Monday, March 31, 2014

Growing in Wisdom - Proverbs 31

These are the wise sayings of King Lemuel of Massa, taught to him at his mother’s knee:

2 O my son whom I have dedicated to The Lord,

3 Do not spend your time with women – the royal pathway to destruction.

4 And it is not for kings, O Lemuel, to drink wine and whiskey.

5 For if they drink they may forget their duties and be unable to give justice to those who are oppressed.


6,7 Hard liquor is for sick men at the brink of death and wine for those deep in depression. Let them drink to forget their poverty and misery.

8 You should defend those who cannot help themselves.

9 Yes, speak up for the poor and needy and see that they get justice.

10 If you can find a truly good wife, she is worth more than precious gems!

11 Her husband can trust her and she will richly satisfy his needs.

12 She will not hinder him but help him all her life.

13 She finds wool and flax and busily spins it.

14 She buys imported foods, brought by ship from distant ports.

15 She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household, and plans the day’s work for her servant girls.

16 She goes out to inspect a field, and buys it; with her own hands she plants a vineyard.

17 She is energetic, a hard worker,

18 and watches for bargains. She works far into the night!

19,20 She sews for the poor and generously gives to the needy.

21 She has no fear of winter for her household, for she has made warm clothes for all of them.

22 She also upholsters with finest tapestry; her own clothing is beautifully made – a purple gown of pure linen.

23 Her husband is well known, for he sits in the council chamber with the other civic leaders.

24 She makes belted linen garments to sell to the merchants.

25 She is a woman of strength and dignity and has no fear of old age.

26 When she speaks, her words are wise, and kindness is the rule in everything she says.

27 She watches carefully all that goes on throughout her household and is never lazy.

28 Her children stand and bless her; so does her husband. He praises her with these words:

29 “There are many fine women in the world, but you are the best of them all!”

30 Charm can be deceptive and beauty doesn’t last, but a woman who fears and reverences God shall be greatly praised.

31 Praise her for the many fine things she does. These good deeds of hers shall bring her honor and recognition from even the leaders of the nations.

Text: Children's Living Bible, Tyndale House Publishing 1972
Photo Credits: Google Images

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Growing in Wisdom - Proverbs 30

These are the messages of Agur, son of Jakeh, from Massa, addressed to Ithiel and Ucal:

2 I am tired out, O God, and ready to die. I am too stupid even to call myself a human being!

3 I cannot understand man, let alone God.

4 Who else but God goes back and forth to heaven? Who else holds the wind in His fists and wraps up the oceans in his cloak? Who but God created the world? If there is any other, what is his name- and his son’s name – if you know it?

5 Every word of God proves true. He defends all who come to Him for protection.

6 Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.

7 O God, I beg two favors for you before I die:

8 First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs!

9 For if I grow rich, I may become content without God. And if I am too poor, I may steal, and thus insult God’s Holy Name.

10 Never falsely accuse a man to his employer, lest he curse you for your sin.

11,12 There are those who curse their father and mother and feel themselves faultless despite their many sins.

13,14 They are proud beyond description, arrogant, disdainful. They devour the poor with teeth as sharp as knives!

15,16 There are two things never satisfied, like a leech forever craving more: No, three things! No, four!  
            The barren womb
            A barren desert

17 A man who mocks his father and despises his mother shall have his eye plucked out by ravens and eaten by vultures.

18,19 There are three things too wonderful for me to understand – no, four!
            How an eagle glides through the sky.
            How a serpent crawls upon a rock.
            How a ship finds its way across the heaving ocean.
            The growth of love between a man and a girl.

20 There is another thing too: how a prostitute can sin and then say, “What’s wrong with that?

21,22,23 There are three things that make the earth tremble – no, four it cannot stand:
            A slave who becomes a king,
            A rebel who prospers
            A bitter woman when she finally marries.
            A servant girl who marries her mistress’ husband.

24-28 There are four things that are small but unusually wise:
            Ants: they aren’t strong, but store up food for the winter.
 Cliff badgers: delicate little animals who protect themselves by living among the  rocks.
            The locusts: though they have no leader, they stay together in swarms.
            The lizard: they are easy to catch and kill, yet are found even in king’s palaces!

29,30,31 There are three stately monarchs in the earth – no, four:
            The lion, king of the animals. He won’t turn aside for anyone.
            The peacock.
            The he-goat.
            A king as he leads his army.

