Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

Giving is a privilege that God allows us so that we may participate in His blessing. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). When we "so love," we also will "give."

Paul challenged the Corinthians to prove the sincerity of their love (2 Corinthians 8:8) with a willingness to give a missionary offering to the poor saints at Jerusalem. By so doing, they literally would be "casting their bread upon the waters," sending their resources across the Mediterranean to a group of saints in desperate need.

Whenever you purpose to give, the enemy will tell you that you are wasting your money and throwing it away. He will point out to you all your own needs and tell you that you can't afford to give. In those times, you must remember that God's Word is true and that whatever you give will one day find its way back to you.

Those you provide for now out of your abundance may one day provide for you out of their abundance (2 Corinthians 8:14). Even if you never see any reward here on earth for your generosity, you will reap in eternity the full return of what you have sown on earth.

The selfish will "die [and] carry nothing with them. Their wealth will not follow them into the grave" (Psalm 49:17). But those who give will reap a sure reward. Start sowing generously to the needs of others, both here and around the world. The dividends are eternal!

Ecclesiastes 10:1-12:14

10 As dead flies give perfume a bad smell,

so a little follyPr 13:16; 18:2 outweighs wisdom and honor.

The heart of the wise inclines to the right,

but the heart of the fool to the left.

Even as fools walk along the road,

they lack sense

and show everyonePr 13:16 how stupid they are.

If a ruler’s anger rises against you,

do not leave your post;Ecc 8:3

calmness can lay great offenses to rest.S Pr 16:14

There is an evil I have seen under the sun,

the sort of error that arises from a ruler:

Fools are put in many high positions,S Pr 29:2

while the rich occupy the low ones.

I have seen slaves on horseback,

while princes go on foot like slaves.Pr 19:10

Whoever digs a pit may fall into it;S Ps 57:6

whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake.S Est 2:23; Ps 9:16; Am 5:19

Whoever quarries stones may be injured by them;

whoever splits logs may be endangered by them.S Pr 26:27

10 If the ax is dull

and its edge unsharpened,

more strength is needed,

but skill will bring success.

11 If a snake bites before it is charmed,

the charmer receives no fee.S Ps 58:5; S Isa 3:3

12 Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious,Pr 10:32

but fools are consumed by their own lips.S Pr 10:6; S 14:3; S 15:2; S 18:7

13 At the beginning their words are folly;

at the end they are wicked madness—

14 and fools multiply words.Ecc 5:3

No one knows what is coming—

who can tell someone else what will happen after them?Ecc 9:1

15 The toil of fools wearies them;

they do not know the way to town.

16 Woe to the land whose king was a servantOr king is a childIsa 3:4-5, 12

and whose princes feast in the morning.

17 Blessed is the land whose king is of noble birth

and whose princes eat at a proper time—

for strength and not for drunkenness.S Dt 14:26; S 1Sa 25:36; S Pr 31:4

18 Through laziness, the rafters sag;

because of idle hands, the house leaks.Pr 20:4; S 24:30-34

19 A feast is made for laughter,

wineS Ge 14:18; S Jdg 9:13 makes life merry,

and money is the answer for everything.

20 Do not revile the kingS Ex 22:28 even in your thoughts,

or curse the rich in your bedroom,

because a bird in the sky may carry your words,

and a bird on the wing may report what you say.

Invest in Many Ventures

11 Shipver 6; Isa 32:20; Hos 10:12 your grain across the sea;

after many days you may receive a return.S Dt 24:19

Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight;

you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.

If clouds are full of water,

they pour rain on the earth.

Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north,

in the place where it falls, there it will lie.

Whoever watches the wind will not plant;

whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.

As you do not know the path of the wind,Jn 3:8-10

or how the body is formedOr know how life (or the spirit) / enters the body being formed in a mother’s womb,Ps 139:14-16

so you cannot understand the work of God,

the Maker of all things.

