Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

Godly sorrow for sin is often confused with regret. Tears and remorse are no true indication that a person has truly repented of sin. He may be crying simply because he got caught, not because he is genuinely repentant! The real test of repentance is evidenced by submission, actions that show one has submitted to the authority of another.

After challenging the Corinthian believers to discipline a brother who had fallen into immorality, Paul commended them on their response to his instructions. He said, "Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, such longing to see me, such zeal, and such a readiness to punish the wrongdoer. You showed that you have done everything you could to make things right" (2 Corinthians 7:11).

Worldly sorrow is simply regret. It produces blaming others, emotional shows, dodging of facts, half-confessions ("If I've done anything wrong . . ."), and insincere promises to change. Godly sorrow, on the other hand, assumes responsibility, faces the facts, admits the wrong, and makes it right.

The Corinthians demonstrated true godly sorrow. They were alarmed over their sin, desirous to right the wrong, eager to address the issue, and ready to make things right. In a word, they submitted themselves to Paul's authority and were willing to take the necessary steps to right their wrong. Such action, not emotional regret, indicates godly sorrow.

Ecclesiastes 7:1-9:18

Wisdom

A good name is better than fine perfume,Pr 22:1; SS 1:3

and the day of death better than the day of birth.S Job 10:18

It is better to go to a house of mourning

than to go to a house of feasting,

for deathS Pr 11:19 is the destinyS Ecc 2:14 of everyone;

the living should take this to heart.

Frustration is better than laughter,S Pr 14:13

because a sad face is good for the heart.

The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,

but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.S Ecc 2:1; Jer 16:8

It is better to heed the rebukeS Pr 13:18; 15:31-32 of a wise person

than to listen to the song of fools.

Like the crackling of thornsS Ps 58:9 under the pot,

so is the laughterS Pr 14:13 of fools.

This too is meaningless.

Extortion turns a wise person into a fool,

and a bribeS Ex 18:21; S 23:8 corrupts the heart.

The end of a matter is better than its beginning,

and patiencePr 14:29 is better than pride.

Do not be quickly provokedS Mt 5:22 in your spirit,

for anger resides in the lap of fools.S Pr 14:29

10 Do not say, “Why were the old daysS Ps 77:5 better than these?”

For it is not wise to ask such questions.

11 Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thingEcc 2:13

and benefits those who see the sun.Ecc 11:7

12 Wisdom is a shelter

as money is a shelter,

but the advantage of knowledge is this:

Wisdom preserves those who have it.

13 Consider what God has done:Ecc 2:24

Who can straighten

what he has made crooked?Ecc 1:15

14 When times are good, be happy;

but when times are bad, consider this:

God has made the one

as well as the other.S Job 1:21; S Ecc 2:24

Therefore, no one can discover

anything about their future.

15 In this meaningless lifeS Job 7:7 of mine I have seen both of these:

the righteous perishing in their righteousness,

and the wicked living long in their wickedness.S Job 21:7; Ecc 8:12-14; Jer 12:1

16 Do not be overrighteous,

neither be overwise—

why destroy yourself?

17 Do not be overwicked,

and do not be a fool—

why die before your time?Job 15:32

18 It is good to grasp the one

and not let go of the other.

Whoever fears GodS Ecc 3:14 will avoid all extremes.Or will follow them both

19 WisdomS Ecc 2:13 makes one wise person more powerfulS Pr 8:14

than ten rulers in a city.

20 Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous,S Ps 14:3

no one who does what is right and never sins.S 2Ch 6:36; S Job 4:17; S Pr 20:9; Ro 3:12

21 Do not pay attention to every word people say,

or youPr 30:10 may hear your servant cursing you—

22 for you know in your heart

that many times you yourself have cursed others.

23 All this I tested by wisdom and I said,

“I am determined to be wise”S Ecc 1:17

but this was beyond me.

24 Whatever exists is far off and most profound—

who can discover it?S Job 28:12

25 So I turned my mind to understand,

to investigate and to search out wisdom and the scheme of thingsS Job 28:3

and to understand the stupidity of wickedness

and the madness of folly.S Ecc 1:17

26 I find more bitter than death

the woman who is a snare,S Ex 10:7; S Jdg 14:15

whose heart is a trap

and whose hands are chains.