32 If you have been a fool by being proud or plotting evil, don’t brag about it – cover your mouth with your hand in shame.

33 As the churning of cream yields butter and a blow to the nose causes bleeding, so anger causes quarrels.

Text: Children's Living Bible, Tyndale House Publishing 1972
Photo Credits: Google Images

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Growing in Wisdom - Proverbs 29

The man who is often reproved but refuses to accept criticism will suddenly be broken and never have another chance.

2 With good men in authority, the people rejoice; but with the wicked in power, they groan.

3 A wise son makes his father happy, but a lad who hangs around with prostitutes disgraces him.

4 A just king gives stability to his nation, but one who demands bribes destroys it.

5,6 Flattery is a trap; evil men are caught in it, but good men stay away and sing for joy.

7 The good man knows the poor man’s rights; the godless don’t care.

8 Fools start fights everywhere while wise men try to keep peace.

9 There’s no use arguing with a fool. He only rages and scoffs and tempers flare.

10 The godly pray for those who long to kill them.

11 A rebel shouts in anger; a wise man holds his temper in and cools it.

12 A wicked ruler will have wicked aides on his staff.

13 Rich and poor are alike in this: each depends on God for light.

14 A king who is fair to the poor shall have a long reign.

15 Scolding and spanking a child helps him to learn. Left to himself, he brings shame to his mother.

16 When rulers are wicked, their people are too; but good men will live to see the tyrant’s downfall.

17 Discipline your son and he will give you happiness and peace of mind.

18 Where there is ignorance of God, the people run wild; but what a wonderful thing it is for a nation to know and keep this laws!

19 Sometimes mere words are not enough – discipline is needed. For the words may not be heeded.

20 There is more hope for a fool than for a man of quick temper.

21 Pamper a servant from childhood and he will expect you to treat him as a son!

22 A hot-tempered man starts fights and gets into all kinds of trouble.

23 Pride ends in a fall, while humility brings honor.

24 A man who assists a thief must really hate himself! For he knows the consequence but does it anyway.

25 Fear of man is a dangerous trap, but to trust in God means safety.

26 Do you want justice? Don’t fawn on the judge but ask The Lord for it!

27 The good hate the badness of the wicked. The wicked hate the goodness of the good.

Text: Children's Living Bible, Tyndale House Publishing 1972
Photo Credits: Google Images

Friday, March 28, 2014

Growing in Wisdom - Proverbs 28

The wicked flee who no one is chasing them! But the godly are bold as lions!

2 When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily; but with honest, sensible leaders there is stability.

3 When a poor man oppresses those even poorer, he is like an unexpected flood sweeping away their last hope.

4 To complain about the law is to praise wickedness. To obey the law is to fight evil.

5 Evil men don’t understand the importance of justice, but those who follow The Lord are much concerned about it.

6 Better to be poor and honest than rich and a cheater.

7 Young men who are wise obey the law; a son who is a member of a lawless gang is a shame to his father.

8 Income from exploiting the poor will end up in the hands of someone who pities them.

9 God doesn’t listen to the prayers of men who flout the law.

10 A curse on those who lead astray the godly. But men who encourage the upright to do good shall be given a worthwhile reward.

11 Rich men are conceited but their real poverty is evident to the poor.

12 When the godly are successful, everyone is glad. When the wicked succeed, everyone is sad.

13 A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes then, he gets another chance.

14 Blessed is the man who reveres God, but the man who doesn’t care is headed for serious trouble.

15 A wicked ruler is as dangerous to the poor as a lion or bear attacking them.

16 Only a stupid prince will oppress his people, but a king will have a long reign if he hates dishonesty and bribes.
17 A murderer’s conscience will drive him into hell. Don’t stop him!

18 Good men will be rescued from harm but cheaters will be destroyed.

19 Hard work brings prosperity; playing around brings poverty.

20 The man who wants to do right will get a rich reward. But the man who wants to get rich quick will quickly fail.

21 Giving preferred treatment to rich people is a clear case of selling one’s soul for a piece of bread.

22 Trying to get rich quick is evil and leads to poverty.

23 In the end, people appreciate frankness more than flattery.

24 A man who robs his parents and says, “What’s wrong with that?” is no better than a murderer.

25 Greed causes fighting; trusting God leads to prosperity.

26 A man is a fool to trust himself! But those who use God’s wisdom are safe.

27 If you give to the poor, your needs will be supplied! But a curse upon those who close their eyes to poverty.

28 When the wicked prosper, good men go away; when the wicked meet disaster, good men return.

Text: Children's Living Bible, Tyndale House Publishing, 1972
Photo Credits: Google Images

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Growing in Wisdom - Proverbs 27

Don’t brag about your plans for tomorrow – wait and see what happens.

