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

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Proverbs 23

1-3 When you go out to dinner with an influential person,

    mind your manners:
Don’t gobble your food,
    don’t talk with your mouth full.
And don’t stuff yourself;
    bridle your appetite.

 

4-5 Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich;
    restrain yourself!
Riches disappear in the blink of an eye;
    wealth sprouts wings
    and flies off into the wild blue yonder.

 

6-8 Don’t accept a meal from a tightwad;
    don’t expect anything special.
He’ll be as stingy with you as he is with himself;
    he’ll say, “Eat! Drink!” but won’t mean a word of it.
His miserly serving will turn your stomach
    when you realize the meal’s a sham.

 

Don’t bother talking sense to fools;
    they’ll only poke fun at your words.

 

10-11 Don’t stealthily move back the boundary lines
    or cheat orphans out of their property,
For they have a powerful Advocate
    who will go to bat for them.

12 Give yourselves to disciplined instruction;

    open your ears to tested knowledge.

 

13-14 Don’t be afraid to correct your young ones;
    a spanking won’t kill them.
A good spanking, in fact, might save them
    from something worse than death.

 

15-16 Dear child, if you become wise,
    I’ll be one happy parent.
My heart will dance and sing
    to the tuneful truth you’ll speak.

 

17-18 Don’t for a minute envy careless rebels;
    soak yourself in the Fear-of-God
That’s where your future lies.
    Then you won’t be left with an armload of nothing.

 

19-21 Oh listen, dear child—become wise;
    point your life in the right direction.
Don’t drink too much wine and get drunk;
    don’t eat too much food and get fat.
Drunks and gluttons will end up on skid row,
    in a stupor and dressed in rags.

Buy Wisdom, Education, Insight

 

22-25 Listen with respect to the father who raised you,
    and when your mother grows old, don’t neglect her.
Buy truth—don’t sell it for love or money;
    buy wisdom, buy education, buy insight.
Parents rejoice when their children turn out well;
    wise children become proud parents.
So make your father happy!
    Make your mother proud!

 

26 Dear child, I want your full attention;
    please do what I show you.

27-28 A whore is a bottomless pit;
    a loose woman can get you in deep trouble fast.
She’ll take you for all you’ve got;
    she’s worse than a pack of thieves.

 

29-35 Who are the people who are always crying the blues?
    Who do you know who reeks of self-pity?
Who keeps getting beat up for no reason at all?
    Whose eyes are bleary and bloodshot?
It’s those who spend the night with a bottle,
    for whom drinking is serious business.
Don’t judge wine by its label,
    or its bouquet, or its full-bodied flavor.
Judge it rather by the hangover it leaves you with—
    the splitting headache, the queasy stomach.
Do you really prefer seeing double,
    with your speech all slurred,
Reeling and seasick,
    drunk as a sailor?
“They hit me,” you’ll say, “but it didn’t hurt;
    they beat on me, but I didn’t feel a thing.
When I’m sober enough to manage it,
    bring me another drink!”

Psalm 113 

1-3 Hallelujah!
You who serve God, praise God!
    Just to speak his name is praise!
Just to remember God is a blessing—
    now and tomorrow and always.
From east to west, from dawn to dusk,
    keep lifting all your praises to God!

4-9 God is higher than anything and anyone,
    outshining everything you can see in the skies.
Who can compare with God, our God,
    so majestically enthroned,
Surveying his magnificent
    heavens and earth?
He picks up the poor from out of the dirt,
    rescues the wretched who’ve been thrown out with the trash,
Seats them among the honored guests,
    a place of honor among the brightest and best.
He gives childless couples a family,
    gives them joy as the parents of children.
Hallelujah!

Psalm 114 

1-8 After Israel left Egypt,
    the clan of Jacob left those barbarians behind;
Judah became holy land for him,
    Israel the place of holy rule.
Sea took one look and ran the other way;
    River Jordan turned around and ran off.
The mountains turned playful and skipped like rams,
    the hills frolicked like spring lambs.
What’s wrong with you, Sea, that you ran away?
    and you, River Jordan, that you turned and ran off?
And mountains, why did you skip like rams?
    and you, hills, frolic like spring lambs?
Tremble, Earth! You’re in the Lord’s presence!
    in the presence of Jacob’s God.
He turned the rock into a pool of cool water,
    turned flint into fresh spring water.

Psalm 115 

1-2 Not for our sake, God, no, not for our sake,
    but for your name’s sake, show your glory.
Do it on account of your merciful love,
    do it on account of your faithful ways.
Do it so none of the nations can say,
    “Where now, oh where is their God?”

3-8 Our God is in heaven
    doing whatever he wants to do.
Their gods are metal and wood,
    handmade in a basement shop:
Carved mouths that can’t talk,
    painted eyes that can’t see,
Tin ears that can’t hear,
    molded noses that can’t smell,
Hands that can’t grasp, feet that can’t walk or run,
    throats that never utter a sound.
Those who make them have become just like them,
    have become just like the gods they trust.

