August 11 – OT Reading

1 Kings 5-6

 

1 Kings 5

Alliance with King Hiram

Now Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon, when he heard that they had anointed him king in place of his father, for Hiram had always been a friend of David. Then Solomon sent word to Hiram, saying, “You know that David my father was unable to build a house for the name of the Lord his God because of the wars which surrounded him, until the Lord put them under the soles of his feet. But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side; there is neither adversary nor misfortune. Behold, I intend to build a house for the name of the Lord my God, as the Lord spoke to David my father, saying, ‘Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place, he will build the house for My name.’ Now therefore, command that they cut for me cedars from Lebanon, and my servants will be with your servants; and I will give you wages for your servants according to all that you say, for you know that there is no one among us who knows how to cut timber like the Sidonians.”

When Hiram heard the words of Solomon, he rejoiced greatly and said, “Blessed be the Lord today, who has given to David a wise son over this great people.” So Hiram sent word to Solomon, saying, “I have heard the message which you have sent me; I will do what you desire concerning the cedar and cypress timber. My servants will bring them down from Lebanon to the sea; and I will make them into rafts to go by sea to the place where you direct me, and I will have them broken up there, and you shall carry them away. Then you shall accomplish my desire by giving food to my household.” 10 So Hiram gave Solomon as much as he desired of the cedar and cypress timber. 11 Solomon then gave Hiram 20,000 kors of wheat as food for his household, and twenty kors of beaten oil; thus Solomon would give Hiram year by year. 12 The Lord gave wisdom to Solomon, just as He promised him; and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a covenant.

Conscription of Laborers

13 Now King Solomon levied forced laborers from all Israel; and the forced laborers numbered 30,000 men. 14 He sent them to Lebanon, 10,000 a month in relays; they were in Lebanon a month and two months at home. And Adoniram was over the forced laborers. 15 Now Solomon had 70,000 transporters, and 80,000 hewers of stone in the mountains, 16 besides Solomon’s 3,300 chief deputies who were over the project and who ruled over the people who were doing the work. 17 Then the king commanded, and they quarried great stones, costly stones, to lay the foundation of the house with cut stones. 18 So Solomon’s builders and Hiram’s builders and the Gebalites cut them, and prepared the timbers and the stones to build the house.

1 Kings 6

The Building of the Temple

Now it came about in the four hundred and eightieth year after the sons of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the Lord. As for the house which King Solomon built for the Lord, its length was sixty cubits and its width twenty cubits and its height thirty cubits. The porch in front of the nave of the house was twenty cubits in length, corresponding to the width of the house, and its depth along the front of the house was ten cubits. Also for the house he made windows with artistic frames. Against the wall of the house he built stories encompassing the walls of the house around both the nave and the inner sanctuary; thus he made side chambers all around. The lowest story was five cubits wide, and the middle was six cubits wide, and the third was seven cubits wide; for on the outside he made offsets in the wall of the house all around in order that the beams would not be inserted in the walls of the house.

The house, while it was being built, was built of stone prepared at the quarry, and there was neither hammer nor axe nor any iron tool heard in the house while it was being built.

The doorway for the lowest side chamber was on the right side of the house; and they would go up by winding stairs to the middle story, and from the middle to the third. So he built the house and finished it; and he covered the house with beams and planks of cedar. 10 He also built the stories against the whole house, each five cubits high; and they were fastened to the house with timbers of cedar.

11 Now the word of the Lord came to Solomon saying, 12 Concerning this house which you are building, if you will walk in My statutes and execute My ordinances and keep all My commandments by walking in them, then I will carry out My word with you which I spoke to David your father. 13 I will dwell among the sons of Israel, and will not forsake My people Israel.”

14 So Solomon built the house and finished it. 15 Then he built the walls of the house on the inside with boards of cedar; from the floor of the house to the ceiling he overlaid the walls on the inside with wood, and he overlaid the floor of the house with boards of cypress. 16 He built twenty cubits on the rear part of the house with boards of cedar from the floor to the ceiling; he built them for it on the inside as an inner sanctuary, even as the most holy place. 17 The house, that is, the nave in front of the inner sanctuary, was forty cubits long. 18 There was cedar on the house within, carved in the shape of gourds and open flowers; all was cedar, there was no stone seen. 19 Then he prepared an inner sanctuary within the house in order to place there the ark of the covenant of the Lord. 20 The inner sanctuary was twenty cubits in length, twenty cubits in width, and twenty cubits in height, and he overlaid it with pure gold. He also overlaid the altar with cedar. 21 So Solomon overlaid the inside of the house with pure gold. And he drew chains of gold across the front of the inner sanctuary, and he overlaid it with gold. 22 He overlaid the whole house with gold, until all the house was finished. Also the whole altar which was by the inner sanctuary he overlaid with gold.

