Day 260 – Wisdom of Sirach 15, 16; Psalm 68:21–37; Proverbs 14:11–15; 2 Corinthians 9

Wisdom of Sirach 15, 16

1 He who fears the Lord will do this,

And he who holds fast to the law will obtain wisdom.

2 She will come to meet him like a mother

And accept him like the wife of one’s youth.

3 She will feed him the bread of understanding

And give him the water of wisdom to drink.

4 He will be supported by her and not fall;

And he will hold on to her and not be put to shame.

5 She will exalt him alongside his neighbors,

And in the midst of the assembly she will open his mouth.

6 He will find gladness and a crown of rejoicing

And will inherit an everlasting name.

7 But foolish men will not find her,

And sinful men will not see her.

8 She is far from the arrogant,

And lying men will not keep her in mind.

9 Praise is not proper in the mouth of a sinner,

Because it was not sent from the Lord.

10 For praise should be spoken in wisdom;

Then the Lord will prosper it.

Our Sin Is Our Fault

11 Do not say, “I fell away because of the Lord,”

For He will not do what He hates.

12 Do not say, “It was He who led me astray,”

For He has no need of a sinful man.

13 The Lord hates all abominations,

And they are not loved by those who fear Him.

14 He Himself created man in the beginning

And left him in the counsel of his will.

15 If you will, you will keep the commandments

And faithfully do His good pleasure.

16 He has set before you fire and water;

If you will, stretch forth your hand.

17 Life and death are before mankind,

And whichever he chooses, it will be given to him.

18 For great is the wisdom of the Lord;

He is mighty in power and sees all things.

19 His eyes are upon those who fear Him,

And He Himself knows every deed of man.

20 He has commanded no one to be ungodly,

And He has given no one license to sin.

Ungodly Children

1 Do not desire a multitude of useless children,

Nor rejoice in ungodly sons.

2 If they multiply, do not rejoice over them

If the fear of the Lord is not in them.

3 Do not trust in their life

Nor pay attention to their multitude;

For one godly child is better than a thousand.

And it is better to die childless than to have ungodly children.

4 For from one child with wisdom a city will be filled with people,

  But a tribe of lawless men will make it desolate.

5 My eyes have seen many such things,

And my ear has heard worse things than this.

Rebuke and Mercy

6 In the congregation of sinners, a fire will be kindled,

And in a disobedient nation, wrath is kindled.

7 There was no atonement for the ancient giants

Who turned away from God because of their strength.

8 He did not spare the cities where Lot sojourned,

Whom He detested because of their arrogance.

9 He had no mercy on a nation destined for destruction

Who were taken away because of their sins.

10 The same thing happened to the six hundred thousand foot-soldiers

Who gathered together in their hardness of heart.

11 Even if there was only one stiff-necked man,

It would be a marvel if he were to remain unpunished.

For mercy and wrath belong to the Lord,

And He is mighty to forgive;

And He pours out wrath.

12 As great as His mercy, so also great is His rebuke,

And He will judge a man according to his works.

13 A sinner will not escape with his spoils,

And the patience of a godly man will not fare badly.

14 He will make a place for every act of mercy.

Each will find this out according to his works.

None Remain Anonymous

15 Do not say, “I will be hidden from the Lord,

And who will remember me from on high?

I will not be known among so many people,

For what is my soul in comparison to the immeasurable creation?

16 Behold, heaven and the highest heaven,

The abyss and the earth will be shaken at His visitation.

17 At the same time, the mountains and the foundations of the earth

Will shake with trembling when He looks upon them.

18 No heart will able to think about these things,

And who will ponder His ways?

19 There will be a sudden blast of wind which no man will see,

For most of His works will be done in secret.

20 Who will proclaim His works of righteousness,

Or who will endure them?

For His covenant is far off.”

21 This is what a man thinks

Who is diminished in heart and without discernment,

Who is deceived and thinks foolishly.

22 Listen to me, my son, and gain knowledge,

And pay close attention to my words in your heart.

  23 I will reveal instruction with balance,

And I will proclaim knowledge with exactness.

The Majesty of Creation

24 By the judgment of the Lord, His works exist from the beginning,

And from their creation, He determined their boundaries.

25 He ordered His works forever,

And their principles according to their generations.

They neither hunger nor grow weary,

And they do not cease from their works.

26 Each does not afflict the one close to him,

And they will never disobey His word.

27 After this the Lord looked upon the earth

And filled it with His good things.

28 He covered its surface with the life of every living creature,

And to it they will return again.

Psalm 68:21–37

21 My soul expected disgrace and trouble,

And I waited for someone to sympathize with me; but no one was there,

And for comforters, but I found not one.

22 They gave me gall for my food,

And they gave me vinegar for my drink.

23 Let their table become a snare before them,

And a recompense and a stumbling block.

24 Let their eyes be darkened so they may not see,

And bend down their backs continually;

25 Pour out Your anger upon them,

And let the fury of Your wrath lay hold of them.

26 Let their dwelling place be laid waste,

And let no one live in their tents.

27 For they pursued closely the one You slew,

And they added to the pain of my wounds.

28 Add lawlessness to their lawlessness,

And let them not enter into Your righteousness;

29 Let them be blotted out from the book of the living,

And not be written with the righteous.

30 I am poor and suffering,

And the salvation of Your presence, O God, lays hold of me.

31 I will praise God’s name with a song;

I will magnify Him in praise,

32 And this shall be more pleasing to God

Than a young bull with horns and hooves.

33 Let the poor behold this, and be glad;

  Seek God, and your soul shall live,

34 For the Lord hears the poor,

And does not despise His prisoners.

35 Let heaven and earth praise Him,

The seas and everything that moves in them.

36 For God shall save Zion,

And the cities of Judah shall be built;

And they shall dwell therein, and inherit it;

37 And the seed of His servants shall possess it,

And those who love His name shall dwell in it.

Proverbs 14:11–15

11 The houses of the ungodly will be destroyed,

But the tents of the upright shall stand.

12 There is a road that seems to be right with men,

But the ends of it reach into the depths of Hades.

13 Sorrow does not mingle with gladness,

But in the end, this joy turns to sorrow.

14 A bold-hearted man will be filled with his own ways,

But a good man with all his thoughts.

15 A simple man believes in every word,

But an astute man comes to repentance.

2 Corinthians 9

1 Now concerning the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you;

2 for I know your willingness, about which I boast of you to the Macedonians, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal has stirred up the majority.

3 Yet I have sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this respect, that, as I said, you may be ready;

4 lest if some Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we (not to mention you!) should be ashamed of this confident boasting.

5 Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren to go to you ahead of time, and prepare your generous gift beforehand, which you had previously promised, that it may be ready as a matter of generosity and not as a grudging obligation.

  The Cheerful Giver

6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.

8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.

9 As it is written:

“He has dispersed abroad,

He has given to the poor;

His righteousness endures forever.”

10 Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness,

11 while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.

12 For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God,

13 while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men,

14 and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you.15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

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