Day 272 – Wisdom of Sirach 38:1-39:11; Psalm 76:11–21; Proverbs 16:1–5; Ephesians 1

Wisdom of Sirach 38:1-39:11

1 Honor the physician with the honor due him,
And also according to your need of him,
For the Lord created him.
2 Healing comes from the Most High,
And he will receive a gift from the king.
3 The physician’s skill will lift up his head,
And he shall be admired in the presence of the great.
4 The Lord created medicines from the earth,
And a sensible man will not loathe them.
5 Is not water made sweet by wood
That its strength might be known?
6 And He gave skill to men
That He might be glorified in His wonders.
7 By them He heals and takes away pain,
A druggist making a compound of them.
8 God’s works are never finished,
And from Him health is upon the face of the earth.
9 My son, do not be negligent when you are sick,
But pray to the Lord and He will heal you.
10 Depart from transgression and direct your hands aright,
And cleanse your heart from every sin.
11 Offer a sweet-smelling sacrifice
And a memorial of the finest wheat flour;
And pour oil on your offering, as if you are soon to die.
12 And keep in touch with your physician,
For the Lord created him;
And do not let him leave you,
For you need him.
13 There is a time when success is also in their hands,
14 For they will pray to the Lord
To give them success in bringing relief and healing,
For the sake of preserving your life.
15 He who sins before the One who made him,
May he fall into the hands of a physician.
Mourning the Departed
16 My son, let your tears fall for the dead,
And as one suffering grievously, begin the lament.
With the honor due him, wrap his body
And take care of his burial.
17 Weep bitterly and lament fervently;
Do your mourning according to what he deserves
For a day or two to avoid slander;
  Then be comforted for your grief.
18 For grief is a cause of death,
And a grief-stricken heart will sap your strength.
19 Grief also abides in misery,
And the life of a poor man weighs down his heart.
20 Do not give your heart to grief;
Drive it away, remembering the end of life.
21 Do not forget, for there is no coming back;
And you cannot help the dead man by grieving,
But will only injure yourself.
22 Remember my end, since yours is also like it:
“Mine yesterday, yours today.”
23 When the dead man is at rest, let his remembrance cease,
And be comforted for him in the exodus of his spirit.
Gratitude for Laborers
24 The wisdom of a scribe depends on his opportunity for quiet,
For when he has little business, he will be made wise.
25 How will he who handles the plow be made wise?
For he boasts in the shaft of the goad,
And he drives oxen and is occupied with their labors,
And his talk is about young bulls.
26 His heart is set on plowing furrows,
And he keeps watch to feed his heifers.
27 The same is true for every craftsman and architect
Who works by night as well as by day—
Those who engrave the signets of seals—
He is diligent to make great variety;
His heart set on creating a lifelike image
And keeping watch to perfect his work.
28 So too is the blacksmith sitting near the anvil,
Examining closely his iron works,
The breath of the fire melting his flesh
As he struggles with the heat of the furnace.
He inclines his ear to the sound of the hammer,
And his eyes are focused on the likeness of the object.
He sets his heart on the completion of his works
And keeps watch to perfect its detail.
29 The potter as well, sitting by his work
And turning the potter’s wheel with his feet,
He is always careful about the quality of his work
And also the quantity of his output.
30 With his arm he molds the clay,
And with his feet he curves it.
His heart is set on finishing the glazing,
And he is careful to clean the furnace.
31 All these trust in their hands,
And each is skilled in his work.
  32 Without them a city will not be livable,
Nor will anyone sojourn or live there.
33 Yet they will not be sought out for the council of the people,
And they will not gain prominence in the assembly.
They do not sit in the judge’s seat,
Nor will they understand the sentence of judgment.
34 They cannot give instruction in discipline or judgment,
Nor will they be found using parables;
But they will keep the fabric of the world stable,
And their prayer is in the practice of their craft.
Students of God’s Word
1 How different is the man who devotes himself
To the study of the law of the Most High.
He will seek out the wisdom of all the ancients
And be occupied with their prophecies.
2 He will preserve the discourse of notable men
And penetrate the subtleties of parables.
3 He will seek out the hidden meanings of proverbs
And be engaged in the riddles of parables.
4 He will serve in the midst of great men
And will appear before rulers.
He will travel through the land of foreign nations
And test the good and evil among men.
5 He will give his heart to rising early
Before the Lord who created him,
And will make supplication to the Most High;
And he will open his mouth in prayer
And make supplication for his sins.
6 If the great Lord wills,
He will be filled with the Spirit of understanding.
He will pour forth words of His wisdom,
And in prayer he will give thanks to the Lord.
7 He will direct his counsel and knowledge aright,
And he will reflect on His hidden things.
8 He will reveal instruction in his teaching
And boast in the law of the Lord’s covenant.
9 Many will praise his understanding,
And it will never be blotted out.
His memory will not disappear,
And his name will live through all generations.
10 Nations will proclaim his wisdom,
And the assembly will proclaim his praise.
11 If he lives long, he will leave a name greater than a thousand,
And if he goes to his rest, his work is completed.

Psalm 76:11–21

11 I said, “Now I am beginning to see;
This change is by the right hand of the Most High.”
12 I remembered the Lord’s works,
For I will remember Your wonders of old,
13 And I will meditate on all Your works;
And I will consider Your ways.
14 O God, Your way is in the holy place;
Who is so great a God as our God?
15 You are the God who does wonders;
You made known Your power among the peoples;
16 You redeemed Your people with Your arm,
The sons of Jacob and Joseph.
17 The waters saw You, O God;
The waters saw You and were afraid,
And the depths were troubled,
A multitude like the sound of waters.
18 The clouds uttered their voice,
For Your arrows passed through them;
19 The voice of Your thunder was in the wheel;
Your lightning gave light to the world;
It was shaken, and the earth was made to tremble.
20 Your way is in the sea,
And Your paths are in many waters;
And Your footsteps shall not be known.
21 You led Your people as sheep
By the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Proverbs 16:1–5

1 All the works of the humble are evident before the Lord,
But the ungodly will be destroyed in the evil day.
2 Every high-hearted man is unclean before the Lord,
And he who joins hands with the unrighteous will not go unpunished.
3 The beginning of a good way is to do righteous things,
And this is more acceptable to God than to offer sacrifices.
4 He who seeks the Lord will find knowledge with righteousness,
And those who seek Him rightly will find peace.
5 All the works of the Lord are with righteousness,
But the ungodly man is kept for an evil day.

Ephesians 1

1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God,
To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Redemption in Christ
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace
8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,
9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,
10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.
11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,
12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.
13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,
14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
Prayer for Spiritual Wisdom
15 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,
16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:
17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,
18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power
20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,
21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.
22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church,
23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

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