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

Scroll down to read the Psalms.

Proverbs 6

1-5 Dear friend, if you’ve gone into hock with your neighbor
    or locked yourself into a deal with a stranger,
If you’ve impulsively promised the shirt off your back
    and now find yourself shivering out in the cold,
Friend, don’t waste a minute, get yourself out of that mess.
    You’re in that man’s clutches!
    Go, put on a long face; act desperate.
Don’t procrastinate—
    there’s no time to lose.
Run like a deer from the hunter,
    fly like a bird from the trapper!

A Lesson from the Ant

6-11 You lazy fool, look at an ant.
    Watch it closely; let it teach you a thing or two.
Nobody has to tell it what to do.
    All summer it stores up food;
    at harvest it stockpiles provisions.
So how long are you going to laze around doing nothing?
    How long before you get out of bed?
A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there,
    sit back, take it easy—do you know what comes next?
Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life,
    poverty your permanent houseguest!

Always Cooking Up Something Nasty

12-15 Riffraff and rascals
    talk out of both sides of their mouths.
They wink at each other, they shuffle their feet,
    they cross their fingers behind their backs.
Their perverse minds are always cooking up something nasty,
    always stirring up trouble.
Catastrophe is just around the corner for them,
    a total smashup, their lives ruined beyond repair.

Seven Things God Hates

16-19 Here are six things God hates,
    and one more that he loathes with a passion:

eyes that are arrogant,
a tongue that lies,
hands that murder the innocent,
a heart that hatches evil plots,
feet that race down a wicked track,
a mouth that lies under oath,
a troublemaker in the family.

Warning on Adultery

20-23 Good friend, follow your father’s good advice;
    don’t wander off from your mother’s teachings.
Wrap yourself in them from head to foot;
    wear them like a scarf around your neck.
Wherever you walk, they’ll guide you;
    whenever you rest, they’ll guard you;
    when you wake up, they’ll tell you what’s next.
For sound advice is a beacon,
    good teaching is a light,
    moral discipline is a life path.

24-35 They’ll protect you from wanton women,
    from the seductive talk of some temptress.
Don’t lustfully fantasize on her beauty,
    nor be taken in by her bedroom eyes.
You can buy an hour with a whore for a loaf of bread,
    but a wanton woman may well eat you alive.
Can you build a fire in your lap
    and not burn your pants?
Can you walk barefoot on hot coals
    and not get blisters?
It’s the same when you have sex with your neighbor’s wife:
    Touch her and you’ll pay for it. No excuses.
Hunger is no excuse
    for a thief to steal;
When he’s caught he has to pay it back,
    even if he has to put his whole house in hock.
Adultery is a brainless act,
    soul-destroying, self-destructive;
Expect a bloody nose, a black eye,
    and a reputation ruined for good.
For jealousy detonates rage in a cheated husband;
    wild for revenge, he won’t make allowances.
Nothing you say or pay will make it all right;
    neither bribes nor reason will satisfy him.

Psalm 26

A David Psalm

Clear my name, God;
    I’ve kept an honest shop.
I’ve thrown in my lot with you, God, and

    I’m not budging.

    Examine me, God, from head to foot,
    order your battery of tests.
Make sure I’m fit

    inside and out

    So I never lose
    sight of your love,
But keep in step with you,

    never missing a beat.

4-5 

    I don’t hang out with tricksters,
    I don’t pal around with thugs;
I hate that pack of gangsters,

    I don’t deal with double-dealers.

6-7 

    I scrub my hands with purest soap,
    then join hands with the others in the great circle,
    dancing around your altar, God,
Singing God-songs at the top of my lungs,

    telling God-stories.

8-10 

    God, I love living with you;
    your house glows with your glory.
When it’s time for spring cleaning,

    don’t sweep me out with the quacks and crooks,
Men with bags of dirty tricks,

    women with purses stuffed with bribe-money.

11-12 

    You know I’ve been aboveboard with you;
    now be aboveboard with me.
I’m on the level with you, God;

    I bless you every chance I get.

Psalm 27

A David Psalm

Light, space, zest—
    that’s God!
So, with him on my side I’m fearless,

    afraid of no one and nothing.

    When vandal hordes ride down
    ready to eat me alive,
Those bullies and toughs

    fall flat on their faces.

When besieged,
    I’m calm as a baby.
When all hell breaks loose,

    I’m collected and cool.

