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

Scroll down to read the Psalms.

Proverbs 3

1-2 Good friend, don’t forget all I’ve taught you;
    take to heart my commands.
They’ll help you live a long, long time,
    a long life lived full and well.

3-4 Don’t lose your grip on Love and Loyalty.
    Tie them around your neck; carve their initials on your heart.
Earn a reputation for living well
    in God’s eyes and the eyes of the people.

5-12 Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
    don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
    he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.
    Run to God! Run from evil!
Your body will glow with health,
    your very bones will vibrate with life!
Honor God with everything you own;
    give him the first and the best.
Your barns will burst,
    your wine vats will brim over.
But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline;
    don’t sulk under his loving correction.
It’s the child he loves that God corrects;
    a father’s delight is behind all this.

The Very Tree of Life

13-18 You’re blessed when you meet Lady Wisdom,
    when you make friends with Madame Insight.
She’s worth far more than money in the bank;
    her friendship is better than a big salary.
Her value exceeds all the trappings of wealth;
    nothing you could wish for holds a candle to her.
With one hand she gives long life,
    with the other she confers recognition.
Her manner is beautiful,
    her life wonderfully complete.
She’s the very Tree of Life to those who embrace her.
    Hold her tight—and be blessed!

19-20 With Lady Wisdom, God formed Earth;
    with Madame Insight, he raised Heaven.
They knew when to signal rivers and springs to the surface,
    and dew to descend from the night skies.

Never Walk Away

21-26 Dear friend, guard Clear Thinking and Common Sense with your life;
    don’t for a minute lose sight of them.
They’ll keep your soul alive and well,
    they’ll keep you fit and attractive.
You’ll travel safely,
    you’ll neither tire nor trip.
You’ll take afternoon naps without a worry,
    you’ll enjoy a good night’s sleep.
No need to panic over alarms or surprises,
    or predictions that doomsday’s just around the corner,
Because God will be right there with you;
    he’ll keep you safe and sound.

27-29 Never walk away from someone who deserves help;
    your hand is God’s hand for that person.
Don’t tell your neighbor “Maybe some other time”
    or “Try me tomorrow”
    when the money’s right there in your pocket.
Don’t figure ways of taking advantage of your neighbor
    when he’s sitting there trusting and unsuspecting.

30-32 Don’t walk around with a chip on your shoulder,
    always spoiling for a fight.
Don’t try to be like those who shoulder their way through life.
    Why be a bully?
“Why not?” you say. Because God can’t stand twisted souls.
    It’s the straightforward who get his respect.

33-35 God’s curse blights the house of the wicked,
    but he blesses the home of the righteous.
He gives proud skeptics a cold shoulder,
    but if you’re down on your luck, he’s right there to help.
Wise living gets rewarded with honor;
    stupid living gets the booby prize.

Psalm 11

A David Psalm

1-3 I’ve already run for dear life
    straight to the arms of God.
So why would I run away now

    when you say,

“Run to the mountains; the evil
    bows are bent, the wicked arrows
Aimed to shoot under cover of darkness

    at every heart open to God.
The bottom’s dropped out of the country;

    good people don’t have a chance”?

4-6 

But God hasn’t moved to the mountains;
    his holy address hasn’t changed.
He’s in charge, as always, his eyes

    taking everything in, his eyelids
Unblinking, examining Adam’s unruly brood

    inside and out, not missing a thing.
He tests the good and the bad alike;

    if anyone cheats, God’s outraged.
Fail the test and you’re out,

    out in a hail of firestones,
Drinking from a canteen

    filled with hot desert wind.

God’s business is putting things right;
    he loves getting the lines straight,
Setting us straight. Once we’re standing tall,

    we can look him straight in the eye.

Psalm 12

A David Psalm

1-2 Quick, God, I need your helping hand!
The last decent person just went down,
All the friends I depended on gone.
Everyone talks in lie language;
Lies slide off their oily lips.
They doubletalk with forked tongues.

3-4 

Slice their lips off their faces! Pull
The braggart tongues from their mouths!
I’m tired of hearing, “We can talk anyone into anything!
Our lips manage the world.”

Into the hovels of the poor,
Into the dark streets where the homeless groan, God speaks:
“I’ve had enough; I’m on my way
To heal the ache in the heart of the wretched.”

6-8 

God’s words are pure words,
Pure silver words refined seven times
In the fires of his word-kiln,
Pure on earth as well as in heaven.
God, keep us safe from their lies,
From the wicked who stalk us with lies,
From the wicked who collect honors
For their wonderful lies.

Psalm 13

A David Psalm

1-2 Long enough, God—
    you’ve ignored me long enough.
I’ve looked at the back of your head

    long enough. Long enough
I’ve carried this ton of trouble,

    lived with a stomach full of pain.
Long enough my arrogant enemies

    have looked down their noses at me.

3-4 

Take a good look at me, God, my God;
    I want to look life in the eye,
So no enemy can get the best of me

    or laugh when I fall on my face.

5-6 

I’ve thrown myself headlong into your arms—
    I’m celebrating your rescue.
I’m singing at the top of my lungs,

    I’m so full of answered prayers.

Psalm 14

A David Psalm

Bilious and bloated, they gas,
    “God is gone.”
Their words are poison gas,

    fouling the air; they poison
Rivers and skies;

    thistles are their cash crop.

God sticks his head out of heaven.
    He looks around.
He’s looking for someone not stupid—

    one man, even, God-expectant,
    just one God-ready woman.

He comes up empty. A string
    of zeros. Useless, unshepherded
Sheep, taking turns pretending

    to be Shepherd.
The ninety and nine

    follow their fellow.

Don’t they know anything,
    all these impostors?
Don’t they know

    they can’t get away with this—
Treating people like a fast-food meal

    over which they’re too busy to pray?

5-6 

Night is coming for them, and nightmares,
    for God takes the side of victims.
Do you think you can mess

    with the dreams of the poor?
You can’t, for God

    makes their dreams come true.

Is there anyone around to save Israel?
    Yes. God is around; God turns life around.
Turned-around Jacob skips rope,

    turned-around Israel sings laughter.

Psalm 15

A David Psalm

God, who gets invited
    to dinner at your place?
How do we get on your guest list?

“Walk straight,
    act right,
        tell the truth.

3-4 

“Don’t hurt your friend,
    don’t blame your neighbor;
        despise the despicable.

“Keep your word even when it costs you,
    make an honest living,
        never take a bribe.

“You’ll never get
blacklisted
if you live like this.”

Psalm 16

A David Song

1-2 Keep me safe, O God,
    I’ve run for dear life to you.
I say to God, “Be my Lord!”

    Without you, nothing makes sense.

And these God-chosen lives all around—
    what splendid friends they make!

Don’t just go shopping for a god.
    Gods are not for sale.
I swear I’ll never treat god-names

    like brand-names.

5-6 

My choice is you, God, first and only.
    And now I find I’m your choice!
You set me up with a house and yard.

    And then you made me your heir!

7-8 

The wise counsel God gives when I’m awake
    is confirmed by my sleeping heart.
Day and night I’ll stick with God;

    I’ve got a good thing going and I’m not letting go.

9-10 

I’m happy from the inside out,
    and from the outside in, I’m firmly formed.
You canceled my ticket to hell—

    that’s not my destination!

11 

Now you’ve got my feet on the life path,
    all radiant from the shining of your face.
Ever since you took my hand,

    I’m on the right way.

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