9-11 But you, Israel: put your trust in God!
    —trust your Helper! trust your Ruler!
Clan of Aaron, trust in God!
    —trust your Helper! trust your Ruler!
You who fear God, trust in God!
    —trust your Helper! trust your Ruler!

12-16 God, remember us and bless us,
    bless the families of Israel and Aaron.
And let God bless all who fear God
    bless the small, bless the great.
Oh, let God enlarge your families—
    giving growth to you, growth to your children.
May you be blessed by God,
    by God, who made heaven and earth.
The heaven of heavens is for God,
    but he put us in charge of the earth.

17-18 Dead people can’t praise God
    not a word to be heard from those buried in the ground.
But we bless God, oh yes—
    we bless him now, we bless him always!
Hallelujah!

Psalm 116 

1-6 I love God because he listened to me,
    listened as I begged for mercy.
He listened so intently
    as I laid out my case before him.
Death stared me in the face,
    hell was hard on my heels.
Up against it, I didn’t know which way to turn;
    then I called out to God for help:
“Please, God!” I cried out.
    “Save my life!”
God is gracious—it is he who makes things right,
    our most compassionate God.
God takes the side of the helpless;
    when I was at the end of my rope, he saved me.

7-8 I said to myself, “Relax and rest.
    God has showered you with blessings.
    Soul, you’ve been rescued from death;
    Eye, you’ve been rescued from tears;
    And you, Foot, were kept from stumbling.”

9-11 I’m striding in the presence of God,
    alive in the land of the living!
I stayed faithful, though bedeviled,
    and despite a ton of bad luck,
Despite giving up on the human race,
    saying, “They’re all liars and cheats.”

12-19 What can I give back to God
    for the blessings he’s poured out on me?
I’ll lift high the cup of salvation—a toast to God!
    I’ll pray in the name of God;
I’ll complete what I promised God I’d do,
    and I’ll do it together with his people.
When they arrive at the gates of death,
    God welcomes those who love him.
Oh, God, here I am, your servant,
    your faithful servant: set me free for your service!
I’m ready to offer the thanksgiving sacrifice
    and pray in the name of God.
I’ll complete what I promised God I’d do,
    and I’ll do it in company with his people,
In the place of worship, in God’s house,
    in Jerusalem, God’s city.
Hallelujah!

Psalm 117 

1-2 Praise God, everybody!
    Applaud God, all people!
His love has taken over our lives;
God’s faithful ways are eternal.
    Hallelujah!

Psalm 118 

1-4 Thank God because he’s good,
    because his love never quits.
Tell the world, Israel,
    “His love never quits.”
And you, clan of Aaron, tell the world,
    “His love never quits.”
And you who fear God, join in,
    “His love never quits.”

5-16 Pushed to the wall, I called to God;
    from the wide open spaces, he answered.
God’s now at my side and I’m not afraid;
    who would dare lay a hand on me?
God’s my strong champion;
    I flick off my enemies like flies.
Far better to take refuge in God
    than trust in people;
Far better to take refuge in God
    than trust in celebrities.
Hemmed in by barbarians,
    in God’s name I rubbed their faces in the dirt;
Hemmed in and with no way out,
    in God’s name I rubbed their faces in the dirt;
Like swarming bees, like wild prairie fire, they hemmed me in;
    in God’s name I rubbed their faces in the dirt.
I was right on the cliff-edge, ready to fall,
    when God grabbed and held me.
God’s my strength, he’s also my song,
    and now he’s my salvation.
Hear the shouts, hear the triumph songs
    in the camp of the saved?
        “The hand of God has turned the tide!
        The hand of God is raised in victory!
        The hand of God has turned the tide!”

17-20 I didn’t die. I lived!
    And now I’m telling the world what God did.
God tested me, he pushed me hard,
    but he didn’t hand me over to Death.
Swing wide the city gates—the righteous gates!
    I’ll walk right through and thank God!
This Temple Gate belongs to God,
    so the victors can enter and praise.

21-25 Thank you for responding to me;
    you’ve truly become my salvation!
The stone the masons discarded as flawed
    is now the capstone!
This is God’s work.
    We rub our eyes—we can hardly believe it!
This is the very day God acted—
    let’s celebrate and be festive!
Salvation now, God. Salvation now!
    Oh yes, God—a free and full life!

26-29 Blessed are you who enter in God’s name—
    from God’s house we bless you!
God is God,
    he has bathed us in light.
Festoon the shrine with garlands,
    hang colored banners above the altar!
You’re my God, and I thank you.
    O my God, I lift high your praise.
Thank God—he’s so good.
    His love never quits!

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