Wisdom of Sirach 5, 6
1 Do not set your heart on your possessions,
And do not say, “I am independent.”
2 Do not follow yourself and your strength
So as to walk in the desires of your heart;
3 And do not say, “Who will be lord over me?”
For the Lord will surely punish you.
4 Do not say, “I sinned, so what happened to me?”
For the Lord is patient.
5 Do not be so confident of atonement
That you add sin to sin;
6 And do not say, “His compassion is great;
He will atone for the multitude of my sins,”
For both mercy and wrath come from Him;
And His anger rests on sinners.
7 Do not delay to turn to the Lord,
And do not put it off from day to day;
For suddenly the wrath of the Lord will come forth,
And in the day of vengeance, you will perish.
8 Do not set your heart on dishonest wealth,
For it will profit you nothing in the day of distress.
Control of the Tongue
9 Do not winnow with every wind
And do not follow every road;
For a double-tongued sinner is of such a kind.
10 Be established in your understanding
And let your word be consistent.
11 Be quick to listen
And give your answer with patience.
12 If you have understanding, answer your neighbor,
But if not, let your hand be over your mouth.
13 There is glory and dishonor in speech,
And a man’s tongue may cause him to fall.
14 Do not be called a slanderer,
And do not lie in ambush with your tongue;
For shame awaits a thief,
And a grievous condemnation will come upon
A double-tongued man.
15 In a great or in a small matter, do not go wrong.
1 Do not be an enemy instead of a friend;
For a bad name brings shame and disgrace,
And a double-tongued sinner is of such a kind.
2 Do not exalt yourself with your own counsel,
Lest your soul be torn in pieces as by a bull.
3 You will devour your leaves and lose your fruit,
And be left like a withered tree.
4 An evil soul will destroy him who possesses it
And make him an object of malignant joy to his enemies.
5 Pleasant speech will multiply his friends,
And a gracious tongue will multiply many kind greetings.
6 Let those who live at peace with you be many,
But let your counselors be one in a thousand.
7 If you gain a friend, gain him in testing,
And do not be in a hurry to trust him.
8 For there is a friend who is such to his own advantage,
But he will not remain beside you in the day of your affliction.
9 There is also a friend who changes into an enemy
And will reveal a quarrel to your disgrace.
10 Again, there is a friend who is a companion at table,
But will not stand by you in your day of trouble.
11 Further, when you prosper, he will be like you
And speak boldly to your servants;
12 But if you are brought low, he will be against you,
And will hide himself from your presence.
13 Stay away from your enemies
And hold onto your friends.
14 A faithful friend is a strong shelter,
And he who finds one finds a treasure.
15 There is nothing that can take the place of a faithful friend,
And there is no way to measure his worth.
16 A faithful friend is a medicine of life,
And those who fear the Lord will find him.
17 He who fears the Lord guides his friendship rightly,
Because as he is, so also is his neighbor.
Instruction Brings Wisdom
18 My son, from your youth up, choose instruction,
And you will find wisdom also into old age.
19 Come to her as one who plows and sows,
And wait expectantly for her good fruits;
For in her work you will labor a little while,
Then you will quickly eat of her fruit.
20 She is very harsh on the undisciplined
And on the one who lacks the heart to continue with her.
21 She will be like a heavy stone of trial upon him,
And he will not delay to throw her off.
22 For wisdom is like her name and is not manifest to many.
23 Listen, my son, and accept my judgment,
And do not reject my advice.
24 Put your feet into her fetters and your neck into her collar.
25 Put your shoulder under her and carry her,
And do not be angry with her bonds.
26 Come to her with all your soul,
And keep her ways with all your strength.
27 Search for her and seek her out,
And she will become known to you;
And when you become self-controlled, do not let her go.
28 For in the end you will find her rest,
And she will turn to you in gladness.
29 Then her fetters will be as a strong protection for you,
And her collar a glorious robe.
30 For there is a golden adornment upon her,
And her bonds are a blue thread.
31 You will wear her as a glorious robe
And put her on yourself as a crown of exceeding joy.
32 If you are willing, my son, you will be taught,
And if you apply yourself, you will be prudent.
33 If you love to listen, you will wait with anticipation,
And if you incline your ear, you will be wise.
34 Stand in an assembly of elders,
And who is wise? Attach yourself to him.
35 Desire to listen to every divine narrative,
And do not let proverbs of understanding escape you.
36 If you see a man who has understanding,
Rise early in the morning
And let your foot wear out the threshold of his door.
37 Set your mind on the ordinances of the Lord
And practice His commandments.
He will strengthen your heart continually,
And the desire for wisdom will be given to you.
1 For the End; an ode of a psalm of resurrection.
Shout to God, all the earth;
2 Sing now to His name;
Give glory to His praise.
3 Say to God, “How fearful are Your works;
In the greatness of Your power Your enemies will lie to You;
4 Let all the earth worship You and sing to You;
Let them sing to Your name.”
5 Come and see the works of God;
He is more fearful in His counsels than the sons of men,
6 Who turns the sea into dry land;
They will cross over the river on foot.
There we will be glad in Him,
7 In Him who as Lord shall rule in His power forever;
His eyes will look at the Gentiles;
Let not those who provoke Him be exalted in themselves.
8 Bless our God, you Gentiles,
And make the voice of His praise to be heard,
9 Who established my soul in life,
And who did not permit my feet to be moved.
10 For You, O God, tested us;
You tried us in the fire, as silver is purified by fire.
11 You brought us into the snare;
You laid affliction on our back.
12 You put men on our heads;
We went through fire and water,
And You led us into a refreshing place.
13 I will go into Your house with whole burnt offerings;
I will pay You the vows
14 My lips uttered,
And my mouth spoke in my affliction;
15 I will offer You whole burnt offerings full of marrow;
With incense and rams,
I will offer oxen with a young he-goat.
16 Come and hear, and I will describe to you,
All who fear God,
What things He did for my soul.
17 I cried to Him with my mouth,
And I exalted Him with my tongue.
18 If I regarded wrongdoing in my heart,
Let not the Lord hear me.
19 Therefore God heard me;
He gave heed to the voice of my supplication.
20 Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer,
Nor His mercy from me.
11 An evil man does evil things with arrogance,
But those who know themselves are wise.
12 Property hastily gained with lawlessness becomes diminished,
But he who gathers for himself with godliness will be increased;
A righteous man has compassion and lends.
13 A man who begins to give aid heartily is better
Than he who only promises and leads another to hope;
A good desire is a tree of life.
14 He who despises a matter will be despised by it,
But he who fears the commandment, this man is in good health.
15 To a deceitful son there shall be nothing good,
But for a wise servant, his deeds shall be prosperous,
And his way shall be led aright.
2 Corinthians 4
1 Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart.
2 But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,
4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake.
6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Cast Down but Unconquered
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—
10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
12 So then death is working in us, but life in you.
13 And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak,
14 knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you.
15 For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.
Seeing the Invisible
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.
17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,
18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.