23 Also in the inner sanctuary he made two cherubim of olive wood, each ten cubits high. 24 Five cubits was the one wing of the cherub and five cubits the other wing of the cherub; from the end of one wing to the end of the other wing were ten cubits. 25 The other cherub was ten cubits; both the cherubim were of the same measure and the same form. 26 The height of the one cherub was ten cubits, and so was the other cherub. 27 He placed the cherubim in the midst of the inner house, and the wings of the cherubim were spread out, so that the wing of the one was touching the one wall, and the wing of the other cherub was touching the other wall. So their wings were touching each other in the center of the house. 28 He also overlaid the cherubim with gold.

29 Then he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved engravings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers, inner and outer sanctuaries. 30 He overlaid the floor of the house with gold, inner and outer sanctuaries.

31 For the entrance of the inner sanctuary he made doors of olive wood, the lintel and five-sided doorposts. 32 So he made two doors of olive wood, and he carved on them carvings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers, and overlaid them with gold; and he spread the gold on the cherubim and on the palm trees.

33 So also he made for the entrance of the nave four-sided doorposts of olive wood 34 and two doors of cypress wood; the two leaves of the one door turned on pivots, and the two leaves of the other door turned on pivots. 35 He carved on it cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers; and he overlaid them with gold evenly applied on the engraved work. 36 He built the inner court with three rows of cut stone and a row of cedar beams.

37 In the fourth year the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid, in the month of Ziv. 38 In the eleventh year, in the month of Bul, which is the eighth month, the house was finished throughout all its parts and according to all its plans. So he was seven years in building it.

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

August 8 – OT Reading

Proverbs 22-24

 

Proverbs 22

On Life and Conduct

22 A good name is to be more desired than great wealth,
Favor is better than silver and gold.
The rich and the poor have a common bond,
The Lord is the maker of them all.
The prudent sees the evil and hides himself,
But the naive go on, and are punished for it.
The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord
Are riches, honor and life.
Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;
He who guards himself will be far from them.
Train up a child in the way he should go,
Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
The rich rules over the poor,
And the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.
He who sows iniquity will reap vanity,
And the rod of his fury will perish.
He who is generous will be blessed,
For he gives some of his food to the poor.
10 Drive out the scoffer, and contention will go out,
Even strife and dishonor will cease.
11 He who loves purity of heart
And whose speech is gracious, the king is his friend.
12 The eyes of the Lord preserve knowledge,
But He overthrows the words of the treacherous man.
13 The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside;
I will be killed in the streets!”
14 The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit;
He who is cursed of the Lord will fall into it.
15 Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;
The rod of discipline will remove it far from him.
16 He who oppresses the poor to make more for himself
Or who gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

17 Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,
And apply your mind to my knowledge;
18 For it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
That they may be ready on your lips.
19 So that your trust may be in the Lord,
I have taught you today, even you.
20 Have I not written to you excellent things
Of counsels and knowledge,
21 To make you know the certainty of the words of truth
That you may correctly answer him who sent you?

22 Do not rob the poor because he is poor,
Or crush the afflicted at the gate;
23 For the Lord will plead their case
And take the life of those who rob them.

24 Do not associate with a man given to anger;
Or go with a hot-tempered man,
25 Or you will learn his ways
And find a snare for yourself.

26 Do not be among those who give pledges,
Among those who become guarantors for debts.
27 If you have nothing with which to pay,
Why should he take your bed from under you?

28 Do not move the ancient boundary
Which your fathers have set.

29 Do you see a man skilled in his work?
He will stand before kings;
He will not stand before obscure men.

Proverbs 23

On Life and Conduct

23 When you sit down to dine with a ruler,
Consider carefully what is before you,
And put a knife to your throat
If you are a man of great appetite.
Do not desire his delicacies,
For it is deceptive food.

Do not weary yourself to gain wealth,
Cease from your consideration of it.
When you set your eyes on it, it is gone.
For wealth certainly makes itself wings
Like an eagle that flies toward the heavens.

Do not eat the bread of a selfish man,
Or desire his delicacies;
For as he thinks within himself, so he is.
He says to you, “Eat and drink!”
But his heart is not with you.
You will vomit up the morsel you have eaten,
And waste your compliments.

Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
For he will despise the wisdom of your words.

10 Do not move the ancient boundary
Or go into the fields of the fatherless,
11 For their Redeemer is strong;
He will plead their case against you.
12 Apply your heart to discipline
And your ears to words of knowledge.

13 Do not hold back discipline from the child,
Although you strike him with the rod, he will not die.
14 You shall strike him with the rod
And rescue his soul from Sheol.

15 My son, if your heart is wise,
My own heart also will be glad;
16 And my inmost being will rejoice
When your lips speak what is right.

17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
But live in the fear of the Lord always.
18 Surely there is a future,
And your hope will not be cut off.
19 Listen, my son, and be wise,
And direct your heart in the way.
20 Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine,
Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;
21 For the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty,
And drowsiness will clothe one with rags.

22 Listen to your father who begot you,
And do not despise your mother when she is old.
23 Buy truth, and do not sell it,
Get wisdom and instruction and understanding.

