Wisdom of Sirach 17, 18
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.
A Song of God’s Mercy
1 He who lives forever created everything;
2 The Lord alone will be declared righteous.
3 He permitted no one to proclaim His works,
For who can trace out His mighty works?
4 Who will measure His majestic power with a number,
And who will add to this measure
While describing His mercies?
5 There is no one who can add or subtract,
And there is no one who can search out the wonders of the Lord.
6 When a man completes his search, then he starts over;
And when he stops, he will still be perplexed.
7 What is man and what use is he;
What is his good and what is his evil?
8 The number of a man’s days is considered great
If he is one hundred years old.
9 But like a drop of water from the sea and a grain of sand,
So are a few years within a day of eternity.
10 Therefore the Lord is patient with them
And pours out His mercy upon them.
11 He sees and knows their end, that it is evil;
Therefore He makes full atonement for them.
12 The mercy of a man is upon his neighbor,
But the mercy of the Lord is upon all flesh,
Rebuking, training, and teaching them
Like a shepherd who returns his flock to the fold.
13 He has mercy on those who receive His discipline
And who are eager for His judgments.
Take Care to Be Wise
14 My son, do not bring disgrace on the good you have done,
Nor cause grief by your words when you make a gift.
15 Does not dew give relief from the burning heat?
In the same way, a word is better than a gift.
16 Indeed, is not a word better than a fitting gift?
And both are found in a gracious man.
17 A fool will insult and disgrace someone,
And the gift of an envious man makes his eyes waste away.
18 Before you speak, learn,
And before you get sick, take care of your health.
19 Before you make a judgment, examine yourself closely,
And in the hour of visitation you will find atonement.
20 Before you become sick, humble yourself;
And at the time of sinning, prove your conversion.
21 Let nothing hinder you from paying a vow promptly,
And do not wait until death to become righteous.
22 Before you make a vow, prepare yourself;
And do not become like a man who tempts the Lord.
23 Remember His anger on the day of your death,
At the time of vengeance, when He turns His face away.
24 Remember the time of hunger in the time of plenty,
And poverty and need in the days of wealth.
25 From morning until evening, time changes;
And all things are soon in the presence of the Lord.
26 A wise man will have the fear of God in everything he does;
And in these days of sin, he will guard against wrongdoing.
27 Every intelligent man knows wisdom
And praises the one who finds her.
28 The wise in words—they also make others wise,
And they pour forth accurate proverbs.
29 Do not walk after your own desires,
But restrain your appetites.
30 If you fill your soul with the desire for pleasure,
It will make you the laughingstock of your enemies.
31 Do not rejoice in great luxury,
Lest you become needy by its expense.
32 Do not become a beggar by feasting on borrowed money
When you have nothing in your purse.
1 For the End; by David; in remembrance,
2 that the Lord may save me.
O God, make haste to help me.
3 May those who seek my soul be dishonored and shamed;
May those who plot evils against me be turned back and disgraced;
4 May those be turned back immediately
Who shame me, saying, “Well done! Well done!”
5 May all who seek You greatly rejoice and be glad in You,
And let those who love Your salvation always say,
“Let God be magnified.”
6 But I am poor and needy;
O God, help me.
You are my helper and deliverer, O Lord; do not delay.
16 A wise man fears and turns away from evil,
But a man without discernment persuades himself to mingle with a lawless man.
17 A quick-tempered man acts with recklessness,
But a man with discernment bears many things.
18 Men without discernment will share in evil,
But the astute will take hold of perception.
19 Evil men will slip and fall in the presence of good men,
And the ungodly shall serve at the gate of the righteous.
20 Friends will hate poor friends,
But the friends of the rich are many.
2 Corinthians 10
1 Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you.
2 But I beg you that when I am present I may not be bold with that confidence by which I intend to be bold against some, who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh.
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,
5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
Reality of Paul’s Authority
7 Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Christ’s, let him again consider this in himself, that just as he is Christ’s, even so we are Christ’s.
8 For even if I should boast somewhat more about our authority, which the Lord gave us for edification and not for your destruction, I shall not be ashamed—
9 lest I seem to terrify you by letters.
10 “For his letters,” they say, “are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.”
11 Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when we are absent, such we will also be in deed when we are present.
Limits of Paul’s Authority
12 For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
13 We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us—a sphere which especially includes you.
14 For we are not overextending ourselves (as though our authority did not extend to you), for it was to you that we came with the gospel of Christ;
15 not boasting of things beyond measure, that is, in other men’s labors, but having hope, that as your faith is increased, we shall be greatly enlarged by you in our sphere,
16 to preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man’s sphere of accomplishment.
17 But “he who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”18 For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.