Sow your seed in the morning,

and at evening let your hands not be idle,S Ecc 9:10

for you do not know which will succeed,

whether this or that,

or whether both will do equally well.

Remember Your Creator While Young

Light is sweet,

and it pleases the eyes to see the sun.Ecc 7:11

However many years anyone may live,

let them enjoy them all.

But let them rememberEcc 12:1 the days of darkness,

for there will be many.

Everything to come is meaningless.

You who are young, be happy while you are young,

and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth.

Follow the ways of your heart

and whatever your eyes see,

but know that for all these things

God will bring you into judgment.S Job 19:29; S Ecc 2:24; S 3:17

10 So then, banish anxietyPs 94:19 from your heart

and cast off the troubles of your body,

for youth and vigor are meaningless.S Ecc 2:24

12 RememberEcc 11:8 your Creator

in the days of your youth,

before the days of troubleS 2Sa 19:35 come

and the years approach when you will say,

“I find no pleasure in them”—

before the sun and the light

and the moon and the stars grow dark,

and the clouds return after the rain;

when the keepers of the house tremble,

and the strong men stoop,

when the grinders cease because they are few,

and those looking through the windows grow dim;

when the doors to the street are closed

and the sound of grinding fades;

when people rise up at the sound of birds,

but all their songs grow faint;Jer 25:10

when people are afraid of heights

and of dangers in the streets;

when the almond tree blossoms

and the grasshopper drags itself along

and desire no longer is stirred.

Then people go to their eternal homeS Job 10:21

and mournersJer 9:17; Am 5:16 go about the streets.

Remember him—before the silver cord is severed,

and the golden bowl is broken;

before the pitcher is shattered at the spring,

and the wheel broken at the well,

and the dust returnsS Ge 2:7; S Ps 146:4 to the ground it came from,

and the spirit returns to GodEcc 3:21 who gave it.S Job 20:8

“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher.Or the leader of the assembly; also in verses 9 and 10Ecc 1:1

“Everything is meaningless!S Ecc 1:2

The Conclusion of the Matter

Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs.1Ki 4:3210 The TeacherS Ecc 1:1 searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.Pr 22:20-21

11 The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nailsS Ezr 9:8; S Job 6:25—given by one shepherd.Or Shepherd12 Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them.

Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.S Ecc 1:18

13 Now all has been heard;

here is the conclusion of the matter:

Fear GodS Ex 20:20; S 1Sa 12:24; S Job 23:15; S Ps 19:9 and keep his commandments,S Dt 4:2

for this is the duty of all mankind.S Dt 4:6; S Job 37:24

14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,S Job 19:29; S Ecc 3:17

including every hidden thing,S Job 34:21; S Ps 19:12; Jer 16:17; 23:24

whether it is good or evil.

10 As dead flies cause even a bottle of perfume to stink,

so a little foolishness spoils great wisdom and honor.

A wise person chooses the right road;

a fool takes the wrong one.

You can identify fools

just by the way they walk down the street!

If your boss is angry at you, don’t quit!

A quiet spirit can overcome even great mistakes.

The Ironies of Life

There is another evil I have seen under the sun. Kings and rulers make a grave mistakewhen they give great authority to foolish people and low positions to people of proven worth.I have even seen servants riding horseback like princes—and princes walking like servants!

When you dig a well,

you might fall in.

When you demolish an old wall,

you could be bitten by a snake.

When you work in a quarry,

stones might fall and crush you.

When you chop wood,

there is danger with each stroke of your ax.

10 Using a dull ax requires great strength,

so sharpen the blade.

That’s the value of wisdom;

it helps you succeed.

11 If a snake bites before you charm it,

what’s the use of being a snake charmer?

12 Wise words bring approval,

but fools are destroyed by their own words.

13 Fools base their thoughts on foolish assumptions,

so their conclusions will be wicked madness;

14 they chatter on and on.

No one really knows what is going to happen;

no one can predict the future.

15 Fools are so exhausted by a little work

that they can’t even find their way home.