24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice,
And he who sires a wise son will be glad in him.
25 Let your father and your mother be glad,
And let her rejoice who gave birth to you.

26 Give me your heart, my son,
And let your eyes delight in my ways.
27 For a harlot is a deep pit
And an adulterous woman is a narrow well.
28 Surely she lurks as a robber,
And increases the faithless among men.

29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has contentions? Who has complaining?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who has redness of eyes?
30 Those who linger long over wine,
Those who go to taste mixed wine.
31 Do not look on the wine when it is red,
When it sparkles in the cup,
When it goes down smoothly;
32 At the last it bites like a serpent
And stings like a viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange things
And your mind will utter perverse things.
34 And you will be like one who lies down in the middle of the sea,
Or like one who lies down on the top of a mast.
35 “They struck me, but I did not become ill;
They beat me, but I did not know it.
When shall I awake?
I will seek another drink.”

Proverbs 24

Precepts and Warnings

24 Do not be envious of evil men,
Nor desire to be with them;
For their minds devise violence,
And their lips talk of trouble.

By wisdom a house is built,
And by understanding it is established;
And by knowledge the rooms are filled
With all precious and pleasant riches.

A wise man is strong,
And a man of knowledge increases power.
For by wise guidance you will wage war,
And in abundance of counselors there is victory.

Wisdom is too exalted for a fool,
He does not open his mouth in the gate.

One who plans to do evil,
Men will call a schemer.
The devising of folly is sin,
And the scoffer is an abomination to men.

10 If you are slack in the day of distress,
Your strength is limited.

11 Deliver those who are being taken away to death,
And those who are staggering to slaughter, Oh hold them back.
12 If you say, “See, we did not know this,”
Does He not consider it who weighs the hearts?
And does He not know it who keeps your soul?
And will He not render to man according to his work?

13 My son, eat honey, for it is good,
Yes, the honey from the comb is sweet to your taste;
14 Know that wisdom is thus for your soul;
If you find it, then there will be a future,
And your hope will not be cut off.

15 Do not lie in wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous;
Do not destroy his resting place;
16 For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again,
But the wicked stumble in time of calamity.

17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;
18 Or the Lord will see it and be displeased,
And turn His anger away from him.

19 Do not fret because of evildoers
Or be envious of the wicked;
20 For there will be no future for the evil man;
The lamp of the wicked will be put out.

21 My son, fear the Lord and the king;
Do not associate with those who are given to change,
22 For their calamity will rise suddenly,
And who knows the ruin that comes from both of them?

23 These also are sayings of the wise.
To show partiality in judgment is not good.
24 He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous,”
Peoples will curse him, nations will abhor him;
25 But to those who rebuke the wicked will be delight,
And a good blessing will come upon them.
26 He kisses the lips
Who gives a right answer.

27 Prepare your work outside
And make it ready for yourself in the field;
Afterwards, then, build your house.

28 Do not be a witness against your neighbor without cause,
And do not deceive with your lips.
29 Do not say, “Thus I shall do to him as he has done to me;
I will render to the man according to his work.”

30 I passed by the field of the sluggard
And by the vineyard of the man lacking sense,
31 And behold, it was completely overgrown with thistles;
Its surface was covered with nettles,
And its stone wall was broken down.
32 When I saw, I reflected upon it;
I looked, and received instruction.
33 “A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest,”
34 Then your poverty will come as a robber
And your want like an armed man.

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

Why Even the Wise May Fall

 

Thoughts About What We’re Reading…

While reading through Proverbs 19, part of our reading for today, I was struck by verse 27.  This follows along the lines of what I wrote about last week in regard to wisdom.

“Cease to hear instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.” (Proverbs 19:27 ESV)

One of the saddest tragedies in the Bible is the story of King Solomon. I will explore Solomon’s life over the next three weeks in my blog. What lessons can we learn from him?  This week we will focus on his accomplishments, his legacy. We must ask ourselves what went wrong?

As I wrote last week – we can learn wisdom the hard way or we can learn by the teaching of scripture and lives of others.

As we read though 1 Kings 1-11, we read the story of this great king. Solomon was one of the greatest kings the world has ever seen.

Yet at the end of his life he made one of the most foolish choices that anyone has ever made, with disastrous consequences for himself and his kingdom. How can we learn to avoid making the same mistakes that Solomon made?

Born into royalty, Solomon starts well – we learn that almost everything he ever did was a success. He was a master builder – he built the great Temple, a grand palace, and the great stables for his many horses.

He was wealthy beyond measure.

Above all, Solomon was a man of wisdom, for this was the unique gift that distinguished him from all others, the gift that he received from God.

Solomon was the wisest man in the world—maybe the wisest man in history (apart from the Son of God, of course).

People came from all over the world to hear what Solomon had to say.  When the Queen of Sheba witnessed first hand his wisdom, his wealth, his palace and the temple, scripture says it took her breath away! (1 Kings 10:5)

Countless people have enjoyed his writings – Song of Solomon and Proverbs for thousands of years.

