Day 271 – Wisdom of Sirach 36, 37; Psalm 76:1–10; Proverbs 15:33–38; Galatians 6

Wisdom of Sirach 36, 37

1 Have mercy on us, O Lord, the God of all, and look upon us,
And put Your fear on all the nations.
2 Raise Your hand against foreign nations
And let them see Your power.
3 As in us You have been sanctified before them,
So in them may You be made great before us.
4 Let them know You as we also have known You,
For there is no God but You, O Lord.
5 Renew Your signs and work fresh wonders;
Glorify Your hand and Your right arm.
6 Stir up Your anger and pour out Your wrath;
Drive away the adversary and destroy the enemy.
7 Hasten the time and remember Your oath,
And let people declare Your mighty works.
8 Let him who survives be devoured in Your fiery wrath,
And may those who harm Your people meet destruction.
9 Crush the heads of the rulers of the enemies
Who say, “There is no one but us.”
10 Gather together all the tribes of Jacob,
And grant them their inheritance as from the beginning.
11 Have mercy upon Your people called by Your Name, O Lord—
Upon Israel, whom You have likened to Your firstborn son.
12 Have pity on the city of Your sanctuary,
Jerusalem, the place of Your rest.
13 Fill Zion with the celebration of Your divine virtue
And Your people with Your glory.
14 Give testimony to what You created in the beginning
And raise up the prophecies spoken in Your name.
15 Reward those who wait for You
And let Your prophets be found trustworthy.
16 Hear, O Lord, the prayer of Your suppliants,
According to the blessing of Aaron over Your people;
17 And all on earth will know
That You are the Lord, the God of the ages.
Using Discernment
18 The stomach eats any kind of food,
But some food is better than others.
19 As the palate tastes the flavor of game,
So an understanding heart detects lying words.
20 A crooked heart will cause grief,
But a man with great experience will pay him back.
21 A woman will accept any son,
But one daughter is better than another.
22 A beautiful woman gladdens a man’s face
And surpasses his every desire.
23 If there is mercy and gentleness on her tongue,
Her husband is not like other men.
24 He who gains a wife gets his best possession,
A helper like himself and a pillar of support.
25 Where there is no wall, the property will be plundered,
And where a man has no wife, he will wander around and groan.
26 Who will trust a well-equipped thief
Who skips from city to city?
27 Who will trust a man who has no home
And lodges wherever night overtakes him?
Choosing Companions
1 Every friend will say, “I too am your friend,”
But sometimes a friend is a friend in name only.
2 Is it not a grief to the death
When a companion and friend turns to hatred?
3 O evil reasoning! Why were you involved
To cover the land with deceit?
4 A companion delights in the gladness of a friend,
But in time of affliction, he will be against him.
5 A companion labors to help a friend for his stomach’s sake,
And in a time of battle he will take up the shield.
6 Do not forget a friend in your soul,
And do not be unmindful of him with your wealth.
Choosing Counselors
7 Every counselor extols his own counsel,
And some offer advice in their own interest.
8 Protect yourself from a counselor
And know beforehand what is his interest;
For he will take thought for himself
Lest he cast his vote against you
9 And say to you, “Your path is good.”
Then he will stand aside to see what will happen to you.
10 Do not consult with a man who looks at you suspiciously,
And hide your counsel from those who envy you.
11 Also, do not consult with a woman about her rival,
Nor with a coward about battle,
Nor with a merchant about exchange,
Nor with a buyer about selling,
Nor with a slanderer about gratitude,
Nor with an unmerciful man about generosity,
Nor with an idler about any work,
Nor with a seasonal hired hand about completing his work,
Nor with a lazy servant about a big job.
Pay no attention to these in any counsel.
12 Instead, persevere with a godly man
Who you know keeps the commandments,
Whose soul accords with your soul
And will share in your suffering if you fall.
13 Stand firm on the counsel of your heart,
For no one is more faithful to you than it.
14 For a man’s soul sometimes tells him more
Than seven watchmen sitting high on a watchtower.
15 And in all matters, pray to the Most High
That He may direct your way in truth.
Wisdom, False and True
16 A word is the beginning of every work,
And counsel comes before every action.
17 Four types of things appear
As a clue to a change of heart:
18 Good and evil, life and death;
And it is the tongue that continually rules them.
19 There is an astute man who is a teacher of many,
But is useless to his own soul.
20 A man who devises words craftily will be hated.
This man will go hungry,
21 For grace was not given to him from the Lord,
Because he is destitute of all wisdom.
22 There is a man wise in his own soul,
And the fruits of his understanding are trustworthy when he speaks.
23 A wise man will instruct his own people,
And the fruits of his understanding are trustworthy.
24 A wise man shall be filled with blessing,
And all who see him will consider him blessed.
25 The life of a man is numbered by days,
But the days of Israel are without number.
26 The wise man will inherit trust among his people,
And his name will live forever.
27 My son, while you are still living, test your soul,
And see what is bad for it, and do not give in to that.
28 For not everything is profitable for everyone,
And not every soul enjoys everything.
29 Do not be gluttonous for every dainty food,
And do not give yourself over to food.
30 For overeating will bring sickness,
And gluttony will lead to nausea.
31 Many have died because of gluttony,
But the careful man will prolong his life.

Psalm 76:1–10

1 For the End, concerning Idithun; a psalm for Asaph.
2 With my voice I cried to the Lord,
With my voice to God, and He gave heed to me.
3 In the day of my affliction I sought out God
With my hands before Him by night,
And I was not deceived;
My soul refused to be comforted.
4 I remembered God and was glad;
I complained, and my spirit became discouraged.
5 I stayed awake through all the watches of the night;
I was troubled and did not speak.
6 I thought of the days of old,
And I remembered the eternal years; and I meditated.
7 By night I communed with my heart,
And my spirit searched.
8 Will the Lord cast me off unto the ages?
And will He be favorable no more?
9 Or will He cut off His mercy completely,
From generation to generation?
10 Or will God forget to be merciful?
Or will He in His wrath withhold His mercies?

Proverbs 15:33–38

33 God is far from the ungodly,
But He hears the prayers of the righteous.
34 Better is a small yield with the righteous
Than abundant fruits with the unrighteous.
35 Let the heart of a man think righteous things
That he may make his steps straight under God.
36 The eye that beholds good things gladdens the heart,
But a good report enriches the bones.
37 He who rejects instruction hates himself,
But he who gives heed to reproofs loves his soul.
38 The fear of God is instruction and wisdom,
And the beginning of glory will respond to it.

Galatians 6

1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.
2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
5 For each one shall bear his own load.
Be Generous and Do Good
6 Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.
7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.
9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Glory Only in the Cross
11 See with what large letters I have written to you with my own hand!
12 As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
13 For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh.
14 But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.
Blessing and a Plea
16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.
17 From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.
18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

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