2 Don’t praise yourself; let others do it!

3 A rebel’s frustrations are heavier than sand and rocks.

4 Jealousy is more dangerous and cruel than anger.

5 Open rebuke is better than hidden love!

6 Wounds from a friend are better than kisses from an enemy!

7 Even honey seems tasteless to a man who is full; but if he is hungry, he’ll eat anything!

8 A man who strays from home is like a bird that wanders from its nest.

9 Friendly suggestions are as pleasant as perfume.

10 Never abandon a friend – either yours of your father’s. Then you won’t need to go to a distant relative for help in your time of need.

11 My son, how happy I will be if you turn out to be sensible! It will be a public honor to me.

12 A sensible man watches for problems ahead and prepares to meet them. The simpleton never looks and suffers the consequences. 

13 The world’s poorest credit risk is the man who agrees to pay a stranger’s debts.

14 If you shout a pleasant greeting to a friend too early in the morning, he will count it as a curse!

15 A constant dripping on a rainy day and a cranky woman are much alike!

16 You can no more stop her complaints than you can stop the wind or hold onto anything with oil-slick hands.

17 A friendly discussion is as stimulating as the sparks that fly when iron strikes iron.

18 A workman may eat from the orchard he tends; anyone should be rewarded who protects anothers' interests.

19 A mirror reflects a man’s face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses.

20 Ambition and death are alike in this: neither is ever satisfied.

21 The purity of silver and gold can be tested in a crucible but a man is tested by his reaction to men’s praise.

22 You can’t separate a rebel from his foolishness though you crush him to powder.

23,24 Riches can disappear fast. And the king’s crown doesn’t stay in his family forever – so watch your business interests closely. Know the state of your flocks and your herds.

25,26,27 then there will be lamb’s wool enough for clothing and goat’s milk enough for food for all your household after the hay is harvested and the new crop appears and the mountain grasses are gathered in. 

Text: Children's Living Bible, Tyndale House Publishing 1972
Photo Credits: Google Images

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Growing in Wisdom - Proverbs 26

Honor doesn’t go with fools any more than snow with summertime or rain with harvest time!

2 An undeserved curse has no effect. Its intended victim will be no more harmed by it than by a sparrow or swallow flitting through the sky.

3 Guide a horse with a whip, a donkey with a bridle and a rebel with a rod to his back!

4,5 When arguing with a rebel, don’t use foolish arguments  as he does or you will become as foolish as he is! Prick his conceit with silly replies!

6 To trust a rebel to convey a message is as foolish as cutting off your feet and drinking poison!
7 In the mouth of a fool a proverb becomes as useless as a paralyzed leg.

8 Honoring a rebel will backfire like a stone tied to a slingshot!

9 A rebel will misapply an illustration so that its point will no more be felt than a thorn in the hand of a drunkard.

10 The master may get better work from an untrained apprentice than from a skilled rebel!

11 As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.

12 There is one thing worse than a fool and that is a man who is conceited.

13 The lazy man won’t go out and work. “There might be a lion outside!” he says.

14 He sticks to his bed like a door to its hinges!

15 He is too tired even to lift his food from his dish to his mouth!

16 Yet in his own opinion he is smarter than seven wise men.

17 Yanking a dog’s ears is no more foolish than interfering in an argument that isn’t any of your business.

18,19 A man who is caught lying to his neighbor and says, “I was just fooling,” is like a madman throwing firebrands, arrows and death!

20 Fire goes out for lack of fuel and tensions disappear when gossip stops.

21 A quarrelsome man starts fights as easily as a match sets fire to paper.

22 Gossip is a dainty morsel eaten with great relish.

23 Pretty words may hide a wicked heart, just as pretty glaze covers a common clay pot.

24,25,26 A man with hate in his heart may sound pleasant enough, but don’t believe him, for he is cursing you in his heart. Though he pretends to be so kind, his hatred will finally come to light for all to see.

27 The man who sets a trap for others will get caught in it himself. Roll a boulder down on someone and it will roll back and crush you.

28 Flattery is a form of hatred and wounds cruelly. 

Text: Children's Children's Bible, Tyndale House Publishing 1972
Photo Credits: Google Images