Solomon was also a man of prayer.

Solomon’s dedicatory prayer in 1 Kings 8:22-53 is one of the best prayers in the entire Bible, a model for thanksgiving, confession, intercession, and praise. I will review this prayer in next week’s blog and how it moved me while on vacation!

So, how did a man, such a godly and wise man fall into such disgrace?

He forgot his own teaching – “Cease to hear instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.”

I am sure folks of the day would have said, “others may fail, others may fall, but surely not Solomon!”

So what can we learn?

The Christian walk is made up of daily choices.  The smallest of sins can grow and grow until we find ourselves in a bad place wondering how we ever got there.

Somewhere along the way we convince ourselves these little choices are not that bad, no one will know – God will forgive me.

I pray we all examine our own lives this week, are there “little” sins, bad choices that you are making that need to stop? Secret stuff no one knows about that you would be embarrassed or worse disgraced if others found out?

May you heed this proverb and never cease to hear instruction, and never stray from the words of knowledge.  Call upon the Holy Spirit that He may keep your heart true!

Until next time…  Keep reading!

Jim

Sources used for this blog – ESV Bible, NASB Bible, Reformed Expository Commentary – I Kings by Philip Graham Ryken (I love this series!)

 

August 7 – OT Reading

Proverbs 19-21

 

Proverbs 19

On Life and Conduct

19 Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity Than he who is perverse in speech and is a fool. Also it is not good for a person to be without knowledge, And he who hurries his footsteps errs. The foolishness of man ruins his way, And his heart rages against the Lord. Wealth adds many friends, But a poor man is separated from his friend. A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who tells lies will not escape. Many will seek the favor of a generous man, And every man is a friend to him who gives gifts. All the brothers of a poor man hate him; How much more do his friends abandon him! He pursues them with words, but they are gone. He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; He who keeps understanding will find good. A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who tells lies will perish. 10 Luxury is not fitting for a fool; Much less for a slave to rule over princes. 11 A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, And it is his glory to overlook a transgression. 12 The king’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion, But his favor is like dew on the grass. 13 A foolish son is destruction to his father, And the contentions of a wife are a constant dripping. 14 House and wealth are an inheritance from fathers, But a prudent wife is from the Lord. 15 Laziness casts into a deep sleep, And an idle man will suffer hunger. 16 He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul, But he who is careless of conduct will die. 17 One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord, And He will repay him for his good deed. 18 Discipline your son while there is hope, And do not desire his death. 19 A man of great anger will bear the penalty, For if you rescue him, you will only have to do it again. 20 Listen to counsel and accept discipline, That you may be wise the rest of your days. 21 Many plans are in a man’s heart, But the counsel of the Lord will stand. 22 What is desirable in a man is his kindness, And it is better to be a poor man than a liar. 23 The fear of the Lord leads to life, So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil. 24 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish, But will not even bring it back to his mouth. 25 Strike a scoffer and the naive may become shrewd, But reprove one who has understanding and he will gain knowledge. 26 He who assaults his father and drives his mother away Is a shameful and disgraceful son. 27 Cease listening, my son, to discipline, And you will stray from the words of knowledge. 28 A rascally witness makes a mockery of justice, And the mouth of the wicked spreads iniquity. 29 Judgments are prepared for scoffers, And blows for the back of fools.

 

Proverbs 20

On Life and Conduct

20 Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, And whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise. The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion; He who provokes him to anger forfeits his own life. Keeping away from strife is an honor for a man, But any fool will quarrel. The sluggard does not plow after the autumn, So he begs during the harvest and has nothing. A plan in the heart of a man is like deep water, But a man of understanding draws it out. Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, But who can find a trustworthy man? A righteous man who walks in his integrity— How blessed are his sons after him. A king who sits on the throne of justice Disperses all evil with his eyes. Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart, I am pure from my sin”? 10 Differing weights and differing measures, Both of them are abominable to the Lord. 11 It is by his deeds that a lad distinguishes himself If his conduct is pure and right. 12 The hearing ear and the seeing eye, The Lord has made both of them. 13 Do not love sleep, or you will become poor; Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with food. 14 “Bad, bad,” says the buyer, But when he goes his way, then he boasts. 15 There is gold, and an abundance of jewels; But the lips of knowledge are a more precious thing. 16 Take his garment when he becomes surety for a stranger; And for foreigners, hold him in pledge. 17 Bread obtained by falsehood is sweet to a man, But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel. 18 Prepare plans by consultation, And make war by wise guidance. 19 He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, Therefore do not associate with a gossip. 20 He who curses his father or his mother, His lamp will go out in time of darkness. 21 An inheritance gained hurriedly at the beginning Will not be blessed in the end. 22 Do not say, “I will repay evil”; Wait for the Lord, and He will save you. 23 Differing weights are an abomination to the Lord, And a false scale is not good. 24 Man’s steps are ordained by the Lord, How then can man understand his way? 25 It is a trap for a man to say rashly, “It is holy!” And after the vows to make inquiry. 26 A wise king winnows the wicked, And drives the threshing wheel over them. 27 The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, Searching all the innermost parts of his being. 28 Loyalty and truth preserve the king, And he upholds his throne by righteousness. 29 The glory of young men is their strength, And the honor of old men is their gray hair. 30 Stripes that wound scour away evil, And strokes reach the innermost parts.

