Day 273 – Wisdom of Sirach 39:12-40:30; Psalm 77:1–17; Proverbs 16:6–10; Ephesians 2

Wisdom of Sirach 39:12-40:30

12 I have yet more to tell, and I will describe it in detail;
For I am filled like a full moon.
13 So hear me, O holy sons,
  And bud forth like a rose
Springing up by a running stream.
14 Like frankincense, emit a sweet fragrance,
And blossom forth like a lily.
Send forth a fragrance
And sing a hymn of praise.
Bless the Lord in all His works;
15 Ascribe majesty to His name
And give thanks to Him in praise,
With songs on your lips and with lyres;
And thus you shall say in thanksgiving:
16 “All things are the works of the Lord,
For they are exceedingly good.
And every command shall be in His appointed time.”
No one cay say, “What is this? Why is that?”
For every question will be answered in His appointed time.
17 By His word the waters stood as a heap
And the reservoirs of the waters by the word of His mouth.
18 By His command all His good pleasure is done,
And no one will diminish His salvation.
19 The works of all flesh are before Him,
And nothing can be hidden from His eyes.
20 From age to age He looks upon them,
And nothing is marvelous to Him.
21 No one can say, “What is this? Why is that?”
For all things were created for their uses.
22 His blessing covers the dry land like a river
And drenches it like a flood.
23 As He turns fresh waters into salt,
So the heathen will inherit His wrath.
24 As His ways are straight to the holy,
So they are an occasion of stumbling to the lawless.
25 As from the beginning good things were created for the good,
So evil things for sinners.
26 The basic needs of a man’s life
Are water, fire, iron, salt, and wheat flour,
And milk, honey, the blood of the grape, olive oil, and clothing.
27 As all these things are good for the godly,
So they turn into evil for sinners.
28 There are spirits created for vengeance,
And in His anger they strengthen their scourges.
In the time of consummation they will pour out their might
And appease the wrath of Him who made them.
29 Fire, hail, famine, and death:
All these things are created for vengeance.
30 The teeth of wild animals, scorpions and snakes,
And the avenging sword that drives the ungodly to destruction—
31 They shall be glad at His commandment
And be prepared for His service on earth;
  And when their times come, they will not transgress His word.
32 Therefore from the beginning I was determined and resolved,
And left this in writing:
33 All the works of the Lord are good,
And He will supply every need in its hour.
34 No one can say, “This is worse than that,”
For all things will be well pleasing in their time.
35 So now sing praise with all your heart and voice,
And bless the name of the Lord.
Life’s Afflictions
1 Hard work was created for every man
And a heavy yoke for the sons of Adam,
From the day they come forth from their mother’s womb
until the day they return to the mother of all.
2 The conception of things to come and the day of death
Trouble their thoughts and cause fear of heart—
3 From the one sitting on a glorious throne
To the one humbled in earth and ashes,
4 From the one wearing purple and a crown
To the one clothed in burlap,
There is anger, envy, trouble, and unrest,
And fear of death and fury and strife.
5 When it is time for rest on his bed,
His night of sleep alters his knowledge.
6 He gets little or no rest, and afterward in his sleep,
As though on a day of watch,
He is troubled by the vision of his heart,
Like one who escapes from the face of battle.
7 In the exact time of need he awakes
And is amazed there was nothing to fear.
8 With all flesh, from man to animal,
And upon sinners seven times more, there will be:
9 Death and bloodshed; strife and the sword;
Distresses and famine; and ruin and affliction.
10 All these things were created for the lawless,
And because of them the flood came.
11 Whatever comes from the earth returns to the earth,
And whatever comes from the waters returns to the sea.
The Wise and Unwise
12 Every bribe and wrongdoing will be blotted out,
But faithfulness shall stand forever.
13 The wealth of the unrighteous will dry up like a river
And sound forth and cease like great thunder in the rain.
14 A generous man will rejoice,
But transgressors will come to ruin.
15 The offspring of the ungodly shall not grow branches,
For they are unclean roots on a hard rock.
16 Weeds growing by any water or riverbank
Will be plucked out before any grass.
17 Grace is like a paradise in blessing,
And almsgiving endures forever.
18 The life of the self-reliant and the worker will be sweet,
But he who finds a treasure is better off than both.
  19 Having children and building a city establish a name,
But a blameless wife is accounted better than both.
20 Wine and music gladden the heart,
But love of wisdom is better than both.
21 The flute and harp give sweet melody,
But a pleasant tongue is better than both.
22 The eye will desire grace and beauty,
But the green shoots of grain are better than both.
23 A friend and companion meet at an appointed time,
But a wife meeting with her husband is better than both.
24 Brothers and help are for a time of affliction,
But almsgiving rescues better than both.
25 Gold and silver will make the foot secure,
But counsel is esteemed more valuable than both.
26 Wealth and strength will lift up the heart,
But the fear of the Lord is better than both.
There is no loss in the fear of the Lord,
And with it there is no need to seek for help.
27 The fear of the Lord is like a paradise of blessing
And covers a man better than any glory.
28 My child, do not live the life of a beggar,
For it is better to die than to beg.
29 When a man looks at another’s table,
He is living an irrational life.
For he will pollute his soul with another’s food.
But a rational and educated man will guard himself against that.
30 Begging will be sweet in the mouth of a shameless man,
But in his belly a fire will be kindled.

Psalm 77:1–17

1 Concerning understanding; for Asaph.
Give heed, O my people, to my law;
Incline your ear to the words of my mouth;
2 I shall open my mouth in parables;
I shall speak of hidden things from of old.
3 What things we heard, these we also knew,
And our fathers described them to us.
4 It was not hidden from their children in a different generation,
Who declare the praises of the Lord
And His mighty deeds
And His wondrous things He did.
5 He raised up a testimony in Jacob
And appointed a law in Israel,
Whatever He commanded our fathers
To make these things known to their children,
6 That a different generation may know,
Children yet to be born;
And they will arise, and declare these things to their children,
7 So they may put their hope in God,
And not forget the works of God,
And seek out His commandments,
8 So they may not become like their fathers,
A generation rebellious and embittered,
A generation that did not keep its heart right,
And its spirit was not faithful with God.
9 The sons of Ephraim who bend and shoot their bows
Turned back in the day of battle.
10 They did not keep God’s covenant,
And they did not desire to walk in His law;
11 And they forgot His good deeds
And His wonders He showed them
12 In the sight of their fathers,
The marvelous things He did
In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
13 He parted the sea and led them through;
The waters stood like a dam,
14 And He led them with a cloud by day,
And all night by the light of a fire.
15 He split the rock in the desert
And gave them water to drink as in a great deep;
16 And He brought out water from the rock,
And He brought it down like the waters of rivers.
17 And they still continued to sin against Him;
They rebelled against the Most High in a place without water,

Proverbs 16:6–10

6 There is an oracle on the lips of a king,
And his mouth does not err in judgment.
7 The weight of a scale is righteousness before the Lord,
For His works are righteous standards.
8 He who does evil things is an abomination to a king,
For the throne of a ruler is prepared with righteousness.
9 Righteous lips are acceptable to a king,
And he loves upright words.
10 The wrath of a king is a messenger of death,
But a wise man will appease him.

Ephesians 2

1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,
2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Brought Near by His Blood
11 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands—
12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Christ Our Peace
14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,
15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace,
16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.
17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near.
18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
Christ Our Cornerstone
19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,
21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord,
22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

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