Friday, July 12, 2024

Proverbs 15

Translation: ESV

A soft answer turns away wrath,
    but a harsh word stirs up anger.
2 The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,
    but the mouths of fools pour out folly.

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3 The eyes of the Lord are in every place,
    keeping watch on the evil and the good.

4 A gentle tongue is a tree of life,
    but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
5 A fool despises his father's instruction,
    but whoever heeds reproof is prudent.
6 In the house of the righteous there is much treasure,
    but trouble befalls the income of the wicked.
7 The lips of the wise spread knowledge;
    not so the hearts of fools.
8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,
    but the prayer of the upright is acceptable to him.
9 The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,
    but he loves him who pursues righteousness.
10 There is severe discipline for him who forsakes the way;
    whoever hates reproof will die.
11 Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the Lord;
    how much more the hearts of the children of man!
12 A scoffer does not like to be reproved;
    he will not go to the wise.
13 A glad heart makes a cheerful face,
    but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.
14 The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge,
    but the mouths of fools feed on folly.
15 All the days of the afflicted are evil,
    but the cheerful of heart has a continual feast.
16 Better is a little with the fear of the Lord
    than great treasure and trouble with it.
17 Better is a dinner of herbs where love is
    than a fattened ox and hatred with it.
18 A hot-tempered man stirs up strife,
    but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.
19 The way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns,
    but the path of the upright is a level highway.
20 A wise son makes a glad father,
    but a foolish man despises his mother.
21 Folly is a joy to him who lacks sense,
    but a man of understanding walks straight ahead.
22 Without counsel plans fail,
    but with many advisers they succeed.
23 To make an apt answer is a joy to a man,
    and a word in season, how good it is!
24 The path of life leads upward for the prudent,
    that he may turn away from Sheol beneath.
25 The Lord tears down the house of the proud
    but maintains the widow's boundaries.
26 The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord,
    but gracious words are pure.
27 Whoever is greedy for unjust gain troubles his own household,
    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 The light of the eyes rejoices the heart,
    and good news refreshes the bones.
31 The ear that listens to life-giving reproof
    will dwell among the wise.
32 Whoever ignores instruction despises himself,
    but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.
33 The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom,
    and humility comes before honor.

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Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Proverbs 21

Translation: ESV

1 The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord;
    he turns it wherever he will.
2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
    but the Lord weighs the heart.
3 To do righteousness and justice
    is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
4 Haughty eyes and a proud heart,
    the lamp of the wicked, are sin.
5 The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance,
    but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.
6 The getting of treasures by a lying tongue
    is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.
7 The violence of the wicked will sweep them away,
    because they refuse to do what is just.
8 The way of the guilty is crooked,
    but the conduct of the pure is upright.
9 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, 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.

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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 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.

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Thursday, June 27, 2024

Psalm 145 (MT: Psalm 146)

Translation: ESV

Put Not Your Trust in Princes

1 Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
2 I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
    I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

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Date: June 27 2024

3 Put not your trust in princes,
    in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.

4 When his breath departs, he returns to the earth;
    on that very day his plans perish.

5 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
    whose hope is in the Lord his God,
6 who made heaven and earth,
    the sea, and all that is in them,
who keeps faith forever;
7     who executes justice for the oppressed,
    who gives food to the hungry.

The Lord sets the prisoners free;
8     the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
    the Lord loves the righteous.
9 The Lord watches over the sojourners;
    he upholds the widow and the fatherless,
    but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

10 The Lord will reign forever,
    your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the Lord!

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Psalm 81 (MT: Psalm 82)

Translation: ESV

Rescue the Weak and Needy

A Psalm of Asaph.

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Date: June 27 2024

1 God has taken his place in the divine council;
    in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
2 “How long will you judge unjustly
    and show partiality to the wicked? (Selah)

3 Give justice to the weak and the fatherless;
    maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.
4 Rescue the weak and the needy;
    deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

5 They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
    they walk about in darkness;
    all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

6 I said, “You are gods,
    sons of the Most High, all of you;
7 nevertheless, like men you shall die,
    and fall like any prince.”

8 Arise, O God, judge the earth;
    for you shall inherit all the nations!

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Friday, June 14, 2024

Acts 12

Translation: ESV

James Killed and Peter Imprisoned
12 About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. 2 He killed James the brother of John with the sword, 3 and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread. 4 And when he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people. 5 So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church.

