Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation.
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.
If you are slack in the day of distress,
Your strength is limited.
Deliver those who are being taken away to death,
And those who are staggering to slaughter, Oh hold them back.
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?
My son, eat honey, for it is good,
Yes, the honey from the comb is sweet to your taste;
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.
Do not lie in wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous;
Do not destroy his resting place;
For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again,
But the wicked stumble in time of calamity.
Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;
Or the Lord will see it and be displeased,
And turn His anger away from him.
Do not fret because of evildoers
Or be envious of the wicked;
For there will be no future for the evil man;
The lamp of the wicked will be put out.
My son, fear the Lord and the king;
Do not associate with those who are given to change,
For their calamity will rise suddenly,
And who knows the ruin that comes from both of them?
These also are sayings of the wise.
To show partiality in judgment is not good.
He who says to the wicked, "You are righteous,"
Peoples will curse him, nations will abhor him;
But to those who rebuke the wicked will be delight,
And a good blessing will come upon them.
He kisses the lips
Who gives a right answer.
Prepare your work outside
And make it ready for yourself in the field;
Afterwards, then, build your house.
Do not be a witness against your neighbor without cause,
And do not deceive with your lips.
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."
I passed by the field of the sluggard
And by the vineyard of the man lacking sense,
And behold, it was completely overgrown with thistles;
Its surface was covered with nettles,
And its stone wall was broken down.
When I saw, I reflected upon it;
I looked, and received instruction.
"A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest,"
Then your poverty will come as a robber
And your want like an armed man.
These also are proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah, king of Judah, transcribed.
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,
But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.
As the heavens for height and the earth for depth,
So the heart of kings is unsearchable.
Take away the dross from the silver,
And there comes out a vessel for the smith;
Take away the wicked before the king,
And his throne will be established in righteousness.
Do not claim honor in the presence of the king,
And do not stand in the place of great men;
For it is better that it be said to you, "Come up here,"
Than for you to be placed lower in the presence of the prince,
Whom your eyes have seen.
Do not go out hastily to argue your case;
Otherwise, what will you do in the end,
When your neighbor humiliates you?
Argue your case with your neighbor,
And do not reveal the secret of another,
Or he who hears it will reproach you,
And the evil report about you will not pass away.
Like apples of gold in settings of silver
Is a word spoken in right circumstances.
Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold
Is a wise reprover to a listening ear.
Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest
Is a faithful messenger to those who send him,
For he refreshes the soul of his masters.
Like clouds and wind without rain
Is a man who boasts of his gifts falsely.
By forbearance a ruler may be persuaded,
And a soft tongue breaks the bone.
Have you found honey? Eat only what you need,
That you not have it in excess and vomit it.
Let your foot rarely be in your neighbor’s house,
Or he will become weary of you and hate you.
Like a club and a sword and a sharp arrow
Is a man who bears false witness against his neighbor.
Like a bad tooth and an unsteady foot
Is confidence in a faithless man in time of trouble.
Like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar on soda,
Is he who sings songs to a troubled heart.
If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;
For you will heap burning coals on his head,
And the Lord will reward you.
The north wind brings forth rain,
And a backbiting tongue, an angry countenance.
It is better to live in a corner of the roof
Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.
Like cold water to a weary soul,
So is good news from a distant land.
Like a trampled spring and a polluted well
Is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.
It is not good to eat much honey,
Nor is it glory to search out one’s own glory.
Like a city that is broken into and without walls
Is a man who has no control over his spirit.
For the choir director. A Psalm of David.
How blessed is he who considers the helpless;
The Lord will deliver him in a day of trouble.
The Lord will protect him and keep him alive,
And he shall be called blessed upon the earth;
And do not give him over to the desire of his enemies.
The Lord will sustain him upon his sickbed;
In his illness, You restore him to health.
As for me, I said, "O Lord, be gracious to me;
Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You."
My enemies speak evil against me,
"When will he die, and his name perish?"
And when he comes to see me, he speaks falsehood;
His heart gathers wickedness to itself;
When he goes outside, he tells it.
All who hate me whisper together against me;
Against me they devise my hurt, saying,
"A wicked thing is poured out upon him,
That when he lies down, he will not rise up again."
Even my close friend in whom I trusted,
Who ate my bread,
Has lifted up his heel against me.
But You, O Lord, be gracious to me and raise me up,
That I may repay them.
By this I know that You are pleased with me,
Because my enemy does not shout in triumph over me.
As for me, You uphold me in my integrity,
And You set me in Your presence forever.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
From everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and Amen.
1 Thessalonians 2
For you yourselves know, brethren, that our coming to you was not in vain, but after we had already suffered and been mistreated in Philippi, as you know, we had the boldness in our God to speak to you the gospel of God amid much opposition. For our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit; but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts. For we never came with flattering speech, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness— nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, even though as apostles of Christ we might have asserted our authority. But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children. Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.
For you recall, brethren, our labor and hardship, how working night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers; just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children, so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.
For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe. For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews, who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out. They are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men, hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved; with the result that they always fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them to the utmost.
But we, brethren, having been taken away from you for a short while—in person, not in spirit—were all the more eager with great desire to see your face. For we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, more than once—and yet Satan hindered us. For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? For you are our glory and joy.