The man who pleases God will escape her,

but the sinner she will ensnare.S Pr 2:16-19; 5:3-5; S 7:23; 22:14

27 “Look,” says the Teacher,Or the leader of the assemblyS Ecc 1:1 “this is what I have discovered:

“Adding one thing to another to discover the scheme of things—

28 while I was still searching

but not finding—

I found one upright man among a thousand,

but not one upright woman1Ki 11:3 among them all.

29 This only have I found:

God created mankind upright,

but they have gone in search of many schemes.”

Who is like the wise?

Who knows the explanation of things?

A person’s wisdom brightens their face

and changes its hard appearance.

Obey the King

Obey the king’s command, I say, because you took an oath before God.Do not be in a hurry to leave the king’s presence.Ecc 10:4 Do not stand up for a bad cause, for he will do whatever he pleases.Since a king’s word is supreme, who can say to him, “What are you doing?Est 1:19

Whoever obeys his command will come to no harm,

and the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure.

For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter,Ecc 3:1

though a person may be weighed down by misery.

Since no one knows the future,

who can tell someone else what is to come?

As no one has power over the wind to contain it,

soOr over the human spirit to retain it, / and so no one has power over the time of their death.

As no one is discharged in time of war,

so wickedness will not release those who practice it.

All this I saw, as I applied my mind to everything done under the sun. There is a time when a man lords it over others to his ownOr to their hurt.10 Then too, I saw the wicked buriedS Ecc 1:11—those who used to come and go from the holy place and receive praiseSome Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint (Aquila); most Hebrew manuscripts and are forgotten in the city where they did this. This too is meaningless.

11 When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, people’s hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong.12 Although a wicked person who commits a hundred crimes may live a long time, I know that it will go betterS Dt 12:28 with those who fear God,S Ex 1:20 who are reverent before him.Ecc 3:1413 Yet because the wicked do not fear God,Ecc 3:14 it will not go well with them, and their daysDt 4:40; Job 5:26; Ps 34:12; Isa 65:20 will not lengthen like a shadow.

14 There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth: the righteous who get what the wicked deserve, and the wicked who get what the righteous deserve.S Job 21:7 This too, I say, is meaningless.S Ecc 7:1515 So I commend the enjoyment of lifeS Ps 42:8, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drinkS Ex 32:6; S Ecc 2:3 and be glad.S Ecc 2:1 Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.

16 When I applied my mind to know wisdomS Ecc 1:17 and to observe the labor that is done on earthEcc 1:13—people getting no sleep day or night—17 then I saw all that God has done.S Job 28:3 No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all their efforts to search it out, no one can discover its meaning. Even if the wise claim they know, they cannot really comprehend it.S Job 28:23; Ro 11:33

A Common Destiny for All

So I reflected on all this and concluded that the righteous and the wise and what they do are in God’s hands, but no one knows whether love or hate awaits them.Ecc 10:14All share a common destiny—the righteous and the wicked, the good and the bad,Septuagint (Aquila), Vulgate and Syriac; Hebrew does not have and the bad. the clean and the unclean, those who offer sacrifices and those who do not.

As it is with the good,

so with the sinful;

as it is with those who take oaths,

so with those who are afraid to take them.Job 9:22; Ecc 2:14

This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakes all.S Job 9:22; S Ecc 2:14 The hearts of people, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live,Jer 11:8; 13:10; 16:12; 17:9 and afterward they join the dead.S Job 21:26Anyone who is among the living has hopeOr What then is to be chosen? With all who live, there is hope—even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!

For the living know that they will die,

but the dead know nothing;S Job 14:21

they have no further reward,

and even their nameS Ps 9:6 is forgotten.S Ecc 1:11

Their love, their hate

and their jealousy have long since vanished;

never again will they have a part

in anything that happens under the sun.S Job 21:21

Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wineS Nu 6:20 with a joyful heart,S Ecc 2:24 for God has already approved what you do.Always be clothed in white,S Rev 3:4 and always anoint your head with oil.Enjoy life with your wife,S Pr 5:18 whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun—all your meaningless days. For this is your lotS Job 31:2 in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun.10 WhateverS 1Sa 10:7 your hand finds to do, do it with all your might,Ecc 11:6 for in the realm of the dead,Nu 16:33; S Ps 6:5; Isa 38:18 where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.S Ecc 2:24

