curse.
They bring in meals—casseroles of ashes!
    I draw drink from a barrel of my tears.
And all because of your furious anger;
    you swept me up and threw me out.
There’s nothing left of me—
    a withered weed, swept clean from the path.

12-17 Yet you, God, are sovereign still,
    always and ever sovereign.
You’ll get up from your throne and help Zion—
    it’s time for compassionate help.
Oh, how your servants love this city’s rubble
    and weep with compassion over its dust!
The godless nations will sit up and take notice
    —see your glory, worship your name—
When God rebuilds Zion,
    when he shows up in all his glory,
When he attends to the prayer of the wretched.
    He won’t dismiss their prayer.

18-22 Write this down for the next generation
    so people not yet born will praise God:
God looked out from his high holy place;
    from heaven he surveyed the earth.
He listened to the groans of the doomed,
    he opened the doors of their death cells.”
Write it so the story can be told in Zion,
    so God’s praise will be sung in Jerusalem’s streets
And wherever people gather together
    along with their rulers to worship him.

23-28 God sovereignly brought me to my knees,
    he cut me down in my prime.
“Oh, don’t,” I prayed, “please don’t let me die.
    You have more years than you know what to do with!
You laid earth’s foundations a long time ago,
    and handcrafted the very heavens;
You’ll still be around when they’re long gone,
    threadbare and discarded like an old suit of clothes.
You’ll throw them away like a worn-out coat,
    but year after year you’re as good as new.
Your servants’ children will have a good place to live
    and their children will be at home with you.”

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