I’m asking God for one thing,
    only one thing:
To live with him in his house

    my whole life long.
I’ll contemplate his beauty;

    I’ll study at his feet.

That’s the only quiet, secure place
    in a noisy world,
The perfect getaway,

    far from the buzz of traffic.

God holds me head and shoulders
    above all who try to pull me down.
I’m headed for his place to offer anthems

    that will raise the roof!
Already I’m singing God-songs;

    I’m making music to God.

7-9 

Listen, God, I’m calling at the top of my lungs:
    “Be good to me! Answer me!”
When my heart whispered, “Seek God,”

    my whole being replied,
“I’m seeking him!”

    Don’t hide from me now!

9-10 

You’ve always been right there for me;
    don’t turn your back on me now.
Don’t throw me out, don’t abandon me;

    you’ve always kept the door open.
My father and mother walked out and left me,

    but God took me in.

11-12 

Point me down your highway, God;
    direct me along a well-lighted street;
    show my enemies whose side you’re on.
Don’t throw me to the dogs,

    those liars who are out to get me,
    filling the air with their threats.

13-14 

I’m sure now I’ll see God’s goodness
    in the exuberant earth.
Stay with God!

    Take heart. Don’t quit.
I’ll say it again:

    Stay with God.

Psalm 28

A David Psalm

Don’t turn a deaf ear
    when I call you, God.
If all I get from you is

    deafening silence,
I’d be better off

    in the Black Hole.

I’m letting you know what I need,
    calling out for help
And lifting my arms

    toward your inner sanctum.

3-4 

Don’t shove me into
    the same jail cell with those crooks,
With those who are

    full-time employees of evil.
They talk a good line of “peace,”

    then moonlight for the Devil.

Pay them back for what they’ve done,
    for how bad they’ve been.
Pay them back for their long hours

    in the Devil’s workshop;
Then cap it with a huge bonus.

Because they have no idea how God works
    or what he is up to,
God will smash them to smithereens

    and walk away from the ruins.

6-7 

Blessed be God—
    he heard me praying.
He proved he’s on my side;

    I’ve thrown my lot in with him.

Now I’m jumping for joy,
    and shouting and singing my thanks to him.

8-9 

God is all strength for his people,
    ample refuge for his chosen leader;
Save your people

    and bless your heritage.
Care for them;

    carry them like a good shepherd.

Psalm 29

A David Psalm

1-2 Bravo, God, bravo!
    Gods and all angels shout, “Encore!”
In awe before the glory,

    in awe before God’s visible power.
Stand at attention!

    Dress your best to honor him!

God thunders across the waters,
Brilliant, his voice and his face, streaming brightness—
God, across the flood waters.

God’s thunder tympanic,
God’s thunder symphonic.

God’s thunder smashes cedars,
God topples the northern cedars.

The mountain ranges skip like spring colts,
The high ridges jump like wild kid goats.

7-8 

God’s thunder spits fire.
God thunders, the wilderness quakes;
He makes the desert of Kadesh shake.

God’s thunder sets the oak trees dancing
A wild dance, whirling; the pelting rain strips their branches.
We fall to our knees—we call out, “Glory!”

10 

Above the floodwaters is God’s throne
    from which his power flows,
    from which he rules the world.

11 

God makes his people strong.
God gives his people peace.

Psalm 30 

A David Psalm

I give you all the credit, God—
    you got me out of that mess,
    you didn’t let my foes gloat.

2-3 

God, my God, I yelled for help
    and you put me together.
God, you pulled me out of the grave,

    gave me another chance at life
    when I was down-and-out.

4-5 

All you saints! Sing your hearts out to God!
    Thank him to his face!
He gets angry once in a while, but across

    a lifetime there is only love.
The nights of crying your eyes out

    give way to days of laughter.

6-7 

When things were going great
    I crowed, “I’ve got it made.
I’m God’s favorite.

    He made me king of the mountain.”
Then you looked the other way

    and I fell to pieces.

8-10 

I called out to you, God;
    I laid my case before you:
“Can you sell me for a profit when I’m dead?

    auction me off at a cemetery yard sale?
When I’m ‘dust to dust’ my songs

    and stories of you won’t sell.
So listen! and be kind!

    Help me out of this!”

11-12 

You did it: you changed wild lament
    into whirling dance;
You ripped off my black mourning band

    and decked me with wildflowers.
I’m about to burst with song;

    I can’t keep quiet about you.
God, my God,

    I can’t thank you enough.

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