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

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Proverbs 26

1 We no more give honors to fools
    than pray for snow in summer or rain during harvest.

You have as little to fear from an undeserved curse
    as from the dart of a wren or the swoop of a swallow.

A whip for the racehorse, a tiller for the sailboat—
and a stick for the back of fools!

Don’t respond to the stupidity of a fool;
you’ll only look foolish yourself.

Answer a fool in simple terms
so he doesn’t get a swelled head.

You’re only asking for trouble
when you send a message by a fool.

A proverb quoted by fools
is limp as a wet noodle.

Putting a fool in a place of honor
is like setting a mud brick on a marble column.

To ask a moron to quote a proverb
is like putting a scalpel in the hands of a drunk.

10 Hire a fool or a drunk
and you shoot yourself in the foot.

11 As a dog eats its own vomit,
    so fools recycle silliness.

12 See that man who thinks he’s so smart?
    You can expect far more from a fool than from him.

13 Loafers say, “It’s dangerous out there!
    Tigers are prowling the streets!”
    and then pull the covers back over their heads.

14 Just as a door turns on its hinges,
    so a lazybones turns back over in bed.

15 A shiftless sluggard puts his fork in the pie,
    but is too lazy to lift it to his mouth.

Like Glaze on Cracked Pottery

16 Dreamers fantasize their self-importance;
    they think they are smarter
    than a whole college faculty.

17 You grab a mad dog by the ears
    when you butt into a quarrel that’s none of your business.

18-19 People who shrug off deliberate deceptions,
    saying, “I didn’t mean it, I was only joking,”
Are worse than careless campers
    who walk away from smoldering campfires.

20 When you run out of wood, the fire goes out;
    when the gossip ends, the quarrel dies down.

21 A quarrelsome person in a dispute
    is like kerosene thrown on a fire.

22 Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy;
    do you want junk like that in your belly?

23 Smooth talk from an evil heart
    is like glaze on cracked pottery.

24-26 Your enemy shakes hands and greets you like an old friend,
    all the while conniving against you.
When he speaks warmly to you, don’t believe him for a minute;
    he’s just waiting for the chance to rip you off.
No matter how cunningly he conceals his malice,
    eventually his evil will be exposed in public.

27 Malice backfires;
    spite boomerangs.

28 Liars hate their victims;
    flatterers sabotage trust.

Psalm 126 

A Pilgrim Song

126 1-3 It seemed like a dream, too good to be true,
    when God returned Zion’s exiles.
We laughed, we sang,
    we couldn’t believe our good fortune.
We were the talk of the nations—
    God was wonderful to them!”
God was wonderful to us;
    we are one happy people.

4-6 And now, God, do it again—
    bring rains to our drought-stricken lives
So those who planted their crops in despair
    will shout hurrahs at the harvest,
So those who went off with heavy hearts
    will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing.

Psalm 127 

A Pilgrim Song of Solomon

1-2 If God doesn’t build the house,
    the builders only build shacks.
If God doesn’t guard the city,
    the night watchman might as well nap.
It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late,
    and work your worried fingers to the bone.
Don’t you know he enjoys
    giving rest to those he loves?

3-5 Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift?
    the fruit of the womb his generous legacy?
Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows
    are the children of a vigorous youth.
Oh, how blessed are you parents,
    with your quivers full of children!
Your enemies don’t stand a chance against you;
    you’ll sweep them right off your doorstep.

Psalm 128 

A Pilgrim Song

1-2 All you who fear God, how blessed you are!
    how happily you walk on his smooth straight road!
You worked hard and deserve all you’ve got coming.
    Enjoy the blessing! Revel in the goodness!

3-4 Your wife will bear children as a vine bears grapes,
    your household lush as a vineyard,
The children around your table
    as fresh and promising as young olive shoots.
Stand in awe of God’s Yes.
    Oh, how he blesses the one who fears God!

5-6 Enjoy the good life in Jerusalem
    every day of your life.
And enjoy your grandchildren.
    Peace to Israel!

Psalm 129 

A Pilgrim Song

1-4 “They’ve kicked me around ever since I was young”
    —this is how Israel tells it—
“They’ve kicked me around ever since I was young,
    but they never could keep me down.
Their plowmen plowed long furrows
    up and down my back;
Then God ripped the harnesses
    of the evil plowmen to shreds.”

5-8 Oh, let all those who hate Zion
    grovel in humiliation;
Let them be like grass in shallow ground
    that withers before the harvest,
Before the farmhands can gather it in,
    the harvesters get in the crop,
Before the neighbors have a chance to call out,
    “Congratulations on your wonderful crop!
    We bless you in God’s name!”

Psalm 130 

A Pilgrim Song

1-2 Help, God—the bottom has fallen out of my life!
    Master, hear my cry for help!
Listen hard! Open your ears!
    Listen to my cries for mercy.

3-4 If you, God, kept records on wrongdoings,
    who would stand a chance?
As it turns out, forgiveness is your habit,
    and that’s why you’re worshiped.

5-6 I pray to God—my life a prayer—
    and wait for what he’ll say and do.
My life’s on the line before God, my Lord,
    waiting and watching till morning,
    waiting and watching till morning.

7-8 O Israel, wait and watch for God
    with God’s arrival comes love,
    with God’s arrival comes generous redemption.
No doubt about it—he’ll redeem Israel,
    buy back Israel from captivity to sin.

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