 

Proverbs 21

On Life and Conduct

21 The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes. Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the hearts. To do righteousness and justice Is desired by the Lord more than sacrifice. Haughty eyes and a proud heart, The lamp of the wicked, is sin. The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, But everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty. The acquisition of treasures by a lying tongue Is a fleeting vapor, the pursuit of death. The violence of the wicked will drag them away, Because they refuse to act with justice. The way of a guilty man is crooked, But as for the pure, his conduct is upright. It is better to live in a corner of a roof Than in a house shared with a contentious woman. 10 The soul of the wicked desires evil; His neighbor finds no favor in his eyes. 11 When the scoffer is punished, the naive becomes wise; But when the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge. 12 The righteous one considers the house of the wicked, Turning the wicked to ruin. 13 He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor Will also cry himself and not be answered. 14 A gift in secret subdues anger, And a bribe in the bosom, strong wrath. 15 The exercise of justice is joy for the righteous, But is terror to the workers of iniquity. 16 A man who wanders from the way of understanding Will rest in the assembly of the dead. 17 He who loves pleasure will become a poor man; He who loves wine and oil will not become rich. 18 The wicked is a ransom for the righteous, And the treacherous is in the place of the upright. 19 It is better to live in a desert land Than with a contentious and vexing woman. 20 There is precious treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise, But a foolish man swallows it up. 21 He who pursues righteousness and loyalty Finds life, righteousness and honor. 22 A wise man scales the city of the mighty And brings down the stronghold in which they trust. 23 He who guards his mouth and his tongue, Guards his soul from troubles. 24 “Proud,” “Haughty,” “Scoffer,” are his names, Who acts with insolent pride. 25 The desire of the sluggard puts him to death, For his hands refuse to work; 26 All day long he is craving, While the righteous gives and does not hold back. 27 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination, How much more when he brings it with evil intent! 28 A false witness will perish, But the man who listens to the truth will speak forever. 29 A wicked man displays a bold face, But as for the upright, he makes his way sure. 30 There is no wisdom and no understanding And no counsel against the Lord. 31 The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But victory belongs to the Lord.

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

August 6 – OT Reading

Proverbs 16-18

 

Proverbs 16

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked

16 The plans of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the Lord weighs the motives. Commit your works to the Lord And your plans will be established. The Lord has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil. Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; Assuredly, he will not be unpunished. By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for, And by the fear of the Lord one keeps away from evil. When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. Better is a little with righteousness Than great income with injustice. The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps. 10 A divine decision is in the lips of the king; His mouth should not err in judgment. 11 A just balance and scales belong to the Lord; All the weights of the bag are His concern. 12 It is an abomination for kings to commit wicked acts, For a throne is established on righteousness. 13 Righteous lips are the delight of kings, And he who speaks right is loved. 14 The fury of a king is like messengers of death, But a wise man will appease it. 15 In the light of a king’s face is life, And his favor is like a cloud with the spring rain. 16 How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver. 17 The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; He who watches his way preserves his life. 18 Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling. 19 It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly Than to divide the spoil with the proud. 20 He who gives attention to the word will find good, And blessed is he who trusts in the Lord. 21 The wise in heart will be called understanding, And sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness. 22 Understanding is a fountain of life to one who has it, But the discipline of fools is folly. 23 The heart of the wise instructs his mouth And adds persuasiveness to his lips. 24 Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. 25 There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. 26 A worker’s appetite works for him, For his hunger urges him on. 27 A worthless man digs up evil, While his words are like scorching fire. 28 A perverse man spreads strife, And a slanderer separates intimate friends. 29 A man of violence entices his neighbor And leads him in a way that is not good. 30 He who winks his eyes does so to devise perverse things; He who compresses his lips brings evil to pass. 31 A gray head is a crown of glory; It is found in the way of righteousness. 32 He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city. 33 The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the Lord.

