Day 277 – Wisdom of Sirach 46, 47; Psalm 78; Proverbs 16:26–31; Ephesians 5:15–33

Wisdom of Sirach 46, 47

1 Mighty in battle was Joshua the son of Nun
And successor to Moses in prophecies.
He became, in accordance with his name,
A great savior of God’s chosen ones,
To punish the enemies who rose up against them
That he might give Israel its inheritance.
2 How glorious he was when he lifted up his hands
And stretched out his sword against the cities.
3 Who stood so firm before him?
For he led the wars for the Lord.
4 Was not the sun held back by his hand,
And one day become as two?
5 He called upon the Most High, the Lord,
When enemies oppressed him from all sides.
Then the great Lord answered him
With hailstones of mighty power.
6 He shattered that nation with war,
And at the descent of Beth Horon
He destroyed his opponents,
So the nations might know his full armor,
That he fought his battle in the sight of the Lord.
7 For indeed he followed behind the Lord.
Even in the days of Moses he showed mercy,
He and Caleb, the son of Jephunneh:
They withstood the assembly
To prevent the people from sinning
And to stop their evil murmuring.
8 Indeed, these two alone were preserved
From the six hundred thousand on foot,
To lead them into an inheritance,
Into a land flowing with milk and honey.
9 The Lord gave Caleb strength
And remained with him until old age;
For he went up to the hill country,
And his seed took it as an inheritance,
10 So all the children of Israel
Might know that it is good to follow the Lord.
The Judges
11 The judges also, each by his name,
  Those whose heart did not fall into idolatry,
And whoever did not turn away from the Lord—
May their memory be blessed!
12 May their bones revive from their place,
And may the name of those honored live again in their sons!
13 The prophet of the Lord, Samuel, beloved by his Lord,
Established a kingdom and anointed rulers for his people.
14 He judged the assembly by the law of the Lord,
And the Lord watched over Jacob.
15 By his faithfulness he proved to be a true prophet,
And by his words he was known to be faithful in vision.
16 Thus he called upon the Lord, the Mighty One,
When enemies troubled him on every side,
And when he offered a young lamb.
17 Then the Lord thundered from heaven
And with a great sound made His voice heard.
18 He destroyed the leaders of the Tyrians
And all the rulers of the Philistines.
19 And before the time of his sleep in perpetuity,
Samuel called men to witness
Before the Lord and His anointed:
“I have not taken any man’s possessions,
Even to my sandals.”
Indeed, no man brought any charges against him.
20 Even after he fell asleep, he prophesied
And showed the king his end,
And raised up his voice out of the earth
With a prophecy to wipe away the lawlessness of the people.
Nathan and David
1 Then after this Nathan rose up
To prophesy in the days of David.
2 As the fat was divided from the peace offering,
So David was separated from the sons of Israel.
3 He played with lions as with young goats,
And with bears as with lambs of sheep.
4 Did he not slay a giant in his youth,
And remove the disgrace from the people
When he took in his hand a stone for a sling
And struck down the arrogance of Goliath?
5 For he called upon the Lord Most High,
And strength was given to his right hand
To defeat the mighty man in battle,
To exalt the power of his people.
6 So for his tens of thousands they glorified him
And praised him for the blessings of the Lord
when they brought him a diadem of glory.
7 For he destroyed his enemies all around,
Reduced to nothing his enemies the Philistines,
And crushed their power to this very day.
8 In his every work, he gave thanks with a word of praise
To the Holy One, the Most High;
And he sang a hymn with all his heart
And loved his Maker.
9 He placed psalm-singers before the altar
  To make sweet melody with their voices.
10 He gave dignity to the feasts
And set in order the appointed times throughout the year
For them to praise His holy name,
And for the sanctuary to resound from early morning.
11 The Lord took away his sins,
Exalted his power forever,
And gave him a covenant of kings
And a throne of glory in Israel.
Solomon and His Successors
12 After him there arose his wise son,
Who lodged in a broad space because of him.
13 For Solomon reigned in days of peace,
To whom God gave rest on every side
That he might establish a house for His name
And prepare a sanctuary to last forever.
14 How wise you were in your youth,
And filled with understanding like a river.
15 Your soul covered the earth,
And you were filled with the parables of riddles.
16 Your name was known to islands far away,
And you were loved for your peace
17 And for your songs, proverbs, and parables;
Nations marveled at you because of your interpretations.
18 In the name of the Lord God,
Who is called the God of Israel,
You collected gold like tin
And multiplied silver like lead.
19 But you lay down beside women
And were enslaved by your body.
20 You brought disgrace on your honor
And defiled your seed
So as to bring wrath upon your children;
And they were pierced by your lack of good sense.
21 Thus one kingdom became two,
For out of Ephraim there began a disobedient kingdom.
22 But the Lord did not abandon His mercy
Nor corrupt any of His words.
Neither did He wipe away the descendants of His chosen one,
Nor did He remove the seed of the one who loved Him.
He gave a remnant to Jacob,
And to David a root from his stock.
23 When Solomon rested with his fathers,
He left behind him one of his sons,
Lacking in good sense and understanding,
Rehoboam, who turned away the people by his counsel.
24 There was also Jeroboam, the son of Nebat,
Who caused Israel to sin
And led Ephraim on the road to sin.
Then their sins were multiplied exceedingly
So as to remove them from their land.
25 They sought every wickedness
Until punishment came upon them.

Psalm 78

1 A psalm for Asaph.
O God, the nations entered Your inheritance;
They defiled Your holy temple;
They left Jerusalem in ruins.
2 They left the dead bodies of Your servants
As food for the birds of heaven,
The flesh of Your saints for the wild animals of the earth;
3 Their blood flowed like water around Jerusalem,
And there was no one to bury them.
4 We were made a disgrace to our neighbors,
A scorn and a mockery to those around us.
5 How long, O Lord? Will You be angry to the end?
Will Your jealousy burn like fire?
6 Pour out Your wrath on the nations that do not know You,
And on the kingdoms that did not call upon Your name;
7 For they devoured Jacob
And made his dwelling place desolate.
8 Do not remember our transgressions of old;
Let Your mercies quickly overtake us,
For we have become very poor.
9 Help us, O God our savior;
Because of the glory of Your name, O Lord, save us,
And be merciful to our sins because of Your name;
10 Let the nations never say, “Where is their God?”
And let it be known among the nations before our eyes:
There is vengeance for the shed blood of Your servants.
11 Let the groaning of those in prison enter before You;
According to the greatness of Your arm,
Preserve the sons of those who were killed.
  12 Repay our neighbors sevenfold into their bosom
Their reproach by which they reviled You, O Lord.
13 For we are Your people and the sheep of Your pasture;
We shall give thanks to You freely and openly forever;
From generation to generation we will proclaim Your praise.

Proverbs 16:26–31

26 A perverse man spreads evil things,
And a torch of deceit kindles evils and separates friends.
27 A lawless man makes a trial of friends
And leads them in ways not good.
28 A man sets his eyes to calculate perverse things
And determines every evil thing with his lips;
This man is a furnace of wickedness.
29 Old age is a crown of dignity,
But it is found in the ways of righteousness.
30 A patient man is better than a strong man,
And he who controls his temper is better than he who captures a city.
31 All evil things come into the bosoms of the unrighteous,
But all righteous things come from the Lord.

Ephesians 5:15–33

15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,
16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,
19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,
20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.
Marriage—Christ and the Church
(cf. Col. 3:18, 19)
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.
24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,
27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.
29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.
  30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.
31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”
32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

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