Peter Is Rescued
6 Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. 7 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands. 8 And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” 9 And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel left him. 11 When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.”

12 When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. 13 And when he knocked at the door of the gateway, a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 Recognizing Peter's voice, in her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and reported that Peter was standing at the gate. 15 They said to her, “You are out of your mind.” But she kept insisting that it was so,

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and they kept saying, “It is his angel!”

16 But Peter continued knocking, and when they opened, they saw him and were amazed. 17 But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, “Tell these things to James and to the brothers.” Then he departed and went to another place.

18 Now when day came, there was no little disturbance among the soldiers over what had become of Peter. 19 And after Herod searched for him and did not find him, he examined the sentries and ordered that they should be put to death. Then he went down from Judea to Caesarea and spent time there.

The Death of Herod
20 Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon, and they came to him with one accord, and having persuaded Blastus, the king's chamberlain, they asked for peace, because their country depended on the king's country for food. 21 On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. 22 And the people were shouting, “The voice of a god, and not of a man!” 23 Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last.

24 But the word of God increased and multiplied.

25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had completed their service, bringing with them John, whose other name was Mark.

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Thursday, June 6, 2024

Jeremiah 8

Translation: ESV

8 “At that time, declares the Lord, the bones of the kings of Judah, the bones of its officials, the bones of the priests, the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be brought out of their tombs. 2 And they shall be spread before the sun and the moon and all the host of heaven, which they have loved and served, which they have gone after, and which they have sought and worshiped. And they shall not be gathered or buried. They shall be as dung on the surface of the ground. 3 Death shall be preferred to life by all the remnant that remains of this evil family in all the places where I have driven them, declares the Lord of hosts.

Sin and Treachery
4 “You shall say to them, Thus says the Lord:
When men fall, do they not rise again?
    If one turns away, does he not return?
5 Why then has this people turned away
    in perpetual backsliding?
They hold fast to deceit;
    they refuse to return.
6 I have paid attention and listened,
    but they have not spoken rightly;
no man relents of his evil,
    saying, ‘What have I done?’
Everyone turns to his own course,
    like a horse plunging headlong into battle.
7 Even the stork in the heavens
    knows her times,
and the turtledove, swallow, and crane
    keep the time of their coming,
but my people know not
    the rules of the Lord.

8 “How can you say, ‘We are wise,
    and the law of the Lord is with us’?
But behold, the lying pen of the scribes
    has made it into a lie.
9 The wise men shall be put to shame;
    they shall be dismayed and taken;
behold, they have rejected the word of the Lord,
    so what wisdom is in them?
10 Therefore I will give their wives to others
    and their fields to conquerors,
because from the least to the greatest
    everyone is greedy for unjust gain;
from prophet to priest,
    everyone deals falsely.

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11 They have healed the wound of my people lightly,
    saying, ‘Peace, peace,’
    when there is no peace.

12 Were they ashamed when they committed abomination?
    No, they were not at all ashamed;
    they did not know how to blush.
Therefore they shall fall among the fallen;
    when I punish them, they shall be overthrown,
says the Lord.
13 When I would gather them, declares the Lord,
    there are no grapes on the vine,
    nor figs on the fig tree;
even the leaves are withered,
    and what I gave them has passed away from them.”

14 Why do we sit still?
Gather together; let us go into the fortified cities
    and perish there,
for the Lord our God has doomed us to perish
    and has given us poisoned water to drink,
    because we have sinned against the Lord.
15 We looked for peace, but no good came;
    for a time of healing, but behold, terror.

16 “The snorting of their horses is heard from Dan;
    at the sound of the neighing of their stallions
    the whole land quakes.
They come and devour the land and all that fills it,
    the city and those who dwell in it.
17 For behold, I am sending among you serpents,
    adders that cannot be charmed,
    and they shall bite you,”
declares the Lord.

Jeremiah Grieves for His People
18 My joy is gone; grief is upon me;
    my heart is sick within me.
19 Behold, the cry of the daughter of my people
    from the length and breadth of the land:
“Is the Lord not in Zion?
    Is her King not in her?”
“Why have they provoked me to anger with their carved images
    and with their foreign idols?”
20 “The harvest is past, the summer is ended,
    and we are not saved.”
21 For the wound of the daughter of my people is my heart wounded;
    I mourn, and dismay has taken hold on me.

