Day 266 – Wisdom of Sirach 26, 27; Psalm 72:15–28; Proverbs 15:6–10; Galatians 1

Wisdom of Sirach 26, 27

1 Happy is the husband of a good wife;

The number of his days will be doubled.

2 A courageous wife makes her husband glad,

And his years will be full of peace.

3 A good wife is a good portion,

And she will be given in the portion

Of those who fear the Lord.

4 The good heart of a rich or a poor man

Is a cheerful face at all times.

Fallen Womanhood

5 My heart fears because of three things,

And I pray to God concerning a fourth:

The slander of a city, the gathering of a mob,

And a false accusation—all these are worse than death.

6 There is also pain of heart and sorrow

When a wife is jealous over another woman,

And a tongue-lashing makes it known to all.

7 An evil wife is like an ox-yoke that shakes to and fro,

And to take hold of her is like grabbing a scorpion.

8 A drunken wife is very wrathful,

And she will not conceal her shame.

9 The fornication of a wife will be known

By her haughty looks and her eyelids.

10 Keep strong watch over a headstrong daughter,

Lest she find some liberty and make the most of it.

11 Be on guard against her shameless eye,

And do not be amazed if she trespasses against you.

12 Her mouth will open like a thirsty traveler’s

And drink from any water nearby.

She will sit down before every tent peg

And open her quiver to any arrow.

A Blessed Wife

13 A wife’s grace will delight her husband,

And her skill will put fat on his bones.

14 A silent wife is a gift from the Lord,

And there is nothing worth as much as a disciplined soul.

15 A modest wife is blessing upon blessing,

And there is no scale adequate to weigh a self-controlled soul.

16 Like the sun rising in the Lord’s heaven

Is the beauty of a good wife in the ordering of her house.

17 Like a lamp shining on the holy lampstand

Is the beauty of a countenance in the prime of life.

18 Beautiful feet with a steady heart

Are like golden pillars on a silver base.

Three Griefs

19 My heart is grieved by two things,

  And because of a third, anger arises within me:

A man of war in want because of poverty;

Men of intelligence who suffer contempt;

And a man who turns back from righteousness to sin.

The Lord will prepare this one for the sword.

The Merchant

20 With difficulty a merchant will deliver himself from wrongdoing,

And a peddler will not be acquitted from sin.

1 Many have sinned to make a profit,

And he who seeks riches will turn away his eyes.

2 As a stake will be driven tightly between fitted stones,

So sin will be wedged between selling and buying.

3 If a man does not hold steadfastly to the fear of the Lord,

His house will be soon overturned.

Tested by Reason

4 When a sieve is shaken, the refuse remains;

So a man’s filth remains in the way he reasons.

5 As a furnace tests a potter’s vessels,

So the test of a man is in the way he reasons.

6 As fruit reveals how a tree is cultivated,

So a man’s reasoning process reveals his heart.

7 Do not praise a man before he reveals the way he reasons,

For this is the way a man is tested.

8 If you pursue righteousness, you will attain it

And put it on like a glorious robe.

9 As birds flock with their own kind,

So also truth will return to those who practice it.

10 As a lion lies in wait for his prey,

So sin lies in wait for those who do wrong.

Speaking Wisely

11 The talk of a godly man is always wise,

But a fool changes like the moon.

12 Among senseless men, limit your time;

Instead, spend it with men of understanding.

13 The talk of fools is offensive,

And they laugh at the lewdness of sin.

14 Speech filled with swearing will make one’s hair stand on end,

And quarreling will make one stop his ears.

15 The quarreling of the arrogant leads to bloodshed,

And their abusive language is hard on the ears.

16 He who reveals secrets destroys his credibility,

And he will not find a friend for life.

17 Love your friend,

And be trustworthy with him;

But if you reveal his secrets, do not pursue him closely.

18 For as surely as a man has destroyed his enemy,

So you have destroyed the friendship of your neighbor.

  19 As you might release a bird from your hand,

So you have let your neighbor go;

And you will not catch him.

20 Do not pursue him, for he has withdrawn far away

And has escaped like a deer from a snare.

21 For a wound can be bandaged and an insult forgiven,

But anyone who reveals secrets is without hope.

22 He who winks with his eye plots evil deeds,

And no one can draw him away from them.

23 His speech will be sweet in your presence,

And he will marvel at your words;

But later his speech will distort what you said,

And he will cause trouble with your words.

24 I hate many things, but none in comparison to him;

And the Lord will hate him.

Consequences of Sin

25 He who throws a stone into the air

Throws it on his head,

And a treacherous blow will distribute wounds.

26 He who digs a pit will fall into it,

And he who sets a snare will be caught in it.

27 He who does evil things will have it roll back on him,

And he will not know what hit him.

28 Mockery and abuse come back on an arrogant man,

And vengeance lies in wait for him like a lion.

29 Those who rejoice at the fall of the godly

Will be caught in a trap,

And pain will consume them before their death.

30 Anger and wrath, these are also abominations,

And a sinful man shall possess both.

Psalm 72:15–28

15 If I should speak, I would describe it thus:

Behold, I am breaking covenant with the generation of your children.

16 And I sought to understand this;

It was difficult in my sight,

17 Until I came into God’s holy place

And understood their end.

18 Surely, for their deceits You appointed deceits for them;

You cast them down in their exaltation.

19 Oh, how they came into desolation suddenly!

They ceased to be; they perished in their lawlessness.

20 Like a dream to one who is awakened,

So, O Lord, You shall despise their image in Your city.

21 For my heart was kindled,

And my reins were changed,

22 And I was despised, and did not know;

I became like a beast before You.

23 And I am continually with You;

You hold fast my right hand;

24 With Your counsel You guide me,

And with glory You take hold of me.

25 For what is there in heaven for me but You,

And what do I desire on earth besides You?

26 My heart and my flesh fail,

O God of my heart; and God is my portion forever.

27 For behold, those who keep themselves far away from You shall perish;

You destroy away from You all who act unfaithfully.

  28 But as for me, it is good to cling to God,

To put my hope in the Lord,

That I may proclaim all Your praises

In the gates of the daughter of Zion.

Proverbs 15:6–10

6 In abundant righteousness there is much strength,

But the ungodly shall utterly perish from the earth.

7 In the houses of the righteous there is much strength,

But the fruits of the ungodly shall perish.

8 The lips of the wise are bound by perception,

But the hearts of those without discernment are not safe.

9 The sacrifices of the ungodly are an abomination to the Lord,

But the prayers of the upright are acceptable with Him.

10 The ways of the ungodly are an abomination to the Lord,

But He loves those who pursue righteousness.

Galatians 1

1 Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead),

2 and all the brethren who are with me,

To the churches of Galatia:

3 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ,

4 who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,

5 to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Only One Gospel

6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,

7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.

8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.

9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.

Call to Apostleship

(cf. Acts 9:1–25)

11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.

12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.

13 For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it.

14 And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers.

15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace,

16 to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood,

17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.

  Contacts at Jerusalem

(cf. Acts 9:26–31)

18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days.

19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother.

20 (Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before God, I do not lie.)

21 Afterward I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia.

22 And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which were in Christ.

23 But they were hearing only, “He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy.”24 And they glorified God in me.

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