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

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Proverbs 31

1 The words of King Lemuel,
    the strong advice his mother gave him:

2-3 “Oh, son of mine, what can you be thinking of!
    Child whom I bore! The son I dedicated to God!
Don’t dissipate your virility on fortune-hunting women,
    promiscuous women who shipwreck leaders.

4-7 “Leaders can’t afford to make fools of themselves,
    gulping wine and swilling beer,
Lest, hung over, they don’t know right from wrong,
    and the people who depend on them are hurt.
Use wine and beer only as sedatives,
    to kill the pain and dull the ache
Of the terminally ill,
    for whom life is a living death.

8-9 “Speak up for the people who have no voice,
    for the rights of all the down-and-outers.
Speak out for justice!
    Stand up for the poor and destitute!”

Hymn to a Good Wife

10-31 A good woman is hard to find,
    and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
    and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously
    all her life long.
She shops around for the best yarns and cottons,
    and enjoys knitting and sewing.
She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places
    and brings back exotic surprises.
She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast
    for her family and organizing her day.
She looks over a field and buys it,
    then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
    rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
    is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
    diligent in homemaking.
She’s quick to assist anyone in need,
    reaches out to help the poor.
She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows;
    their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.
She makes her own clothing,
    and dresses in colorful linens and silks.
Her husband is greatly respected
    when he deliberates with the city fathers.
She designs gowns and sells them,
    brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.
Her clothes are well-made and elegant,
    and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
    and she always says it kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
    and keeps them all busy and productive.
Her children respect and bless her;
    her husband joins in with words of praise:
“Many women have done wonderful things,
    but you’ve outclassed them all!”
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
    The woman to be admired and praised
    is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves!
    Festoon her life with praises!

Psalm 148 

1-5 Hallelujah!
Praise God from heaven,
    praise him from the mountaintops;
Praise him, all you his angels,
    praise him, all you his warriors,
Praise him, sun and moon,
    praise him, you morning stars;
Praise him, high heaven,
    praise him, heavenly rain clouds;
Praise, oh let them praise the name of God
    he spoke the word, and there they were!

He set them in place
    from all time to eternity;
He gave his orders,
    and that’s it!

7-12 Praise God from earth,
    you sea dragons, you fathomless ocean deeps;
Fire and hail, snow and ice,
    hurricanes obeying his orders;
Mountains and all hills,
    apple orchards and cedar forests;
Wild beasts and herds of cattle,
    snakes, and birds in flight;
Earth’s kings and all races,
    leaders and important people,
Robust men and women in their prime,
    and yes, graybeards and little children.

13-14 Let them praise the name of God
    it’s the only Name worth praising.
His radiance exceeds anything in earth and sky;
    he’s built a monument—his very own people!

Praise from all who love God!
    Israel’s children, intimate friends of God.
Hallelujah!

Psalm 149 

1-4 Hallelujah!
Sing to God a brand-new song,
    praise him in the company of all who love him.
Let all Israel celebrate their Sovereign Creator,
    Zion’s children exult in their King.
Let them praise his name in dance;
    strike up the band and make great music!
And why? Because God delights in his people,
    festoons plain folk with salvation garlands!

5-9 Let true lovers break out in praise,
    sing out from wherever they’re sitting,
Shout the high praises of God,
    brandish their swords in the wild sword-dance—
A portent of vengeance on the God-defying nations,
    a signal that punishment’s coming,
Their kings chained and hauled off to jail,
    their leaders behind bars for good,
The judgment on them carried out to the letter
    —and all who love God in the seat of honor!
Hallelujah!

Psalm 150 

1-6 Hallelujah!
Praise God in his holy house of worship,
    praise him under the open skies;
Praise him for his acts of power,
    praise him for his magnificent greatness;
Praise with a blast on the trumpet,
    praise by strumming soft strings;
Praise him with castanets and dance,
    praise him with banjo and flute;
Praise him with cymbals and a big bass drum,
    praise him with fiddles and mandolin.
Let every living, breathing creature praise God!
    Hallelujah!

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