11 I have seen something else under the sun:

The race is not to the swift

or the battle to the strong,Am 2:14-15

nor does food come to the wiseJob 32:13; Isa 47:10; Jer 9:23

or wealth to the brilliant

or favor to the learned;

but time and chanceEcc 2:14 happen to them all.S Dt 8:18

12 Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come:

As fish are caught in a cruel net,

or birds are taken in a snare,

so people are trapped by evil timesS Pr 29:6

that fall unexpectedly upon them.S Ps 73:22; S Ecc 2:14

Wisdom Better Than Folly

13 I also saw under the sun this example of wisdomS 2Sa 20:22 that greatly impressed me:14 There was once a small city with only a few people in it. And a powerful king came against it, surrounded it and built huge siege works against it.15 Now there lived in that city a man poor but wise, and he saved the city by his wisdom. But nobody remembered that poor man.S Ge 40:14; S Ecc 1:1116 So I said, “Wisdom is better than strength.” But the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are no longer heeded.Est 6:3

17 The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded

than the shouts of a ruler of fools.

18 WisdomS Ecc 2:13 is better than weapons of war,

but one sinner destroys much good.

Wisdom for Life

A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume.

And the day you die is better than the day you are born.

Better to spend your time at funerals than at parties.

After all, everyone dies—

so the living should take this to heart.

Sorrow is better than laughter,

for sadness has a refining influence on us.

A wise person thinks a lot about death,

while a fool thinks only about having a good time.

Better to be criticized by a wise person

than to be praised by a fool.

A fool’s laughter is quickly gone,

like thorns crackling in a fire.

This also is meaningless.

Extortion turns wise people into fools,

and bribes corrupt the heart.

Finishing is better than starting.

Patience is better than pride.

Control your temper,

for anger labels you a fool.

10 Don’t long for “the good old days.”

This is not wise.

11 Wisdom is even better when you have money.

Both are a benefit as you go through life.

12 Wisdom and money can get you almost anything,

but only wisdom can save your life.

13 Accept the way God does things,

for who can straighten what he has made crooked?

14 Enjoy prosperity while you can,

but when hard times strike, realize that both come from God.

Remember that nothing is certain in this life.

The Limits of Human Wisdom

15 I have seen everything in this meaningless life, including the death of good young people and the long life of wicked people.16 So don’t be too good or too wise! Why destroy yourself?17 On the other hand, don’t be too wicked either. Don’t be a fool! Why die before your time?18 Pay attention to these instructions, for anyone who fears God will avoid both extremes.Or will follow them both.

19 One wise person is stronger than ten leading citizens of a town!

20 Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins.

21 Don’t eavesdrop on others—you may hear your servant curse you.22 For you know how often you yourself have cursed others.

23 I have always tried my best to let wisdom guide my thoughts and actions. I said to myself, “I am determined to be wise.” But it didn’t work.24 Wisdom is always distant and difficult to find.25 I searched everywhere, determined to find wisdom and to understand the reason for things. I was determined to prove to myself that wickedness is stupid and that foolishness is madness.

26 I discovered that a seductive womanHebrew a woman. is a trap more bitter than death. Her passion is a snare, and her soft hands are chains. Those who are pleasing to God will escape her, but sinners will be caught in her snare.

27 “This is my conclusion,” says the Teacher. “I discovered this after looking at the matter from every possible angle.28 Though I have searched repeatedly, I have not found what I was looking for. Only one out of a thousand men is virtuous, but not one woman!29 But I did find this: God created people to be virtuous, but they have each turned to follow their own downward path.”

How wonderful to be wise,

to analyze and interpret things.

Wisdom lights up a person’s face,

softening its harshness.

Obedience to the King

Obey the king since you vowed to God that you would.Don’t try to avoid doing your duty, and don’t stand with those who plot evil, for the king can do whatever he wants.His command is backed by great power. No one can resist or question it.Those who obey him will not be punished. Those who are wise will find a time and a way to do what is right,for there is a time and a way for everything, even when a person is in trouble.

