Day 256 – Wisdom of Sirach 7, 8; Psalm 66; Proverbs 13:16–21; 2 Corinthians 5

Wisdom of Sirach 7, 8

1 Do no evil things,

And evil will never overtake you.

2 Stay away from wrongdoing,

And it will turn away from you.

3 My son, do not sow on the furrows of wrongdoing,

  And you will not reap the same things sevenfold.

4 Do not seek authority from a lord

Nor the seat of honor from a king.

5 Do not declare yourself righteous before a lord,

Nor play the wise man before a king.

6 Do not try to be a judge

If you will not be strong enough to remove wrongdoing,

Lest you respect the presence of the powerful

And compromise your integrity.

7 Do not sin against the population of a city,

Nor disgrace yourself before the people.

8 Do not repeat your sin,

For you will not be unpunished even for one.

9 Do not say, “He will look upon the multitude of my gifts,

And when I bring an offering to God Most High, He will accept it.”

10 Do not be fainthearted in your prayer

And do not neglect to do alms.

11 Do not laugh at a man who is in bitterness of soul,

For there is One who humbles and exalts.

12 Do not devise a lie against your brother,

Nor do the same against a friend.

13 Do not desire to tell any lie,

For the habit of lying never does any good.

14 Do not talk idly in the assembly of the elders,

And do not repeat yourself in prayer.

Farm and Family

15 Do not hate hard work, especially farming,

Which was created by the Most High.

16 Do not number yourself among an assembly of sinners;

Remember that wrath will not tarry long.

17 Humble yourself greatly,

For the punishment of the ungodly is fire and worms.

18 Do not exchange a friend for money,

Nor a genuine brother for the gold of Ophir.

19 Do not ignore a wise and good wife,

For her grace is worth more than gold.

20 Do not mistreat a servant who does his work in truth

Nor a hired worker who devotes himself to you.

21 Let your soul love an intelligent servant;

Do not deprive him of his freedom.

22 Do you have cattle? Take care of them;

And if they are profitable to you, keep them.

23 Do you have children? Correct them,

And make them obey from their youth.

24 Do you have daughters? Watch carefully over their chastity,

And do not be too easy on them.

25 Give a daughter in marriage

And you will have completed a great work;

But give her to a man of understanding.

26 Do you have a wife after your own heart? Do not reject her,

But do not trust yourself to a wife whom you disregard.

27 Honor your father with all your heart,

And do not forget the birth pangs of your mother.

  28 Remember that you were begotten through them,

And what can you give back to them

To the degree they gave to you?

The Priests and the Poor

29 Fear the Lord with all your soul

And honor His priests.

30 Love Him who made you

And do not forsake His ministers.

31 Fear the Lord and honor His priests,

And give them their portion as commanded:

The firstfruits, the trespass offering,

The gift of the shoulder offering,

The sacrifice of sanctification,

And the firstfruits of the holy things.

32 Stretch forth your hand to the poor,

That your blessing may be complete.

33 Let the kindness of giving be shown

In the presence of all the living,

And do not withhold kindness from the dead.

34 Do not withdraw yourself from those who weep,

And mourn with those who mourn.

35 Do not hesitate to visit a sick man,

For by such visits you will be loved.

36 With all your words, remember the time you will die,

And you will never sin.

Kings and Commoners

1 Do not contend sharply with a powerful man,

Lest you fall into his hands.

2 Do not quarrel with a rich man,

Lest he resist your force,

For gold has destroyed many

And perverted the hearts of kings.

3 Do not contend sharply with a talkative man,

And do not heap wood on his fire.

4 Do not jest with an uncultivated man,

Lest your forefathers be insulted.

5 Do not insult a man who turns away from sin;

Remember that we are all valuable.

6 Do not dishonor a man in his old age,

For some of us are growing old as well.

7 Do not rejoice over any dead person;

Remember that we all must die.

8 Do not disregard a saying of the wise,

But be conversant with their proverbs;

Because from them you will gain instruction

And how to serve noble people.

9 Do not miss a saying of the old,

For they themselves learned from their fathers;

Because from them you will gain understanding

And be able to give an answer in time of need.

10 Do not kindle the coals of a sinner,

For you may be burned by his flame.

11 Do not let the presence of an insolent man

Arouse you from your seat,

Lest he lie in wait as an ambush against your words.

12 Do not lend to a man stronger than you;

But if you do, consider it lost.

13 Do not give surety beyond your ability to pay;

But if you do give surety, be as careful as one who has to pay.

14 Do not go to law against a judge,

For they will decide for him because of his reputation.

  15 Do not travel on a journey with a reckless man,

Lest he weigh you down;

For he will do his will,

And you will perish with him in his folly.

16 Do not cause a fight with an angry man,

And do not go into a lonely place with him,

Because murder is as nothing in his eyes,

And where there is no help, he will strike you down.

17 Do not consult with a fool,

For he will not keep a matter confidential.

18 Do nothing confidential in the presence of a stranger,

For you do not know what he will give birth to.

19 Do not open your heart to everyone,

Lest unkindness be shown to you.

Psalm 66

1 For the End, in hymns; a psalm of an ode.

2 May God be gracious to us, and bless us;

May He cause His face to shine upon us,


3 That we may know His way on the earth,

Your salvation among all the Gentiles.

4 Let the peoples give thanks to You, O God;

Let all the peoples praise You.

5 Let the Gentiles be glad and greatly rejoice,

For You shall judge the peoples in uprightness,

And lead the Gentiles on the earth.


6 Let the peoples give thanks to You, O God;

Let all the peoples praise You.

  7 The earth yielded her fruit;

May God, our God, bless us.

8 May God bless us,

And let all the ends of the earth be in fear of Him.

Proverbs 13:16–21

16 The law of the wise is a fountain of life,

But the man without understanding will die by a snare.

17 A good understanding gives grace,

And to know the law is to be of a good mind,

But the ways of scorners are destructive.

18 Every astute man acts with knowledge,

But the man without discernment spreads out his own evil.

19 A rash king falls into evil things,

But a faithful messenger rescues him.

20 Instruction removes poverty and dishonor,

And he who gives heed to rebukes will be glorified.

21 The desires of the godly gladden the soul,

But the works of the ungodly are far from knowledge.

2 Corinthians 5

1 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven,

3 if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked.

4 For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.

5 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord.

7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.

8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

The Judgment Seat of Christ

  9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.

10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.

Be Reconciled to God

12 For we do not commend ourselves again to you, but give you opportunity to boast on our behalf, that you may have an answer for those who boast in appearance and not in heart.

13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; or if we are of sound mind, it is for you.

14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died;

15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,

19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

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