16 What sorrow for the land ruled by a servant,Or a child.

the land whose leaders feast in the morning.

17 Happy is the land whose king is a noble leader

and whose leaders feast at the proper time

to gain strength for their work, not to get drunk.

18 Laziness leads to a sagging roof;

idleness leads to a leaky house.

19 A party gives laughter,

wine gives happiness,

and money gives everything!

20 Never make light of the king, even in your thoughts.

And don’t make fun of the powerful, even in your own bedroom.

For a little bird might deliver your message

and tell them what you said.

The Uncertainties of Life

11 Send your grain across the seas,

and in time, profits will flow back to you.Or Give generously, / for your gifts will return to you later. Hebrew reads Throw your bread on the waters, / for after many days you will find it again.

But divide your investments among many places,Hebrew among seven or even eight.

for you do not know what risks might lie ahead.

When clouds are heavy, the rains come down.

Whether a tree falls north or south, it stays where it falls.

Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant.

If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.

Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb,Some manuscripts read Just as you cannot understand how breath comes to a tiny baby in its mother’s womb. so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things.

Plant your seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for you don’t know if profit will come from one activity or another—or maybe both.

Advice for Young and Old

Light is sweet; how pleasant to see a new day dawning.

When people live to be very old, let them rejoice in every day of life. But let them also remember there will be many dark days. Everything still to come is meaningless.

Young people,Hebrew Young man. it’s wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it. Do everything you want to do; take it all in. But remember that you must give an account to God for everything you do.10 So refuse to worry, and keep your body healthy. But remember that youth, with a whole life before you, is meaningless.

12 Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say, “Life is not pleasant anymore.”Remember him before the light of the sun, moon, and stars is dim to your old eyes, and rain clouds continually darken your sky.Remember him before your legs—the guards of your house—start to tremble; and before your shoulders—the strong men—stoop. Remember him before your teeth—your few remaining servants—stop grinding; and before your eyes—the women looking through the windows—see dimly.

Remember him before the door to life’s opportunities is closed and the sound of work fades. Now you rise at the first chirping of the birds, but then all their sounds will grow faint.

Remember him before you become fearful of falling and worry about danger in the streets; before your hair turns white like an almond tree in bloom, and you drag along without energy like a dying grasshopper, and the caperberry no longer inspires sexual desire. Remember him before you near the grave, your everlasting home, when the mourners will weep at your funeral.

Yes, remember your Creator now while you are young, before the silver cord of life snaps and the golden bowl is broken. Don’t wait until the water jar is smashed at the spring and the pulley is broken at the well.For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.

Concluding Thoughts about the Teacher

“Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless.”

Keep this in mind: The Teacher was considered wise, and he taught the people everything he knew. He listened carefully to many proverbs, studying and classifying them.10 The Teacher sought to find just the right words to express truths clearly.Or sought to write what was upright and true.

11 The words of the wise are like cattle prods—painful but helpful. Their collected sayings are like a nail-studded stick with which a shepherdOr one shepherd. drives the sheep.

12 But, my child,Hebrew my son. let me give you some further advice: Be careful, for writing books is endless, and much study wears you out.

13 That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty.14 God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.

10 Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.

A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left.

Yea also, when he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wisdom faileth him, and he saith to every one that he is a fool.

If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences.

There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler:

Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in low place.

I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth.

He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him.

Whoso removeth stones shall be hurt therewith; and he that cleaveth wood shall be endangered thereby.

10 If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct.

11 Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better.

12 The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself.

13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end of his talk is mischievous madness.

14 A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him?

15 The labour of the foolish wearieth every one of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the city.

16 Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning!

17 Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!

18 By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.

19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.

20 Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.

11 Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.

Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth.

If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.

He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.

As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.

In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.

Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun:

But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All that cometh is vanity.

Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.

10 Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity.

12 Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;

While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:

In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened,

And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low;

Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:

Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.

Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.

And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs.

