Day 204 – July 23, 2021

Wisdom of Sirach 17; Psalm 24:1–11; Proverbs 4:19–23; Acts 23:12–35

Wisdom of Sirach 17

Creation of Man

1 The Lord created man from the earth And returned him to it again.† 

2 He gave them a certain number of days and an appointed time, And He gave them authority over it. 

3 He clothed them in strength like His own And made them in His image. 

4 He put the fear of man upon all flesh And gave him dominion over wild animals and birds. 

5 He gave mankind the ability to deliberate, And a tongue, eyes and ears, and a heart to think with. 

6 He filled them with the skill of comprehension And showed them good and evil. 

7 He set His eye upon their hearts To show them the majesty of His works. 

8 They will praise His holy name So as to fully describe the majesty of His works. 

The Covenant with Israel

9 He added knowledge to them And gave them the law of life as a heritage.† 

10 He established an eternal covenant with them, And He showed His judgments to them. 

11 Their eyes saw His glorious majesty, And their ears heard His glorious voice. 

12 He said to them, “Beware of all unrighteousness,” And He commanded each of them concerning his neighbor. 

13 Their ways are before Him continually; They will not be hidden from His eyes. 

14 He appointed a ruler for every nation, But Israel is the Lord’s portion. 

15 All His works are as the sun before Him, And His eyes are continually on their ways. 

16 Their wrongdoings are not hidden from Him, And all their sins are before the Lord. 

17 A man’s almsgiving is like a seal with Him, And He will treasure the kindness of a man like the pupil of His eye. 

18 After this He will arise and repay them, And He will reward them with retribution on their head. 

19 But He provides a return to those who repent, And He comforts those who lack endurance. 

Return to the Lord

20 Turn to the Lord and forsake your sins, And pray in His presence and reduce your offense.† 

21 Return to the Most High and turn away from wrongdoing, And hate an abomination exceedingly. 

22 Who will praise the Most High in Hades, As do the living and those who give thanks? 

23 Thanksgiving ceases from a dead man since he is no longer alive; Only the living and the healthy will praise the Lord.† 

24 How great the mercy of the Lord is, And His atonement for those who turn to Him.† 

25 For all things are not possible for man, Because a son of man is not immortal. 

26 What shines brighter than the sun? Yet this light fails, And so will flesh and blood when it lays evil to heart.† 

27 He examines the host of the highest heaven, But all men are earth and ashes.

Psalms 24

1 A psalm by David. †To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul, O my God. 

2 I trust in You; let me not be ashamed; Let not my enemies laugh at me. 

3 For all who wait upon You shall not be ashamed; Let those be ashamed who act lawlessly in vain. 

4 Make known Your ways to me, O Lord, And teach me Your paths. 

5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation, And on You I wait all the day. 

6 Remember Your compassion, O Lord, And Your mercy, for they are from of old. 

7 Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor of my ignorance; But remember me according to Your mercy, Because of Your loving-kindness, O Lord. 

8 Good and upright is the Lord; Therefore He will instruct sinners in His way. 

9 He will guide the gentle in judgment; He will teach the gentle His ways. 

10 All the ways of the Lord are mercy and truth For those who seek His covenant and His testimonies. 

11 For Your name’s sake, O Lord, Pardon my sin, for it is great.

Proverbs of Solomon 4

The Wise Heart

19 My son, give heed to my word And incline your ear to my words,† 

20 That your fountains may not fail you; Guard them in your heart; 

21 For they are life to those who find them And healing for all their flesh. 

22 Keep your heart with all watchfulness, For from these words are the issues of life. 

23 Put away from yourself a crooked mouth And remove unrighteous lips far from you.

Acts 23

The Murder Plot Against Paul

12 And when it was day, some of the Jews banded together and bound themselves under an oath, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul.

13 Now there were more than forty who had formed this conspiracy.

14 They came to the chief priests and elders, and said, “We have bound ourselves under a great oath that we will eat nothing until we have killed Paul.

15 Now you, therefore, together with the council, suggest to the commander that he be brought down to you tomorrow, as though you were going to make further inquiries concerning him; but we are ready to kill him before he comes near.”

16 So when Paul’s sister’s son heard of their ambush, he went and entered the barracks and told Paul.

17 Then Paul called one of the centurions to him and said, “Take this young man to the commander, for he has something to tell him.”

18 So he took him and brought him to the commander and said, “Paul the prisoner called me to him and asked me to bring this young man to you. He has something to say to you.”

19 Then the commander took him by the hand, went aside, and asked privately, “What is it that you have to tell me?”

20 And he said, “The Jews have agreed to ask that you bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as though they were going to inquire more fully about him.

21 But do not yield to them, for more than forty of them lie in wait for him, men who have bound themselves by an oath that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him; and now they are ready, waiting for the promise from you.”

22 So the commander let the young man depart, and commanded him , “Tell no one that you have revealed these things to me.”

Paul Imprisoned in Caesarea

23 And he called for two centurions, saying, “Prepare two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen to go to Caesarea at the third hour of the night;†

24 and provide mounts to set Paul on, and bring him safely to Felix the governor.Ӡ

25 He wrote a letter in the following manner:

26 Claudius Lysias, To the most excellent governor Felix: Greetings. 

27 This man was seized by the Jews and was about to be killed by them. Coming with the troops I rescued him, having learned that he was a Roman.

28 And when I wanted to know the reason they accused him, I brought him before their council.

29 I found out that he was accused concerning questions of their law, but had nothing charged against him deserving of death or chains.

30 And when it was told me that the Jews lay in wait for the man, I sent him immediately to you, and also commanded his accusers to state before you the charges against him. Farewell. 

31 Then the soldiers, as they were commanded, took Paul and brought him by night to Antipatris.†

32 The next day they left the horsemen to go on with him, and returned to the barracks.

33 When they came to Caesarea and had delivered the letter to the governor, they also presented Paul to him.

34 And when the governor had read it , he asked what province he was from. And when he understood that he was from Cilicia,

35 he said, “I will hear you when your accusers also have come.” And he commanded him to be kept in Herod’s Praetorium.†

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