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Proverbs 9

1-6 Lady Wisdom has built and furnished her home;
    it’s supported by seven hewn timbers.
The banquet meal is ready to be served: lamb roasted,
    wine poured out, table set with silver and flowers.
Having dismissed her serving maids,
    Lady Wisdom goes to town, stands in a prominent place,
    and invites everyone within sound of her voice:
“Are you confused about life, don’t know what’s going on?
    Come with me, oh come, have dinner with me!
I’ve prepared a wonderful spread—fresh-baked bread,
    roast lamb, carefully selected wines.
Leave your impoverished confusion and live!
    Walk up the street to a life with meaning.”

7-12 If you reason with an arrogant cynic, you’ll get slapped in the face;
    confront bad behavior and get a kick in the shins.
So don’t waste your time on a scoffer;
    all you’ll get for your pains is abuse.
But if you correct those who care about life,
    that’s different—they’ll love you for it!
Save your breath for the wise—they’ll be wiser for it;
    tell good people what you know—they’ll profit from it.
Skilled living gets its start in the Fear-of-God,
    insight into life from knowing a Holy God.
It’s through me, Lady Wisdom, that your life deepens,
    and the years of your life ripen.
Live wisely and wisdom will permeate your life;
    mock life and life will mock you.

Madame Whore Calls Out, Too

13-18 Then there’s this other woman, Madame Whore—
    brazen, empty-headed, frivolous.
She sits on the front porch
    of her house on Main Street,
And as people walk by minding
    their own business, calls out,
“Are you confused about life, don’t know what’s going on?
    Steal off with me, I’ll show you a good time!
    No one will ever know—I’ll give you the time of your life.”
But they don’t know about all the skeletons in her closet,
    that all her guests end up in hell.

Psalm 42 

A psalm of the sons of Korah

1-3 A white-tailed deer drinks
    from the creek;
I want to drink God,

    deep draughts of God.
I’m thirsty for God-alive.
I wonder, “Will I ever make it—

    arrive and drink in God’s presence?”
I’m on a diet of tears—

    tears for breakfast, tears for supper.
All day long

    people knock at my door,

    “Where is this God of yours?”

These are the things I go over and over,
    emptying out the pockets of my life.
I was always at the head of the worshiping crowd,

    right out in front,
Leading them all,

    eager to arrive and worship,
Shouting praises, singing thanksgiving—

    celebrating, all of us, God’s feast!

Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
    Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God—

    soon I’ll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face.

    He’s my God.


When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse
    everything I know of you,
From Jordan depths to Hermon heights,

    including Mount Mizar.
Chaos calls to chaos,

    to the tune of whitewater rapids.
Your breaking surf, your thundering breakers

    crash and crush me.
Then God promises to love me all day,

    sing songs all through the night!
    My life is God’s prayer.


Sometimes I ask God, my rock-solid God,
    “Why did you let me down?
Why am I walking around in tears,

    harassed by enemies?”
They’re out for the kill, these

    tormentors with their obscenities,
Taunting day after day,

    “Where is this God of yours?”


Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
    Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God—

    soon I’ll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face.

    He’s my God.

Psalm 43

1-2 Clear my name, God; stick up for me
    against these loveless, immoral people.
Get me out of here, away

    from these lying degenerates.
I counted on you, God.

    Why did you walk out on me?
Why am I pacing the floor, wringing my hands

    over these outrageous people?


Give me your lantern and compass,
    give me a map,
So I can find my way to the sacred mountain,

    to the place of your presence,
To enter the place of worship,

    meet my exuberant God,
Sing my thanks with a harp,

    magnificent God, my God.

Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
    Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God—

    soon I’ll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face.

    He’s my God.

Psalm 44

A Psalm of the Sons of Korah

1-3 We’ve been hearing about this, God,
    all our lives.
Our fathers told us the stories

    their fathers told them,
How single-handedly you weeded out the godless

    from the fields and planted us,
How you sent those people packing

    but gave us a fresh start.
We didn’t fight for this land;

    we didn’t work for it—it was a gift!
You gave it, smiling as you gave it,

    delighting as you gave it.