10 The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.

11 The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.

12 And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

2 Corinthians 8:1-15

The Collection for the Lord’s People

And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the MacedonianS Ac 16:9 churches.In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.Ex 36:5; 2Co 9:11For I testify that they gave as much as they were able,1Co 16:2 and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own,they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharingver 1 in this serviceS Ac 24:17 to the Lord’s people.S Ac 9:13And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.So we urgedver 17; 2Co 12:18 Titus,ver 16, 23; S 2Co 2:13 just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completionver 10, 11 this act of grace on your part.But since you excel in everything2Co 9:8—in faith, in speech, in knowledge,Ro 15:14; 1Co 1:5; 12:8; 13:1, 2; 14:6 in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in youSome manuscripts and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.

I am not commanding you,1Co 7:6 but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.For you know the graceS Ro 3:24 of our Lord Jesus Christ,2Co 13:14 that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor,Mt 20:28; Php 2:6-8 so that you through his poverty might become rich.2Co 6:10

10 And here is my judgment1Co 7:25, 40 about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so.1Co 16:2, 3; 2Co 9:211 Now finish the work, so that your eager willingnessver 12, 19; Ex 25:2; 2Co 9:2 to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means.12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has,Mk 12:43, 44; 2Co 9:7 not according to what one does not have.

13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality.14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need,Ac 4:34; 2Co 9:12 so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality,15 as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”Exodus 16:18Ex 16:18

A Call to Generous Giving

Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters,Greek brothers. what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia.They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity.

For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will.They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem.Greek for God’s holy people.They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do.

So we have urged Titus, who encouraged your giving in the first place, to return to you and encourage you to finish this ministry of giving.Since you excel in so many ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from usSome manuscripts read your love for us.—I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving.

I am not commanding you to do this. But I am testing how genuine your love is by comparing it with the eagerness of the other churches.

You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.

10 Here is my advice: It would be good for you to finish what you started a year ago. Last year you were the first who wanted to give, and you were the first to begin doing it.11 Now you should finish what you started. Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now by your giving. Give in proportion to what you have.12 Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have.13 Of course, I don’t mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality.14 Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal.15 As the Scriptures say,

“Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over,

and those who gathered only a little had enough.”Exod 16:18.

Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;

How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.

For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves;

Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.

And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.

Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also.

Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.

I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.

For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

10 And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago.

11 Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have.

12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.

13 For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened:

14 But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality:

15 As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.

Psalm 49:1-20

Psalm 49In Hebrew texts 49:1-20 is numbered 49:2-21.

For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.

HearIsa 1:2 this, all you peoples;Ps 78:1

listen, all who live in this world,S Ps 33:8

both low and high,Ps 62:9

rich and poor alike:

My mouth will speak words of wisdom;S Ps 37:30

the meditation of my heart will give you understanding.Ps 119:130

I will turn my ear to a proverb;Ps 78:2; Pr 1:6; Eze 12:22; 16:44; 18:2-3; Lk 4:23

with the harpS 1Sa 16:16; Ps 33:2 I will expound my riddle:S Nu 12:8

Why should I fearPs 23:4; 27:1 when evil days come,

when wicked deceivers surround me—

those who trust in their wealthS Job 22:25; Ps 73:12; Jer 48:7

and boastS Ps 10:3 of their great riches?S Job 36:19

No one can redeem the life of another

or give to God a ransom for them—

the ransomS Nu 35:31 for a life is costly,

no payment is ever enough—Mt 16:26

so that they should live onPs 22:29; 89:48 forever

and not see decay.Ps 16:10

10 For all can see that the wise die,Ecc 2:16

that the foolish and the senselessPs 92:6; 94:8 also perish,

leaving their wealthS Job 27:17 to others.Ecc 2:18, 21; Lk 12:20

11 Their tombsMk 5:3; Lk 8:27 will remain their housesSeptuagint and Syriac; Hebrew In their thoughts their houses will remain forever,

their dwellings for endless generations,Ps 106:31

though they hadOr generations, / for they have namedS Dt 3:14 lands after themselves.