 

Proverbs 17

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked

17 Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it Than a house full of feasting with strife. A servant who acts wisely will rule over a son who acts shamefully, And will share in the inheritance among brothers. The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, But the Lord tests hearts. An evildoer listens to wicked lips; A liar pays attention to a destructive tongue. He who mocks the poor taunts his Maker; He who rejoices at calamity will not go unpunished. Grandchildren are the crown of old men, And the glory of sons is their fathers. Excellent speech is not fitting for a fool, Much less are lying lips to a prince. A bribe is a charm in the sight of its owner; Wherever he turns, he prospers. He who conceals a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends. 10 A rebuke goes deeper into one who has understanding Than a hundred blows into a fool. 11 A rebellious man seeks only evil, So a cruel messenger will be sent against him. 12 Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs, Rather than a fool in his folly. 13 He who returns evil for good, Evil will not depart from his house. 14 The beginning of strife is like letting out water, So abandon the quarrel before it breaks out. 15 He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, Both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord. 16 Why is there a price in the hand of a fool to buy wisdom, When he has no sense? 17 A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity. 18 A man lacking in sense pledges And becomes guarantor in the presence of his neighbor. 19 He who loves transgression loves strife; He who raises his door seeks destruction. 20 He who has a crooked mind finds no good, And he who is perverted in his language falls into evil. 21 He who sires a fool does so to his sorrow, And the father of a fool has no joy. 22 A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones. 23 A wicked man receives a bribe from the bosom To pervert the ways of justice. 24 Wisdom is in the presence of the one who has understanding, But the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth. 25 A foolish son is a grief to his father And bitterness to her who bore him. 26 It is also not good to fine the righteous, Nor to strike the noble for their uprightness. 27 He who restrains his words has knowledge, And he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. 28 Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise; When he closes his lips, he is considered prudent.

 

Proverbs 18

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked

18 He who separates himself seeks his own desire, He quarrels against all sound wisdom. A fool does not delight in understanding, But only in revealing his own mind. When a wicked man comes, contempt also comes, And with dishonor comes scorn. The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; The fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook. To show partiality to the wicked is not good, Nor to thrust aside the righteous in judgment. A fool’s lips bring strife, And his mouth calls for blows. A fool’s mouth is his ruin, And his lips are the snare of his soul. The words of a whisperer are like dainty morsels, And they go down into the innermost parts of the body. He also who is slack in his work Is brother to him who destroys. 10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous runs into it and is safe. 11 A rich man’s wealth is his strong city, And like a high wall in his own imagination. 12 Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, But humility goes before honor. 13 He who gives an answer before he hears, It is folly and shame to him. 14 The spirit of a man can endure his sickness, But as for a broken spirit who can bear it? 15 The mind of the prudent acquires knowledge, And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. 16 A man’s gift makes room for him And brings him before great men. 17 The first to plead his case seems right, Until another comes and examines him. 18 The cast lot puts an end to strife And decides between the mighty ones. 19 A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a citadel. 20 With the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach will be satisfied; He will be satisfied with the product of his lips. 21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. 22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing And obtains favor from the Lord. 23 The poor man utters supplications, But the rich man answers roughly. 24 A man of too many friends comes to ruin, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

August 5 – OT Reading

Proverbs 13-15

 

Proverbs 13

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked

13 A wise son accepts his father’s discipline, But a scoffer does not listen to rebuke. From the fruit of a man’s mouth he enjoys good, But the desire of the treacherous is violence. The one who guards his mouth preserves his life; The one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, But the soul of the diligent is made fat. A righteous man hates falsehood, But a wicked man acts disgustingly and shamefully. Righteousness guards the one whose way is blameless, But wickedness subverts the sinner. There is one who pretends to be rich, but has nothing; Another pretends to be poor, but has great wealth. The ransom of a man’s life is his wealth, But the poor hears no rebuke. The light of the righteous rejoices, But the lamp of the wicked goes out. 10 Through insolence comes nothing but strife, But wisdom is with those who receive counsel. 11 Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles, But the one who gathers by labor increases it. 12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But desire fulfilled is a tree of life. 13 The one who despises the word will be in debt to it, But the one who fears the commandment will be rewarded. 14 The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, To turn aside from the snares of death. 15 Good understanding produces favor, But the way of the treacherous is hard. 16 Every prudent man acts with knowledge, But a fool displays folly. 17 A wicked messenger falls into adversity, But a faithful envoy brings healing. 18 Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline, But he who regards reproof will be honored. 19 Desire realized is sweet to the soul, But it is an abomination to fools to turn away from evil. 20 He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm. 21 Adversity pursues sinners, But the righteous will be rewarded with prosperity. 22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, And the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous. 23 Abundant food is in the fallow ground of the poor, But it is swept away by injustice. 24 He who withholds his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently. 25 The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite, But the stomach of the wicked is in need.

