Day 253 – Wisdom of Sirach 1, 2; Psalm 63; Proverbs 13:1–5; 2 Corinthians 1:23-2:17

Wisdom of Sirach 1, 2

1 All wisdom comes from the Lord

And is with Him forever.

2 Who can count the sand of the seas,

The drops of rain, and the days of eternity?

3 Who can search out the height of heaven,

The breadth of the earth, the abyss, and wisdom?

4 Wisdom was created before all things,

And the insight of prudence was from eternity.

5 To whom has the root of wisdom been revealed?

And who has come to know her great deeds?

6 There is one who is wise and is feared exceedingly,

He who sits upon His throne.

7 The Lord Himself created wisdom.

He saw and numbered her

And poured her out on all His works,

8 In the midst of all flesh according to His gift;

And He provided her for those who love Him.

The Fear of the Lord

9 The fear of the Lord is glory and boasting,

And gladness and a crown of rejoicing.

10 The fear of the Lord will cheer the heart

And will give gladness, joy, and long life.

11 For those who fear the Lord, it shall be well to the utmost,

And on the day of his death, he will be blessed.

12 The beginning of wisdom is to fear the Lord,

And she was joined with the faithful in the womb.

13 She constructed a foundation of life among men

And will be trusted among their seed.

14 The gratification of wisdom is to fear the Lord,

And she intoxicates them with her fruits.

15 She will fill every house of theirs with objects of desire

And their storehouses with her harvest.

16 The fear of the Lord is the crown of wisdom,

Making peace and soundness of health to flourish.

17 The Lord saw and numbered her,

And poured out the power of comprehension;

And He exalted the glory of those who hold fast to her.

18 The root of wisdom is to fear the Lord,

And her branches are length of days.

Warnings to the Wise

19 Unjust anger cannot be justified,

For anger’s decisive influence causes his fall.

20 A patient man will hold fast until the proper time,

Then afterwards gladness shall burst forth for him.

21 He shall conceal his words until the proper time,

  And the lips of many will tell of his understanding.

22 In the treasures of wisdom are the parables of knowledge,

But godliness is an abomination to a sinner.

23 If you desire wisdom, keep the commandments,

And the Lord will supply it to you.

24 For the fear of the Lord is wisdom and instruction,

And His good pleasure is faith and gentleness.

25 Do not disobey the fear of the Lord,

And do not come to Him with a divided heart.

26 Do not be a hypocrite in the sight of men,

And be careful with your lips.

27 Do not exalt yourself, lest you fall

And bring dishonor to your soul.

The Lord shall reveal your secrets,

And in the midst of the assembly He will strike you down,

Because you did not come in the fear of the Lord

And your heart was full of deceit.

God’s Faithfulness and Mercy

1 My son, if you draw near to serve the Lord,

Prepare your soul for temptation.

2 Set your heart right and be steadfast,

And do not strive anxiously in distress.

3 Cleave to Him and do not fall away,

That you may be honored at the end of your life.

4 Accept whatever is brought upon you,

And in exchange for your humiliation, be patient;

5 Because gold is tested in fire

And acceptable men in the furnace of abasement.

6 Believe in Him, and He will help you;

Make your ways straight and hope in Him.

7 You who fear the Lord, wait for His mercy,

And do not turn aside, lest you fall.

8 You who fear the Lord, believe in Him,

And your reward will not fail.

9 You who fear the Lord, hope for good things

And for everlasting gladness and mercy.

10 Consider the ancient generations and see:

Who believed in the Lord and was put to shame?

Or who stood fast in His fear and was forsaken?

Or who called upon Him and was overlooked?

11 Because the Lord is compassionate and merciful,

He forgives sins and saves in time of affliction.

12 Woe to cowardly hearts and weakened hands,

And to a sinner who walks on two paths!

13 Woe to a fainting heart, because it does not believe!

Therefore it will not be sheltered.

14 Woe to you who have lost your patient endurance!

What will you do when the Lord visits you?

15 Those who fear the Lord will not disobey His words,

And those who love Him will keep His ways.

16 Those who fear the Lord will seek His approval,

And those who love Him will be filled with the law.

17 Those who fear the Lord will prepare their hearts

  And will humble their souls before Him.

18 We will fall into the hands of the Lord

And not into the hands of men;

For as His majesty is, so is His mercy.

Psalm 63

1 For the End; a psalm by David.

2 Hear my voice, O God, in my supplication;

Deliver my soul from fear of the enemy.

3 You sheltered me from the conspiracy of evildoers,

From the multitude of those who work lawlessness,

4 Who sharpen their tongue like a sword;

They stretched their bow, a bitter thing,

5 To strike down the blameless man in secret;

Suddenly they will shoot him, and not be afraid.

6 They made an evil word strong in themselves;

They told of hiding snares;

They said, “Who will see them?”

7 They searched out lawlessness;

In searching they grew weary.

A man shall draw near, and the heart is deep;

8 And God shall be exalted.

Their blows became a childish barb,

9 And their tongues were utterly weakened in them.

All who saw them were troubled,

10 And every man was afraid.

And they proclaimed the works of God,

And understood His deeds.

11 The righteous man shall be glad in the Lord, and shall hope in Him;

And all the upright in heart shall be praised.

Proverbs 13:1–5

1 An astute son is obedient to his father,

But a disobedient son is for destruction.

2 A good man eats from the fruits of righteousness,

But the souls of the lawless will destroy themselves before their time.

3 He who guards his mouth keeps his own soul,

But he who is hasty with his lips will dismay himself.

4 Every idle man has desire,

But the hands of the courageous are diligent.

5 A righteous man hates an unrighteous word,

But an ungodly man is ashamed and will not have confidence.

2 Corinthians 1:23-2:17

23 Moreover I call God as witness against my soul, that to spare you I came no more to Corinth.

24 Not that we have dominion over your faith, but are fellow workers for your joy; for by faith you stand.

1 But I determined this within myself, that I would not come again to you in sorrow.

2 For if I make you sorrowful, then who is he who makes me glad but the one who is made sorrowful by me?

Forgive the Offender

3 And I wrote this very thing to you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow over those from whom I ought to have joy, having confidence in you all that my joy is the joy of you all.

4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you, with many tears, not that you should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have so abundantly for you.

5 But if anyone has caused grief, he has not grieved me, but all of you to some extent—not to be too severe.

6 This punishment which was inflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man,

7 so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow.

8 Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him.

9 For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things.

10 Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ,

11 lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.

Triumph in Christ

12 Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened to me by the Lord,

13 I had no rest in my spirit, because I did not find Titus my brother; but taking my leave of them, I departed for Macedonia.

14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.

15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.

16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things?17 For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.

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