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

Scroll down to read the Psalms.

Proverbs 25

There are also these proverbs of Solomon,
    collected by scribes of Hezekiah, king of Judah.

God delights in concealing things;
    scientists delight in discovering things.

Like the horizons for breadth and the ocean for depth,
    the understanding of a good leader is broad and deep.

4-5 Remove impurities from the silver
    and the silversmith can craft a fine chalice;
Remove the wicked from leadership
    and authority will be credible and God-honoring.

6-7 Don’t work yourself into the spotlight;
    don’t push your way into the place of prominence.
It’s better to be promoted to a place of honor
    than face humiliation by being demoted.

Don’t jump to conclusions—there may be
    a perfectly good explanation for what you just saw.

9-10 In the heat of an argument,
    don’t betray confidences;
Word is sure to get around,
    and no one will trust you.

11-12 The right word at the right time
    is like a custom-made piece of jewelry,
And a wise friend’s timely reprimand
    is like a gold ring slipped on your finger.

13 Reliable friends who do what they say
    are like cool drinks in sweltering heat—refreshing!

14 Like billowing clouds that bring no rain
    is the person who talks big but never produces.

15 Patient persistence pierces through indifference;
    gentle speech breaks down rigid defenses.

A Person Without Self-Control

16-17 When you’re given a box of candy, don’t gulp it all down;
    eat too much chocolate and you’ll make yourself sick;
And when you find a friend, don’t outwear your welcome;
    show up at all hours and he’ll soon get fed up.

18 Anyone who tells lies against the neighbors
    in court or on the street is a loose cannon.

19 Trusting a double-crosser when you’re in trouble
    is like biting down on an abscessed tooth.

20 Singing light songs to the heavyhearted
    is like pouring salt in their wounds.

21-22 If you see your enemy hungry, go buy him lunch;
    if he’s thirsty, bring him a drink.
Your generosity will surprise him with goodness,
    and God will look after you.

23 A north wind brings stormy weather,
    and a gossipy tongue stormy looks.

24 Better to live alone in a tumbledown shack
    than share a mansion with a nagging spouse.

25 Like a cool drink of water when you’re worn out and weary
    is a letter from a long-lost friend.

26 A good person who gives in to a bad person
    is a muddied spring, a polluted well.

27 It’s not smart to stuff yourself with sweets,
    nor is glory piled on glory good for you.

28 A person without self-control
    is like a house with its doors and windows knocked out.

Psalm 120 

A Pilgrim Song

120 1-2 I’m in trouble. I cry to God,
    desperate for an answer:
“Deliver me from the liars, God!
    They smile so sweetly but lie through their teeth.”

3-4 Do you know what’s next, can you see what’s coming,
    all you barefaced liars?
Pointed arrows and burning coals
    will be your reward.

5-7 I’m doomed to live in Meshech,
    cursed with a home in Kedar,
My whole life lived camping
    among quarreling neighbors.
I’m all for peace, but the minute
    I tell them so, they go to war!

Psalm 121 

A Pilgrim Song

1-2 I look up to the mountains;
    does my strength come from mountains?
No, my strength comes from God,
    who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.

3-4 He won’t let you stumble,
    your Guardian God won’t fall asleep.
Not on your life! Israel’s
    Guardian will never doze or sleep.

5-6 God’s your Guardian,
    right at your side to protect you—
Shielding you from sunstroke,
    sheltering you from moonstroke.

7-8 God guards you from every evil,
    he guards your very life.
He guards you when you leave and when you return,
    he guards you now, he guards you always.

Psalm 122 

A Pilgrim Song of David

1-2 When they said, “Let’s go to the house of God,
    my heart leaped for joy.
And now we’re here, O Jerusalem,
    inside Jerusalem’s walls!

3-5 Jerusalem, well-built city,
    built as a place for worship!
The city to which the tribes ascend,
    all God’s tribes go up to worship,
To give thanks to the name of God
    this is what it means to be Israel.
Thrones for righteous judgment
    are set there, famous David-thrones.

6-9 Pray for Jerusalem’s peace!
    Prosperity to all you Jerusalem-lovers!
Friendly insiders, get along!
    Hostile outsiders, keep your distance!
For the sake of my family and friends,
    I say it again: live in peace!
For the sake of the house of our God, God,
    I’ll do my very best for you.

Psalm 123 

A Pilgrim Song

1-4 I look to you, heaven-dwelling God,
    look up to you for help.
Like servants, alert to their master’s commands,
    like a maiden attending her lady,
We’re watching and waiting, holding our breath,
    awaiting your word of mercy.
Mercy, God, mercy!
    We’ve been kicked around long enough,
Kicked in the teeth by complacent rich men,
    kicked when we’re down by arrogant brutes.

Psalm 124 

A Pilgrim Song of David

1-5 If God hadn’t been for us
    —all together now, Israel, sing out!—
If God hadn’t been for us
    when everyone went against us,
We would have been swallowed alive
    by their violent anger,
Swept away by the flood of rage,
    drowned in the torrent;
We would have lost our lives
    in the wild, raging water.

Oh, blessed be God!
    He didn’t go off and leave us.
He didn’t abandon us defenseless,
    helpless as a rabbit in a pack of snarling dogs.

We’ve flown free from their fangs,
    free of their traps, free as a bird.
Their grip is broken;
    we’re free as a bird in flight.

God’s strong name is our help,
    the same God who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 125 

A Pilgrim Song

1-5 Those who trust in God
    are like Zion Mountain:
Nothing can move it, a rock-solid mountain
    you can always depend on.
Mountains encircle Jerusalem,
    and God encircles his people—
    always has and always will.
The fist of the wicked
    will never violate
What is due the righteous,
    provoking wrongful violence.
Be good to your good people, God,
    to those whose hearts are right!
God will round up the backsliders,
    corral them with the incorrigibles.
Peace over Israel!

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