22 Is there no balm in Gilead?
    Is there no physician there?
Why then has the health of the daughter of my people
    not been restored?

Jeremiah 6

Translation: ESV

Impending Disaster for Jerusalem

6 Flee for safety, O people of Benjamin,
    from the midst of Jerusalem!
Blow the trumpet in Tekoa,
    and raise a signal on Beth-haccherem,
for disaster looms out of the north,
    and great destruction.
2 The lovely and delicately bred I will destroy,
    the daughter of Zion.
3 Shepherds with their flocks shall come against her;
    they shall pitch their tents around her;
    they shall pasture, each in his place.
4 “Prepare war against her;
    arise, and let us attack at noon!
Woe to us, for the day declines,
    for the shadows of evening lengthen!
5 Arise, and let us attack by night
    and destroy her palaces!”

6 For thus says the Lord of hosts:
“Cut down her trees;
    cast up a siege mound against Jerusalem.
This is the city that must be punished;
    there is nothing but oppression within her.
7 As a well keeps its water fresh,
    so she keeps fresh her evil;
violence and destruction are heard within her;
    sickness and wounds are ever before me.
8 Be warned, O Jerusalem,
    lest I turn from you in disgust,
lest I make you a desolation,
    an uninhabited land.”

9 Thus says the Lord of hosts:
“They shall glean thoroughly as a vine
    the remnant of Israel;
like a grape gatherer pass your hand again
    over its branches.”
10 To whom shall I speak and give warning,
    that they may hear?
Behold, their ears are uncircumcised,
    they cannot listen;
behold, the word of the Lord is to them an object of scorn;
    they take no pleasure in it.
11 Therefore I am full of the wrath of the Lord;
    I am weary of holding it in.
“Pour it out upon the children in the street,
    and upon the gatherings of young men, also;
both husband and wife shall be taken,
    the elderly and the very aged.
12 Their houses shall be turned over to others,
    their fields and wives together,
for I will stretch out my hand
    against the inhabitants of the land,”
declares the Lord.
13 “For from the least to the greatest of them,
    everyone is greedy for unjust gain;
and from prophet to priest,
    everyone deals falsely.

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14 They have healed the wound of my people lightly,
    saying, ‘Peace, peace,’
    when there is no peace.

15 Were they ashamed when they committed abomination?
    No, they were not at all ashamed;
    they did not know how to blush.
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
    at the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown,”
says the Lord.

16 Thus says the Lord:
“Stand by the roads, and look,
    and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way is; and walk in it,
    and find rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
17 I set watchmen over you, saying,
    ‘Pay attention to the sound of the trumpet!’
But they said, ‘We will not pay attention.’
18 Therefore hear, O nations,
    and know, O congregation, what will happen to them.
19 Hear, O earth; behold, I am bringing disaster upon this people,
    the fruit of their devices,
because they have not paid attention to my words;
    and as for my law, they have rejected it.
20 What use to me is frankincense that comes from Sheba,
    or sweet cane from a distant land?
Your burnt offerings are not acceptable,
    nor your sacrifices pleasing to me.
21 Therefore thus says the Lord:
‘Behold, I will lay before this people
    stumbling blocks against which they shall stumble;
fathers and sons together,
    neighbor and friend shall perish.’”

22 Thus says the Lord:
“Behold, a people is coming from the north country,
    a great nation is stirring from the farthest parts of the earth.
23 They lay hold on bow and javelin;
    they are cruel and have no mercy;
    the sound of them is like the roaring sea;
they ride on horses,
    set in array as a man for battle,
    against you, O daughter of Zion!”
24 We have heard the report of it;
    our hands fall helpless;
anguish has taken hold of us,
    pain as of a woman in labor.
25 Go not out into the field,
    nor walk on the road,
for the enemy has a sword;
    terror is on every side.
26 O daughter of my people, put on sackcloth,
    and roll in ashes;
make mourning as for an only son,
    most bitter lamentation,
for suddenly the destroyer
    will come upon us.

27 “I have made you a tester of metals among my people,
    that you may know and test their ways.
28 They are all stubbornly rebellious,
    going about with slanders;
they are bronze and iron;
    all of them act corruptly.
29 The bellows blow fiercely;
    the lead is consumed by the fire;
in vain the refining goes on,
    for the wicked are not removed.
30 Rejected silver they are called,
    for the Lord has rejected them.”

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