Day 196 – July 15, 2021

Wisdom of Sirach 9; Psalm 17:18–32; Proverbs 3:11–16; Acts 19:1–22

Wisdom of Sirach 9

Behavior with Women

1 Do not be jealous of the wife of your bosom And so teach her an evil lesson about yourself.† 

2 Do not give your soul to a woman To let her trample on your strength. 

3 Do not meet with a woman who is a courtesan, Lest you fall into her snares.† 

4 Do not associate with a dancing-girl, Lest you be caught in her schemes. 

5 Do not gaze at a virgin, Lest you stumble and pay damages for her. 

6 Do not give your soul to prostitutes, Lest you destroy your inheritance. 

7 Do not look around in the streets of a city, And do not wander about in its deserted sections. 

8 Turn your eye away from a woman with a shapely figure, And do not gaze at beauty belonging to another. Many have been led astray by the beauty of a woman, And erotic love is like a burning fire. 

9 Never dine with another man’s wife, And do not share in parties with her over wine, Lest your soul turn aside to her, And you slip and with your spirit fall into destruction. 

Friends and Neighbors

10 Do not forsake an old friend, For a new one is not equal with him. A new friend is like new wine; Drink it with pleasure only after it ages.† 

11 Do not envy the honor given a sinner, For you do not know what his end will be. 

12 Do not delight in the pleasure of the ungodly; Remember, they will not be declared righteous even in Hades. 

13 Keep far away from a man who has the power to kill, And you will not be anxious about the fear of death. But if you come near him, do not offend him, Lest he take away your life. Know that you are stepping in the midst of snares And walking about the battlements of a city. 

14 Evaluate your neighbors as best you can And consult with those who are wise. 

15 Let your reasoning be with those who are wise, And let all your talk be about the law of the Most High.† 

16 Let righteous men be your dinner companions, And let your boasting be in the fear of the Lord. 

Wise Leaders

17 A work will be praised for the skill of its craftsmen, And a wise leader of people for the skill of his words. 

18 A talkative man is regarded with fear in his city, And a man who is reckless in his speech will be hated.

Psalms 17

18 He will deliver me from my strong enemies, and from those who hate me, Because they were too strong for me. 

19 They overran me in the day of my misfortune, But the Lord became my support, 

20 And He led me into a wide place; He will deliver me, because He willed it for me. He will deliver me from my strong enemies and from those who hate me. 

21 The Lord will reward me according to my righteousness; And according to the purity of my hands He will recompense me, 

22 Because I kept the ways of the Lord And did not act impiously against my God; 

23 For all His judgments are before me, And I did not remove His ordinances from me. 

24 I will also be blameless before Him, And I will keep myself from my lawlessness. 

25 The Lord will reward me according to my righteousness, According to the purity of my hands before His eyes. 

26 With the holy You will be holy; And with the innocent man You will be innocent; 

27 And with the elect You will be elect; And with the crooked You will be crooked. 

28 For You will save a humble people, And You will humble the eyes of the arrogant.

29 For You will light my lamp, O Lord; O my God, You will enlighten my darkness. 

30 For in You I shall be delivered from ordeals, And in my God I shall leap over a wall. 

31 My God, His way is blameless; The teachings of the Lord are tried by fire; He is the shield of all who set their hope on Him. 

32 For who is God besides the Lord? And who is God besides our God?

Proverbs of Solomon 3

The Instruction of Wisdom

11 My son, do not despise the instruction of the Lord, Neither grow weary under His reproof. 

12 For whom the Lord loves He instructs, And chastises every son He receives. 

13 Blessed is a man who finds wisdom, And a mortal who sees discernment; 

14 For the profits gained from wisdom are better Than the treasures of gold and silver. 

15 And wisdom is more valuable than precious stones, And nothing evil will withstand her; 

16 She is well known to all who come near her, And no honor is worthy of her.

Acts 19

Disciples of John the Baptist

1 And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples

2 he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”†

3 And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.”

4 Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”

5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.†

6 And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.

7 Now the men were about twelve in all.

Two Years in Ephesus

8 And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God.†

9 But when some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus.

10 And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.

Occultists Converted

11 Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul,†

12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.

13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.”

14 Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so.

15 And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?”

16 Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

17 This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.

18 And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds.

19 Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver.

20 So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.

21 When these things were accomplished, Paul purposed in the Spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.”

22 So he sent into Macedonia two of those who ministered to him, Timothy and Erastus, but he himself stayed in Asia for a time.

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