12 People, despite their wealth, do not endure;S Job 14:2

they are like the beasts that perish.ver 20; 2Pe 2:12

13 This is the fate of those who trust in themselves,Lk 12:20

and of their followers, who approve their sayings.The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verse 15.

14 They are like sheep and are destinedJer 43:11; Eze 31:14 to die;Nu 16:30; S Job 21:13; Ps 9:17; 55:15

death will be their shepherd

(but the upright will prevailIsa 14:2; Da 7:18; 1Co 6:2 over them in the morning).

Their forms will decay in the grave,

far from their princely mansions.

15 But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead;Ps 56:13; Hos 13:14

he will surely take me to himself.S Ge 5:24

16 Do not be overawed when others grow rich,

when the splendor of their houses increases;

17 for they will take nothing1Ti 6:7 with them when they die,

their splendor will not descend with them.S Ps 17:14

18 Though while they live they count themselves blessed—Ps 10:6; Lk 12:19

and people praise you when you prosper—

19 they will join those who have gone before them,S Ge 15:15

who will never again see the lightS Job 33:30 of life.

20 People who have wealth but lack understandingPr 16:16

are like the beasts that perish.S ver 12

Psalm 49

For the choir director: A psalm of the descendants of Korah.

Listen to this, all you people!

Pay attention, everyone in the world!

High and low,

rich and poor—listen!

For my words are wise,

and my thoughts are filled with insight.

I listen carefully to many proverbs

and solve riddles with inspiration from a harp.

Why should I fear when trouble comes,

when enemies surround me?

They trust in their wealth

and boast of great riches.

Yet they cannot redeem themselves from deathSome Hebrew manuscripts read no one can redeem the life of another.

by paying a ransom to God.

Redemption does not come so easily,

for no one can ever pay enough

to live forever

and never see the grave.

10 Those who are wise must finally die,

just like the foolish and senseless,

leaving all their wealth behind.

11 The graveAs in Greek and Syriac versions; Hebrew reads Their inward [thought]. is their eternal home,

where they will stay forever.

They may name their estates after themselves,

12 but their fame will not last.

They will die, just like animals.

13 This is the fate of fools,

though they are remembered as being wise.The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain. Interlude

14 Like sheep, they are led to the grave,Hebrew Sheol; also in 49:14b, 15.

where death will be their shepherd.

In the morning the godly will rule over them.

Their bodies will rot in the grave,

far from their grand estates.

15 But as for me, God will redeem my life.

He will snatch me from the power of the grave. Interlude

16 So don’t be dismayed when the wicked grow rich

and their homes become ever more splendid.

17 For when they die, they take nothing with them.

Their wealth will not follow them into the grave.

18 In this life they consider themselves fortunate

and are applauded for their success.

19 But they will die like all before them

and never again see the light of day.

20 People who boast of their wealth don’t understand;

they will die, just like animals.

49 Hear this, all ye people; give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world:

Both low and high, rich and poor, together.

My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.

I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp.

Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about?

They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches;

None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him:

(For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:)

That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption.

10 For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others.

11 Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names.

12 Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish.

13 This their way is their folly: yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah.

14 Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling.

15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.

16 Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased;

17 For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him.

18 Though while he lived he blessed his soul: and men will praise thee, when thou doest well to thyself.

19 He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light.

20 Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.

Proverbs 22:20-21

20 Have I not written thirty sayings for you,

sayings of counsel and knowledge,

21 teaching you to be honest and to speak the truth,Ecc 12:10

so that you bring back truthful reports

to those you serve?

20 I have written thirty sayingsOr excellent sayings; the meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain. for you,

filled with advice and knowledge.

21 In this way, you may know the truth

and take an accurate report to those who sent you.

20 Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge,

21 That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?

Sep 4 Sep 6
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