 

Proverbs 14

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked

14 The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish tears it down with her own hands. He who walks in his uprightness fears the Lord, But he who is devious in his ways despises Him. In the mouth of the foolish is a rod for his back, But the lips of the wise will protect them. Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, But much revenue comes by the strength of the ox. A trustworthy witness will not lie, But a false witness utters lies. A scoffer seeks wisdom and finds none, But knowledge is easy to one who has understanding. Leave the presence of a fool, Or you will not discern words of knowledge. The wisdom of the sensible is to understand his way, But the foolishness of fools is deceit. Fools mock at sin, But among the upright there is good will. 10 The heart knows its own bitterness, And a stranger does not share its joy. 11 The house of the wicked will be destroyed, But the tent of the upright will flourish. 12 There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. 13 Even in laughter the heart may be in pain, And the end of joy may be grief. 14 The backslider in heart will have his fill of his own ways, But a good man will be satisfied with his. 15 The naive believes everything, But the sensible man considers his steps. 16 A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, But a fool is arrogant and careless. 17 A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, And a man of evil devices is hated. 18 The naive inherit foolishness, But the sensible are crowned with knowledge. 19 The evil will bow down before the good, And the wicked at the gates of the righteous. 20 The poor is hated even by his neighbor, But those who love the rich are many. 21 He who despises his neighbor sins, But happy is he who is gracious to the poor. 22 Will they not go astray who devise evil? But kindness and truth will be to those who devise good. 23 In all labor there is profit, But mere talk leads only to poverty. 24 The crown of the wise is their riches, But the folly of fools is foolishness. 25 A truthful witness saves lives, But he who utters lies is treacherous. 26 In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, And his children will have refuge. 27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, That one may avoid the snares of death. 28 In a multitude of people is a king’s glory, But in the dearth of people is a prince’s ruin. 29 He who is slow to anger has great understanding, But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly. 30 A tranquil heart is life to the body, But passion is rottenness to the bones. 31 He who oppresses the poor taunts his Maker, But he who is gracious to the needy honors Him. 32 The wicked is thrust down by his wrongdoing, But the righteous has a refuge when he dies. 33 Wisdom rests in the heart of one who has understanding, But in the hearts of fools it is made known. 34 Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people. 35 The king’s favor is toward a servant who acts wisely, But his anger is toward him who acts shamefully.

 

Proverbs 15

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked

15 A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, But the mouth of fools spouts folly. The eyes of the Lord are in every place, Watching the evil and the good. A soothing tongue is a tree of life, But perversion in it crushes the spirit. A fool rejects his father’s discipline, But he who regards reproof is sensible. Great wealth is in the house of the righteous, But trouble is in the income of the wicked. The lips of the wise spread knowledge, But the hearts of fools are not so. The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, But the prayer of the upright is His delight. The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, But He loves one who pursues righteousness. 10 Grievous punishment is for him who forsakes the way; He who hates reproof will die. 11 Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the Lord, How much more the hearts of men! 12 A scoffer does not love one who reproves him, He will not go to the wise. 13 A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken. 14 The mind of the intelligent seeks knowledge, But the mouth of fools feeds on folly. 15 All the days of the afflicted are bad, But a cheerful heart has a continual feast. 16 Better is a little with the fear of the Lord Than great treasure and turmoil with it. 17 Better is a dish of vegetables where love is Than a fattened ox served with hatred. 18 A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, But the slow to anger calms a dispute. 19 The way of the lazy is as a hedge of thorns, But the path of the upright is a highway. 20 A wise son makes a father glad, But a foolish man despises his mother. 21 Folly is joy to him who lacks sense, But a man of understanding walks straight. 22 Without consultation, plans are frustrated, But with many counselors they succeed. 23 A man has joy in an apt answer, And how delightful is a timely word! 24 The path of life leads upward for the wise That he may keep away from Sheol below. 25 The Lord will tear down the house of the proud, But He will establish the boundary of the widow. 26 Evil plans are an abomination to the Lord, But pleasant words are pure. 27 He who profits illicitly troubles his own house, But he who hates bribes will live. 28 The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, But the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things. 29 The Lord is far from the wicked, But He hears the prayer of the righteous. 30 Bright eyes gladden the heart; Good news puts fat on the bones. 31 He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof Will dwell among the wise. 32 He who neglects discipline despises himself, But he who listens to reproof acquires understanding. 33 The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom, And before honor comes humility.

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

August 4 – OT Reading

Proverbs 10-12

 

