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September 12

Pastor’s Note

The crystalized truths keep coming in today’s reading of Proverbs. We are warned about hypocritical and even manipulative “worshippers” in 21:27, “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination; how much more when he brings it with evil intent.” We are asked in 22:24 to reconsider our friendships when we are told: “Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man.” We read some memorable words in 2 Corinthians today, which reveal that even the most powerful Apostle of Christ knew his weakness.

— Pastor Mike

Proverbs 21-22

21:1 The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord;
 he turns it wherever he will.
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
 but the Lord weighs the heart.
To do righteousness and justice
 is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
Haughty eyes and a proud heart,
 the lamp [1] of the wicked, are sin.
The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance,
 but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.
The getting of treasures by a lying tongue
 is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death. [2]
The violence of the wicked will sweep them away,
 because they refuse to do what is just.
The way of the guilty is crooked,
 but the conduct of the pure is upright.
It is better to live in a corner of the housetop
 than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
10 The soul of the wicked desires evil;
 his neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes.
11 When a scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise;
 when a wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.
12 The Righteous One observes the house of the wicked;
 he throws the wicked down to ruin.
13 Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor
 will himself call out and not be answered.
14 A gift in secret averts anger,
 and a concealed bribe, [3] strong wrath.
15 When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous
 but terror to evildoers.
16 One who wanders from the way of good sense
 will rest in the assembly of the dead.
17 Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man;
 he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.
18 The wicked is a ransom for the righteous,
 and the traitor for the upright.
19 It is better to live in a desert land
 than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.
20 Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling,
 but a foolish man devours it.
21 Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness
 will find life, righteousness, and honor.
22 A wise man scales the city of the mighty
 and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.
23 Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue
 keeps himself out of trouble.
24 “Scoffer” is the name of the arrogant, haughty man
 who acts with arrogant pride.
25 The desire of the sluggard kills him,
 for his hands refuse to labor.
26 All day long he craves and craves,
 but 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 word of a man who hears will endure.
29 A wicked man puts on a bold face,
 but the upright gives thought to [4] his ways.
30 No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel
 can avail against the Lord.
31 The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
 but the victory belongs to the Lord.
22:1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
 and favor is better than silver or gold.
The rich and the poor meet together;
 the Lord is the maker of them all.
The prudent sees danger and hides himself,
 but the simple go on and suffer for it.
The reward for humility and fear of the Lord
 is riches and honor and life. [5]
Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked;
 whoever guards his soul will keep 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 is the slave of the lender.
Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity,
 and the rod of his fury will fail.
Whoever has a bountiful [6] eye will be blessed,
 for he shares his bread with the poor.
10 Drive out a scoffer, and strife will go out,
 and quarreling and abuse will cease.
11 He who loves purity of heart,
 and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.
12 The eyes of the Lord keep watch over knowledge,
 but he overthrows the words of the traitor.
13 The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside!
 I shall be killed in the streets!”
14 The mouth of forbidden [7] women is a deep pit;
 he with whom the Lord is angry will fall into it.
15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
 but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
16 Whoever oppresses the poor to increase his own wealth,
 or gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

Words of the Wise

17 Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise,
 and apply your heart to my knowledge,
18 for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
 if all of them are ready on your lips.
19 That your trust may be in the Lord,
 I have made them known to you today, even to you.
20 Have I not written for you thirty sayings
 of counsel and knowledge,
21 to make you know what is right and true,
 that you may give a true answer to those 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 cause
 and rob of life those who rob them.
24 Make no friendship with a man given to anger,
 nor go with a wrathful man,
25 lest you learn his ways
 and entangle yourself in a snare.
26 Be not one of those who give pledges,
 who put up security for debts.
27 If you have nothing with which to pay,
 why should your bed be taken from under you?
28 Do not move the ancient landmark
 that your fathers have set.
29 Do you see a man skillful in his work?
 He will stand before kings;
 he will not stand before obscure men.

2 Corinthians 4

The Light of the Gospel

4:1 Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, [8] we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants [9] for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Treasure in Jars of Clay

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.

13 Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, 14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self [10] is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Footnotes

[1] 21:4 Or the plowing
[2] 21:6 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Latin; most Hebrew manuscripts vapor for those who seek death
[3] 21:14 Hebrew a bribe in the bosom
[4] 21:29 Or establishes
[5] 22:4 Or The reward for humility is the fear of the Lord, riches and honor and life
[6] 22:9 Hebrew good
[7] 22:14 Hebrew strange
[8] 4:1 Greek as we have received mercy
[9] 4:5 Greek bondservants
[10] 4:16 Greek man

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