Day 280 – Wisdom of Sirach 51; Psalm 81; Proverbs 17:11–15; Philippians 2

Wisdom of Sirach 51

1 I will give thanks to You, O Lord and King,
And I will praise You as my God and Savior.
I give thanks to Your name.
2 For You have been my protector and helper,
And You redeemed my body from destruction
And from the snare of a slanderous tongue,
From the lips of those who work falsehood.
And before all those who stood by, You were a helper,
And You redeemed me,
3 According to Your great mercy and Your name,
From being devoured as one prepared for food
At the hands of those who sought my soul;
From many afflictions that I endured,
4 From suffocation by an encircling fire,
And from the midst of a fire I did not start;
5 From the depths of the belly of Hades
And from the tongue of the unclean and the word of a liar—
6 The slander of an unrighteous tongue before the king.
My soul drew near unto death,
And my life was near Hades below.
7 They surrounded me on all sides,
And there was no one to help me.
I looked for the help of men, but there was none.
8 Then I remembered Your mercy, O Lord,
  And Your work which is from of old,
For You lift up those who wait upon You,
And You save them from the hand of their enemies.
9 I sent up my supplication from the earth
And prayed about the instability caused by death.
10 I called upon the Lord, the Father of my Lord,
That He might not forsake me in the days of affliction,
When I am helpless against the arrogant.
I will praise Your name continually,
And I will sing a hymn with thanksgiving.
11 My prayer was heard,
For You saved me from destruction
And rescued me from a time of evil.
12 Therefore I will thank and praise You,
And I will bless the name of the Lord.
Striving for Wisdom
13 While I was still young, before I went on my travels,
I sought wisdom openly in my prayer.
14 Before the temple I prayed about her,
And I will search for her to the end of my life.
15 From blossoms to ripening grapes,
My heart rejoiced in her.
My foot embarked on her righteous path,
And from my youth I hunted for her.
16 I inclined my ear a little and received her.
I found much instruction for myself.
17 There was progress for me in her.
To Him who gives me wisdom, I will give glory.
18 For I purposed to practice wisdom;
And I was zealous for the good
And was not put to shame.
19 My soul strove earnestly for her,
And I examined myself closely in my performance of the law.
I stretched out my hands to the heights
And mourned my ignorance of her.
20 I directed my soul to her,
And in purification I found her.
I acquired a heart for her from the beginning;
Therefore, I was not forsaken.
21 My heart was stirred to search for her,
And therefore I gained a good possession.
22 The Lord gave me a tongue as my reward,
And I will praise Him with it.
23 Draw near to me, untaught ones,
And lodge in my school.
24 Why do you say that you are lacking in these things,
Yet you let your souls thirst exceedingly?
25 I opened my mouth and said,
“Gain wisdom for yourselves without money.
26 Place your neck under her yoke,
And let your soul receive her instruction.
She is near that you might find her.
27 See with your own eyes that I labored little,
But found much rest for myself.
28 Partake of instruction with a great amount of silver,
And gain much gold with it.
29 May your soul be gladdened by His mercy,
  And may you not be put to shame when you praise Him!
30 Do your work before the appointed time,
And He will give you your reward in His appointed time.”

Psalm 81

1 A psalm for Asaph.
God stood in the assembly of gods;
He judges in the midst of gods, saying,
2 “How long will you judge unjustly,
And favor the persons of sinners?”
3 Judge an orphan and a poor man;
Justify a humble and poor man;
4 Rescue a poor and needy man;
Deliver them from a sinner’s hand.
5 They do not know nor understand;
They carry on in darkness;
All the foundations of the earth shall be shaken.
6 I said, “You are gods,
And you are all sons of the Most High.
7 But you die like men,
And like one of the rulers, you fall.”
8 Arise, O God; judge the earth,
For You shall inherit all the Gentiles.

Proverbs 17:11–15

11 A threat breaks the heart of a man with discernment,
But a man without discernment, though flogged, has no perception.
12 Every evil man stirs up controversy,
But the Lord will send him a merciless messenger.
13 Care will befall a thoughtful man,
But men without discernment devise evil things.
14 He who repays evil for good,
Evil will not be removed from his house.
15 The foundation of righteousness gives authority to words,
But discord and quarreling precede poverty.

Philippians 2

1 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy,
2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
The Humbled and Exalted Christ
5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,
7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,
11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Light Bearers
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
14 Do all things without complaining and disputing,
15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.
17 Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.
18 For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me.
Timothy Commended
19 But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state.
  20 For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state.
21 For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus.
22 But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel.
23 Therefore I hope to send him at once, as soon as I see how it goes with me.
24 But I trust in the Lord that I myself shall also come shortly.
Epaphroditus Praised
25 Yet I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, but your messenger and the one who ministered to my need;
26 since he was longing for you all, and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick.
27 For indeed he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.
28 Therefore I sent him the more eagerly, that when you see him again you may rejoice, and I may be less sorrowful.
29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such men in esteem;
30 because for the work of Christ he came close to death, not regarding his life, to supply what was lacking in your service toward me.

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