Indeed, how can people avoid what they don’t know is going to happen?None of us can hold back our spirit from departing. None of us has the power to prevent the day of our death. There is no escaping that obligation, that dark battle. And in the face of death, wickedness will certainly not rescue the wicked.

The Wicked and the Righteous

I have thought deeply about all that goes on here under the sun, where people have the power to hurt each other.10 I have seen wicked people buried with honor. Yet they were the very ones who frequented the Temple and are now praisedAs in some Hebrew manuscripts and Greek version; many Hebrew manuscripts read and are forgotten. in the same city where they committed their crimes! This, too, is meaningless.11 When a crime is not punished quickly, people feel it is safe to do wrong.12 But even though a person sins a hundred times and still lives a long time, I know that those who fear God will be better off.13 The wicked will not prosper, for they do not fear God. Their days will never grow long like the evening shadows.

14 And this is not all that is meaningless in our world. In this life, good people are often treated as though they were wicked, and wicked people are often treated as though they were good. This is so meaningless!

15 So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun.

16 In my search for wisdom and in my observation of people’s burdens here on earth, I discovered that there is ceaseless activity, day and night.17 I realized that no one can discover everything God is doing under the sun. Not even the wisest people discover everything, no matter what they claim.

Death Comes to All

This, too, I carefully explored: Even though the actions of godly and wise people are in God’s hands, no one knows whether God will show them favor.The same destiny ultimately awaits everyone, whether righteous or wicked, good or bad,As in Greek and Syriac versions and Latin Vulgate; Hebrew lacks or bad. ceremonially clean or unclean, religious or irreligious. Good people receive the same treatment as sinners, and people who make promises to God are treated like people who don’t.

It seems so wrong that everyone under the sun suffers the same fate. Already twisted by evil, people choose their own mad course, for they have no hope. There is nothing ahead but death anyway.There is hope only for the living. As they say, “It’s better to be a live dog than a dead lion!”

The living at least know they will die, but the dead know nothing. They have no further reward, nor are they remembered.Whatever they did in their lifetime—loving, hating, envying—is all long gone. They no longer play a part in anything here on earth.So go ahead. Eat your food with joy, and drink your wine with a happy heart, for God approves of this!Wear fine clothes, with a splash of cologne!

Live happily with the woman you love through all the meaningless days of life that God has given you under the sun. The wife God gives you is your reward for all your earthly toil.10 Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave,Hebrew to Sheol. there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.

11 I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time.

12 People can never predict when hard times might come. Like fish in a net or birds in a trap, people are caught by sudden tragedy.

Thoughts on Wisdom and Folly

13 Here is another bit of wisdom that has impressed me as I have watched the way our world works.14 There was a small town with only a few people, and a great king came with his army and besieged it.15 A poor, wise man knew how to save the town, and so it was rescued. But afterward no one thought to thank him.16 So even though wisdom is better than strength, those who are wise will be despised if they are poor. What they say will not be appreciated for long.

17 Better to hear the quiet words of a wise person

than the shouts of a foolish king.

18 Better to have wisdom than weapons of war,

but one sinner can destroy much that is good.

A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth.

It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.

Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.

The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.

It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.

For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity.

Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad; and a gift destroyeth the heart.

Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.

10 Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this.

11 Wisdom is good with an inheritance: and by it there is profit to them that see the sun.

12 For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.

13 Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?

14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.

15 All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness.

16 Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself ?

17 Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?

18 It is good that thou shouldest take hold of this; yea, also from this withdraw not thine hand: for he that feareth God shall come forth of them all.

19 Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty men which are in the city.

20 For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.

21 Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee:

22 For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.

23 All this have I proved by wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far from me.

24 That which is far off, and exceeding deep, who can find it out?

25 I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness:

26 And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her.

27 Behold, this have I found, saith the preacher, counting one by one, to find out the account:

28 Which yet my soul seeketh, but I find not: one man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found.

29 Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

Who is as the wise man? and who knoweth the interpretation of a thing? a man's wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the boldness of his face shall be changed.

I counsel thee to keep the king's commandment, and that in regard of the oath of God.

Be not hasty to go out of his sight: stand not in an evil thing; for he doeth whatsoever pleaseth him.

Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say unto him, What doest thou?

Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man's heart discerneth both time and judgment.

Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great upon him.

For he knoweth not that which shall be: for who can tell him when it shall be?

There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.

All this have I seen, and applied my heart unto every work that is done under the sun: there is a time wherein one man ruleth over another to his own hurt.

10 And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of the holy, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done: this is also vanity.

11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

12 Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him:

13 But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God.

14 There is a vanity which is done upon the earth; that there be just men, unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked; again, there be wicked men, to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous: I said that this also is vanity.

15 Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun.

16 When I applied mine heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done upon the earth: (for also there is that neither day nor night seeth sleep with his eyes:)

17 Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea farther; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.

For all this I considered in my heart even to declare all this, that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God: no man knoweth either love or hatred by all that is before them.

All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.

This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.

For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.

Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.

Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.

Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment.

Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.

10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

12 For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.

13 This wisdom have I seen also under the sun, and it seemed great unto me:

14 There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it:

15 Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man.

16 Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.

17 The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools.

18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good.

2 Corinthians 7:8-16

Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter,2Co 2:2, 4 I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while—yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us.10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvationAc 11:18 and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.11 See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern,ver 7 what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.12 So even though I wrote to you,ver 8; 2Co 2:3, 9 it was neither on account of the one who did the wrong1Co 5:1, 2 nor on account of the injured party, but rather that before God you could see for yourselves how devoted to us you are.13 By all this we are encouraged.

In addition to our own encouragement, we were especially delighted to see how happy Titusver 6; S 2Co 2:13 was, because his spirit has been refreshed by all of you.14 I had boasted to him about you,ver 4 and you have not embarrassed me. But just as everything we said to you was true, so our boasting about you to Titusver 6 has proved to be true as well.15 And his affection for you is all the greater when he remembers that you were all obedient,2Co 2:9; 10:6 receiving him with fear and trembling.Ps 55:5; 1Co 2:3; Php 2:1216 I am glad I can have complete confidence in you.S 2Co 2:3

I am not sorry that I sent that severe letter to you, though I was sorry at first, for I know it was painful to you for a little while.Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way.10 For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.

11 Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, such longing to see me, such zeal, and such a readiness to punish wrong. You showed that you have done everything necessary to make things right.12 My purpose, then, was not to write about who did the wrong or who was wronged. I wrote to you so that in the sight of God you could see for yourselves how loyal you are to us.13 We have been greatly encouraged by this.

In addition to our own encouragement, we were especially delighted to see how happy Titus was about the way all of you welcomed him and set his mindGreek his spirit. at ease.14 I had told him how proud I was of you—and you didn’t disappoint me. I have always told you the truth, and now my boasting to Titus has also proved true!15 Now he cares for you more than ever when he remembers the way all of you obeyed him and welcomed him with such fear and deep respect.16 I am very happy now because I have complete confidence in you.

For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season.

Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.

10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

12 Wherefore, though I wrote unto you, I did it not for his cause that had done the wrong, nor for his cause that suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear unto you.

13 Therefore we were comforted in your comfort: yea, and exceedingly the more joyed we for the joy of Titus, because his spirit was refreshed by you all.

14 For if I have boasted any thing to him of you, I am not ashamed; but as we spake all things to you in truth, even so our boasting, which I made before Titus, is found a truth.

15 And his inward affection is more abundant toward you, whilst he remembereth the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling ye received him.

16 I rejoice therefore that I have confidence in you in all things.

Psalm 48:1-14

Psalm 48In Hebrew texts 48:1-14 is numbered 48:2-15.

A song. A psalm of the Sons of Korah.

Great is the Lord,Ps 86:10; 96:4; 99:2; 135:5; 147:5; Jer 10:6 and most worthy of praise,S 2Sa 22:4; S 1Ch 16:25; Ps 18:3

in the city of our God,S Ps 46:4 his holy mountain.S Dt 33:19; Ps 2:6; 87:1; Isa 11:9; 32:16; Jer 31:23; Da 9:16; Mic 4:1; Zec 8:3