You’re my King, O God—
    command victories for Jacob!
With your help we’ll wipe out our enemies,

    in your name we’ll stomp them to dust.
I don’t trust in weapons;

    my sword won’t save me—
But it’s you, you who saved us from the enemy;

    you made those who hate us lose face.
All day we parade God’s praise—

    we thank you by name over and over.


But now you’ve walked off and left us,
    you’ve disgraced us and won’t fight for us.
You made us turn tail and run;

    those who hate us have cleaned us out.
You delivered us as sheep to the butcher,

    you scattered us to the four winds.
You sold your people at a discount—

    you made nothing on the sale.


You made people on the street,
    urchins, poke fun and call us names.
You made us a joke among the godless,

    a cheap joke among the rabble.
Every day I’m up against it,

    my nose rubbed in my shame—
Gossip and ridicule fill the air,

    people out to get me crowd the street.


All this came down on us,
    and we’ve done nothing to deserve it.
We never betrayed your Covenant: our hearts

    were never false, our feet never left your path.
Do we deserve torture in a den of jackals?

    or lockup in a black hole?


If we had forgotten to pray to our God
    or made fools of ourselves with store-bought gods,
Wouldn’t God have figured this out?

    We can’t hide things from him.
No, you decided to make us martyrs,

    lambs assigned for sacrifice each day.


Get up, God! Are you going to sleep all day?
    Wake up! Don’t you care what happens to us?
Why do you bury your face in the pillow?

    Why pretend things are just fine with us?
And here we are—flat on our faces in the dirt,

    held down with a boot on our necks.
Get up and come to our rescue.

    If you love us so much, Help us!

Psalm 45

A Wedding Song of the Sons of Korah

My heart bursts its banks,
    spilling beauty and goodness.
I pour it out in a poem to the king,

    shaping the river into words:


“You’re the handsomest of men;
    every word from your lips is sheer grace,
    and God has blessed you, blessed you so much.
Strap your sword to your side, warrior!

    Accept praise! Accept due honor!
    Ride majestically! Ride triumphantly!
Ride on the side of truth!

    Ride for the righteous meek!


“Your instructions are glow-in-the-dark;
    you shoot sharp arrows
Into enemy hearts; the king’s

    foes lie down in the dust, beaten.


“Your throne is God’s throne,
    ever and always;
The scepter of your royal rule

    measures right living.
You love the right

    and hate the wrong.
And that is why God, your very own God,

    poured fragrant oil on your head,
Marking you out as king

    from among your dear companions.


“Your ozone-drenched garments
    are fragrant with mountain breeze.
Chamber music—from the throne room—

    makes you want to dance.
Kings’ daughters are maids in your court,

    the Bride glittering with golden jewelry.


“Now listen, daughter, don’t miss a word:
    forget your country, put your home behind you.
Be here—the king is wild for you.

    Since he’s your lord, adore him.
Wedding gifts pour in from Tyre;

    rich guests shower you with presents.”


(Her wedding dress is dazzling,
    lined with gold by the weavers;
All her dresses and robes

    are woven with gold.
She is led to the king,

    followed by her virgin companions.
A procession of joy and laughter!

    a grand entrance to the king’s palace!)


“Set your mind now on sons—
    don’t dote on father and grandfather.
You’ll set your sons up as princes

    all over the earth.
I’ll make you famous for generations;

    you’ll be the talk of the town
    for a long, long time.”

Psalm 46

A Song of the Sons of Korah

1-3 God is a safe place to hide,
    ready to help when we need him.
We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom,

    courageous in seastorm and earthquake,
Before the rush and roar of oceans,

    the tremors that shift mountains.

Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
    God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.


River fountains splash joy, cooling God’s city,
    this sacred haunt of the Most High.
God lives here, the streets are safe,

    God at your service from crack of dawn.
Godless nations rant and rave, kings and kingdoms threaten,

    but Earth does anything he says.

Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
    God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.


Attention, all! See the marvels of God!
    He plants flowers and trees all over the earth,
Bans war from pole to pole,

    breaks all the weapons across his knee.
“Step out of the traffic! Take a long,

    loving look at me, your High God,
    above politics, above everything.”


Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
    God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.

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