Day 268 – Wisdom of Sirach 30, 31; Psalm 73:12–23; Proverbs 15:16–20; Galatians 3

Wisdom of Sirach 30, 31

1 The man who loves his son will chastise him often,

So he may rejoice in him in his later years.

2 He who disciplines his son will profit by him

And boast of him among acquaintances.

3 The man who teaches his son will make his enemy jealous

And will rejoice exceedingly over him among friends.

4 When his father dies, it is as though he is not dead,

For he left behind one like himself.

5 While he lived, he saw and rejoiced in him,

And when he died, he was not grieved.

6 Before his enemies, he left behind an avenger,

And to his friends one who repays favors.

7 He who spoils his son will bandage his wounds,

And at every cry his heart will ache.

8 A horse not broken turns out to be stubborn,

And a son allowed to run wild turns out to be headstrong.

9 Pamper a child, and he will frighten you;

  Play with him, and he will grieve you.

10 Do not laugh with him, lest you suffer with him

And gnash your teeth over him at last.

11 Do not give him authority while he is young.

12 Bruise his ribs when he is young,

Lest he become stubborn and disobey you.

13 Discipline your son and work with him,

So he will not embarrass you with his behavior.

Good Health

14 A poor man with good health is better off

Than a rich man afflicted in his body.

15 Health and vigor are better than all gold,

And a strong body than immense wealth.

16 There are no riches greater than health of body,

And there is no gladness above joy of heart.

17 Death is better than a wretched life,

And eternal rest is better than chronic sickness.

18 Good things set out before a closed mouth

Are like offerings of food put on a grave.

19 What use is an offering of fruit to an idol?

For it can neither eat nor smell.

So is a man afflicted by the Lord:

20 He sees with his eyes and groans,

Like a eunuch embracing a virgin.

Gladness of Heart

21 Do not give yourself over to sorrow,

And do not distress yourself deliberately.

22 Gladness of the heart is the life of man,

And rejoicing by a man lengthens his life.

23 Love your soul and comfort your heart,

And put sorrow far away from you;

For sorrow has destroyed many,

And there is no profit in it.

24 Envy and anger will shorten your days,

And worry will bring premature old age.

25 A man with a good and cheerful heart

Will pay attention to the food he eats.

Be Wise with Wealth

1 Losing sleep over wealth wastes away the body,

And anxiety about wealth removes sleep.

2 Sleepless anxiety will drive away slumber,

And severe illness makes an end to sleep.

3 A rich man labors to gather money,

And when he rests he fills himself with his luxuries.

4 A poor man labors to make a meager living,

And when he rests he becomes needy.

5 He who loves gold will not be called righteous,

And he who pursues profit will be led astray by it.

6 Many are driven to calamity for the sake of gold,

And their destruction has met them face to face.

  7 It is a stumbling block for those possessed by it,

And every senseless man will be trapped by it.

8 Blessed is a rich man who is found blameless

And does not chase after gold.

9 Who is he? And we shall call him blessed,

For he has worked wonders among his people.

10 Who has been tested by it and found perfect?

He has ground for boasting.

Who was able to transgress but did not transgress?

Who was able to commit evil but did not do it?

11 His good things will be strengthened,

And the assembly will talk of his almsgiving.

Food and Drink

12 Are you seated at table with a great man?

Do not gluttonize, and do not say,

“How much food there is upon your table!”

13 Remember that a greedy eye is a vice.

What has been created worse than the eye?

Therefore it sheds tears on every face.

14 Do not stretch out your hand for everything you see,

And do not crowd another at the dish.

15 Understand the things of your neighbor by your own,

And in every matter be considerate.

16 Eat what is set before you like a human being,

And do not devour your food, lest you be despised.

17 Be the first to stop eating for the sake of discipline,

And do not be greedy, so as not to cause offense.

18 And if you are seated in a large group of people,

Do not reach out your hand before they do.

19 How small an amount is sufficient for a man with discipline!

And he does not gasp for breath on his bed.

20 Healthy sleep depends on moderate eating,

And he rises early and in good spirits;

But the distress of sleeplessness, nausea, and indigestion

Are with the glutton.

21 If you are stuffed with food,

Get up in the middle of the meal and stop eating.

22 Listen to me, my child, and do not disregard me,

And you will find my words to be important.

In all your works be prepared,

And no sickness will overtake you.

23 Lips will bless a man generous with his food,

And their witness to his goodness is trustworthy.

24 A city will grumble against the man stingy with his food,

And their witness to his stinginess is accurate.

  25 Do not get your courage from wine,

For wine has destroyed many men.

26 As a furnace tests steel in the tempering process,

So wine tests hearts in the quarrels of the arrogant.

27 Wine is like life to men,

If you drink it in moderation.

What is life without wine?

For it was created to give gladness to men.

28 Wine drunk at the proper time and with temperance

Is joyfulness of heart and gladness of soul.

29 Drinking too much wine is bitterness of soul,

With irritation and occasion for stumbling and falling.

30 Drunkenness increases the anger of a senseless man to his own hurt,

Reducing his strength and adding to his wounds.

31 Do not rebuke your neighbor at a wine party,

And do not despise him when he is enjoying himself.

Do not speak a word of insult against him,

And do not afflict him by making demands of him.

Psalm 73:12–23

12 But God is our King before the ages;

He worked salvation in the midst of the earth.

13 You strengthened the sea by Your power;

You crushed the heads of dragons upon the water.

14 You shattered the heads of the dragon;

You gave him as food for the Ethiopian peoples.

15 You broke apart fountains and torrents;

You dried up the rivers of Etham.

16 The day is Yours, and the night is Yours;

You created the light and the sun.

17 You made all the boundaries of the earth;

Summer and winter, You formed these things.

18 Remember this: the enemy insulted the Lord,

And a foolish people provoked Your name.

19 May You not deliver to wild beasts the soul who gives thanks to You;

May You not forget the souls of Your poor to the end.

20 Look upon Your covenant,

For the dark places of the earth are filled with the houses of lawlessness.

21 Let not the humbled and the disgraced be turned away;

The poor and needy shall praise Your name.

22 Arise, O God, judge Your cause;

Remember the insults against You by the foolish man all the day long.

  23 Do not forget the voice of Your suppliants;

The arrogance of those who hate You rises against You continually.

Proverbs 15:16–20

16 The eyes of evil men are waiting for evil things all the time,

But good men are at rest continually.

17 Better is a small portion with the fear of the Lord

Than great treasures with lack of fear.

18 Better is a dinner of herbs with friendship and grace

Than a fatted calf with hostility.

19 An angry man stirs up contention,

But a longsuffering man even calms the rising quarrel.

20 A longsuffering man will extinguish condemnations,

But the ungodly man stirs up more.

Galatians 3

1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?

2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?

4 Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?

5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?—

6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.

8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.”

  9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.

The Law Brings a Curse

10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”

11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.”

12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”

13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),

14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

The Changeless Promise

(cf. Gen. 12:1–3)

15 Brethren, I speak in the manner of men: Though it is only a man’s covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it.

16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ.

17 And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect.

18 For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

Purpose of the Law

19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator.

20 Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one.

21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law.

22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed.

24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

  Sons and Heirs

26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

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