BeautifulPs 50:2; La 2:15; Eze 16:14 in its loftiness,

the joy of the whole earth,

like the heights of ZaphonZaphon was the most sacred mountain of the Canaanites.S Jos 13:27 is Mount Zion,S Ps 2:6

the city of the Great King.Mt 5:35

God is in her citadels;ver 13; Ps 122:7

he has shown himself to be her fortress.Ps 18:2

When the kings joined forces,

when they advanced together,2Sa 10:1-19

they saw her and were astounded;

they fled in terror.Ex 15:16; Isa 13:8; Jer 46:5; Da 5:9

Trembling seizedS Job 4:14 them there,

pain like that of a woman in labor.S Ge 3:16

You destroyed them like ships of TarshishS Ge 10:4; S 1Ki 10:22; 22:48

shattered by an east wind.S Ge 41:6

As we have heard,

so we have seen

in the city of the Lord Almighty,

in the city of our God:

God makes her secure

forever.The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here.Jer 23:6; Zec 8:13; 14:11

Within your temple, O God,

we meditateS Ps 39:3 on your unfailing love.Ps 6:4

10 Like your name,S Ex 6:3; S Jos 7:9 O God,

your praise reaches to the ends of the earth;1Sa 2:10; Ps 22:27; 65:5; 98:3; 100:1; Isa 11:12; 24:16; 42:10; 49:6

your right hand is filled with righteousness.

11 Mount Zion rejoices,

the villages of Judah are glad

because of your judgments.Ps 97:8

12 Walk about Zion, go around her,

count her towers,S Ne 3:1

13 consider well her ramparts,2Sa 20:15; Isa 26:1; La 2:8; Hab 2:1

view her citadels,S ver 3

that you may tell of them

to the next generation.Ps 71:18; 78:6; 109:13

14 For this God is our God for ever and ever;

he will be our guidePs 25:5; 73:24; Pr 6:22; Isa 49:10; 57:18; 58:11 even to the end.

Psalm 48

A song. A psalm of the descendants of Korah.

How great is the Lord,

how deserving of praise,

in the city of our God,

which sits on his holy mountain!

It is high and magnificent;

the whole earth rejoices to see it!

Mount Zion, the holy mountain,Or Mount Zion, in the far north; Hebrew reads Mount Zion, the heights of Zaphon.

is the city of the great King!

God himself is in Jerusalem’s towers,

revealing himself as its defender.

The kings of the earth joined forces

and advanced against the city.

But when they saw it, they were stunned;

they were terrified and ran away.

They were gripped with terror

and writhed in pain like a woman in labor.

You destroyed them like the mighty ships of Tarshish

shattered by a powerful east wind.

We had heard of the city’s glory,

but now we have seen it ourselves—

the city of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

It is the city of our God;

he will make it safe forever. Interlude

O God, we meditate on your unfailing love

as we worship in your Temple.

10 As your name deserves, O God,

you will be praised to the ends of the earth.

Your strong right hand is filled with victory.

11 Let the people on Mount Zion rejoice.

Let all the towns of Judah be glad

because of your justice.

12 Go, inspect the city of Jerusalem.Hebrew Zion.

Walk around and count the many towers.

13 Take note of the fortified walls,

and tour all the citadels,

that you may describe them

to future generations.

14 For that is what God is like.

He is our God forever and ever,

and he will guide us until we die.

48 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.

Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.

God is known in her palaces for a refuge.

For, lo, the kings were assembled, they passed by together.

They saw it, and so they marvelled; they were troubled, and hasted away.

Fear took hold upon them there, and pain, as of a woman in travail.

Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an east wind.

As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God: God will establish it for ever. Selah.

We have thought of thy lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple.

10 According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousness.

11 Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgments.

12 Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof.

13 Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following.

14 For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.

Proverbs 22:17-19

Thirty Sayings of the Wise

Saying 1

17 Pay attentionS Pr 1:8 and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise;S Pr 1:6; 30:1; 31:1

apply your heart to what I teach,S Pr 2:2

18 for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart

and have all of them ready on your lips.

19 So that your trust may be in the Lord,

I teach you today, even you.

Sayings of the Wise

17 Listen to the words of the wise;

apply your heart to my instruction.

18 For it is good to keep these sayings in your heart

and always ready on your lips.

19 I am teaching you today—yes, you—

so you will trust in the Lord.

17 Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge.

18 For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee; they shall withal be fitted in thy lips.

19 That thy trust may be in the Lord, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee.

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