Proverbs 10

Contrast of the Righteous and the Wicked

10 The proverbs of Solomon.

A wise son makes a father glad, But a foolish son is a grief to his mother. Ill-gotten gains do not profit, But righteousness delivers from death. The Lord will not allow the righteous to hunger, But He will reject the craving of the wicked. Poor is he who works with a negligent hand, But the hand of the diligent makes rich. He who gathers in summer is a son who acts wisely, But he who sleeps in harvest is a son who acts shamefully. Blessings are on the head of the righteous, But the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. The memory of the righteous is blessed, But the name of the wicked will rot. The wise of heart will receive commands, But a babbling fool will be ruined. He who walks in integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will be found out. 10 He who winks the eye causes trouble, And a babbling fool will be ruined. 11 The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, But the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. 12 Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions. 13 On the lips of the discerning, wisdom is found, But a rod is for the back of him who lacks understanding. 14 Wise men store up knowledge, But with the mouth of the foolish, ruin is at hand. 15 The rich man’s wealth is his fortress, The ruin of the poor is their poverty. 16 The wages of the righteous is life, The income of the wicked, punishment. 17 He is on the path of life who heeds instruction, But he who ignores reproof goes astray. 18 He who conceals hatred has lying lips, And he who spreads slander is a fool. 19 When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, But he who restrains his lips is wise. 20 The tongue of the righteous is as choice silver, The heart of the wicked is worth little. 21 The lips of the righteous feed many, But fools die for lack of understanding. 22 It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich, And He adds no sorrow to it. 23 Doing wickedness is like sport to a fool, And so is wisdom to a man of understanding. 24 What the wicked fears will come upon him, But the desire of the righteous will be granted. 25 When the whirlwind passes, the wicked is no more, But the righteous has an everlasting foundation. 26 Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, So is the lazy one to those who send him. 27 The fear of the Lord prolongs life, But the years of the wicked will be shortened. 28 The hope of the righteous is gladness, But the expectation of the wicked perishes. 29 The way of the Lord is a stronghold to the upright, But ruin to the workers of iniquity. 30 The righteous will never be shaken, But the wicked will not dwell in the land. 31 The mouth of the righteous flows with wisdom, But the perverted tongue will be cut out. 32 The lips of the righteous bring forth what is acceptable, But the mouth of the wicked what is perverted.

 

Proverbs 11

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked

11 A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, But a just weight is His delight. When pride comes, then comes dishonor, But with the humble is wisdom. The integrity of the upright will guide them, But the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them. Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, But righteousness delivers from death. The righteousness of the blameless will smooth his way, But the wicked will fall by his own wickedness. The righteousness of the upright will deliver them, But the treacherous will be caught by their own greed. When a wicked man dies, his expectation will perish, And the hope of strong men perishes. The righteous is delivered from trouble, But the wicked takes his place. With his mouth the godless man destroys his neighbor, But through knowledge the righteous will be delivered. 10 When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices, And when the wicked perish, there is joyful shouting. 11 By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, But by the mouth of the wicked it is torn down. 12 He who despises his neighbor lacks sense, But a man of understanding keeps silent. 13 He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is trustworthy conceals a matter. 14 Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory. 15 He who is guarantor for a stranger will surely suffer for it, But he who hates being a guarantor is secure. 16 A gracious woman attains honor, And ruthless men attain riches. 17 The merciful man does himself good, But the cruel man does himself harm. 18 The wicked earns deceptive wages, But he who sows righteousness gets a true reward. 19 He who is steadfast in righteousness will attain to life, And he who pursues evil will bring about his own death. 20 The perverse in heart are an abomination to the Lord, But the blameless in their walk are His delight. 21 Assuredly, the evil man will not go unpunished, But the descendants of the righteous will be delivered. 22 As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout So is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion. 23 The desire of the righteous is only good, But the expectation of the wicked is wrath. 24 There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, And there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want. 25 The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered. 26 He who withholds grain, the people will curse him, But blessing will be on the head of him who sells it. 27 He who diligently seeks good seeks favor, But he who seeks evil, evil will come to him. 28 He who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like the green leaf. 29 He who troubles his own house will inherit wind, And the foolish will be servant to the wisehearted. 30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who is wise wins souls. 31 If the righteous will be rewarded in the earth, How much more the wicked and the sinner!

 

Proverbs 12

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked

12 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, But he who hates reproof is stupid. A good man will obtain favor from the Lord, But He will condemn a man who devises evil. A man will not be established by wickedness, But the root of the righteous will not be moved. An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones. The thoughts of the righteous are just, But the counsels of the wicked are deceitful. The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, But the mouth of the upright will deliver them. The wicked are overthrown and are no more, But the house of the righteous will stand. A man will be praised according to his insight, But one of perverse mind will be despised. Better is he who is lightly esteemed and has a servant Than he who honors himself and lacks bread. 10 A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal, But even the compassion of the wicked is cruel. 11 He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, But he who pursues worthless things lacks sense. 12 The wicked man desires the booty of evil men, But the root of the righteous yields fruit. 13 An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, But the righteous will escape from trouble. 14 A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his words, And the deeds of a man’s hands will return to him. 15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel. 16 A fool’s anger is known at once, But a prudent man conceals dishonor. 17 He who speaks truth tells what is right, But a false witness, deceit. 18 There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, But the tongue of the wise brings healing. 19 Truthful lips will be established forever, But a lying tongue is only for a moment. 20 Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, But counselors of peace have joy. 21 No harm befalls the righteous, But the wicked are filled with trouble. 22 Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, But those who deal faithfully are His delight. 23 A prudent man conceals knowledge, But the heart of fools proclaims folly. 24 The hand of the diligent will rule, But the slack hand will be put to forced labor. 25 Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, But a good word makes it glad. 26 The righteous is a guide to his neighbor, But the way of the wicked leads them astray. 27 A lazy man does not roast his prey, But the precious possession of a man is diligence. 28 In the way of righteousness is life, And in its pathway there is no death.

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)