Devotions

Author Archives: The River Church

Proverbs 30

The Wisdom of Agur

1 The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, his utterance. This man declared to Ithiel—to Ithiel and Ucal:

Surely I am more stupid than any man,
And do not have the understanding of a man.
I neither learned wisdom
Nor have knowledge of the Holy One.

Who has ascended into heaven, or descended?
Who has gathered the wind in His fists?
Who has bound the waters in a garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is His name, and what is His Son’s name,
If you know?

Every word of God is pure;
He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.
Do not add to His words,
Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.

Two things I request of You
(Deprive me not before I die):
Remove falsehood and lies far from me;
Give me neither poverty nor riches—
Feed me with the food allotted to me;
Lest I be full and deny You,
And say, “Who is the Lord?”
Or lest I be poor and steal,
And profane the name of my God.

10 Do not malign a servant to his master,
Lest he curse you, and you be found guilty.

11 There is a generation that curses its father,
And does not bless its mother.
12 There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes,
Yet is not washed from its filthiness.
13 There is a generation—oh, how lofty are their eyes!
And their eyelids are lifted up.
14 There is a generation whose teeth are like swords,
And whose fangs are like knives,
To devour the poor from off the earth,
And the needy from among men.

15 The leech has two daughters—
Give and Give!

There are three things that are never satisfied,
Four never say, “Enough!”:
16 The grave,
The barren womb,
The earth that is not satisfied with water—
And the fire never says, “Enough!”

17 The eye that mocks his father,
And scorns obedience to his mother,
The ravens of the valley will pick it out,
And the young eagles will eat it.

18 There are three things which are too wonderful for me,
Yes, four which I do not understand:
19 The way of an eagle in the air,
The way of a serpent on a rock,
The way of a ship in the midst of the sea,
And the way of a man with a virgin.

20 This is the way of an adulterous woman:
She eats and wipes her mouth,
And says, “I have done no wickedness.”

21 For three things the earth is perturbed,
Yes, for four it cannot bear up:
22 For a servant when he reigns,
A fool when he is filled with food,
23 A hateful woman when she is married,
And a maidservant who succeeds her mistress.

24 There are four things which are little on the earth,
But they are exceedingly wise:
25 The ants are a people not strong,
Yet they prepare their food in the summer;
26 The rock badgers are a feeble folk,
Yet they make their homes in the crags;
27 The locusts have no king,
Yet they all advance in ranks;
28 The spider skillfully grasps with its hands,
And it is in kings’ palaces.

29 There are three things which are majestic in pace,
Yes, four which are stately in walk:
30 A lion, which is mighty among beasts
And does not turn away from any;
31 A greyhound,
A male goat also,
And a king whose troops are with him.

32 If you have been foolish in exalting yourself,
Or if you have devised evil, put your hand on your mouth.
33 For as the churning of milk produces butter,
And wringing the nose produces blood,
So the forcing of wrath produces strife.

Proverbs 29

Happy Is He Who Keeps the Law

1 He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck,
Will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.

When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice;
But when a wicked man rules, the people groan.

Whoever loves wisdom makes his father rejoice,
But a companion of harlots wastes his wealth.

The king establishes the land by justice,
But he who receives bribes overthrows it.

A man who flatters his neighbor
Spreads a net for his feet.

By transgression an evil man is snared,
But the righteous sings and rejoices.

The righteous considers the cause of the poor,
But the wicked does not understand such knowledge.

Scoffers set a city aflame,
But wise men turn away wrath.

If a wise man contends with a foolish man,
Whether the fool rages or laughs, there is no peace.

10 The bloodthirsty hate the blameless,
But the upright seek his well-being.

11 A fool vents all his feelings,
But a wise man holds them back.

12 If a ruler pays attention to lies,
All his servants become wicked.

13 The poor man and the oppressor have this in common:
The Lord gives light to the eyes of both.

14 The king who judges the poor with truth,
His throne will be established forever.

15 The rod and rebuke give wisdom,
But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.

16 When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increases;
But the righteous will see their fall.

17 Correct your son, and he will give you rest;
Yes, he will give delight to your soul.

18 Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint;
But happy is he who keeps the law.

19 A servant will not be corrected by mere words;
For though he understands, he will not respond.

20 Do you see a man hasty in his words?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.

21 He who pampers his servant from childhood
Will have him as a son in the end.

22 An angry man stirs up strife,
And a furious man abounds in transgression.

23 A man’s pride will bring him low,
But the humble in spirit will retain honor.

24 Whoever is a partner with a thief hates his own life;
He swears to tell the truth, but reveals nothing.

25 The fear of man brings a snare,
But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.

26 Many seek the ruler’s favor,
But justice for man comes from the Lord.

27 An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous,
And he who is upright in the way is an abomination to the wicked.

Proverbs 28

The Righteous Are Bold as a Lion

1 The wicked flee when no one pursues,
But the righteous are bold as a lion.

Because of the transgression of a land, many are its princes;
But by a man of understanding and knowledge
Right will be prolonged.

A poor man who oppresses the poor
Is like a driving rain which leaves no food.

Those who forsake the law praise the wicked,
But such as keep the law contend with them.

Evil men do not understand justice,
But those who seek the Lord understand all.

Better is the poor who walks in his integrity
Than one perverse in his ways, though he be rich.

Whoever keeps the law is a discerning son,
But a companion of gluttons shames his father.

One who increases his possessions by usury and extortion
Gathers it for him who will pity the poor.

One who turns away his ear from hearing the law,
Even his prayer is an abomination.

10 Whoever causes the upright to go astray in an evil way,
He himself will fall into his own pit;
But the blameless will inherit good.

11 The rich man is wise in his own eyes,
But the poor who has understanding searches him out.

12 When the righteous rejoice, there is great glory;
But when the wicked arise, men hide themselves.

13 He who covers his sins will not prosper,
But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.

14 Happy is the man who is always reverent,
But he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.

15 Like a roaring lion and a charging bear
Is a wicked ruler over poor people.

16 A ruler who lacks understanding is a great oppressor,
But he who hates covetousness will prolong his days.

17 A man burdened with bloodshed will flee into a pit;
Let no one help him.

18 Whoever walks blamelessly will be saved,
But he who is perverse in his ways will suddenly fall.

19 He who tills his land will have plenty of bread,
But he who follows frivolity will have poverty enough!

20 A faithful man will abound with blessings,
But he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.

21 To show partiality is not good,
Because for a piece of bread a man will transgress.

22 A man with an evil eye hastens after riches,
And does not consider that poverty will come upon him.

23 He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward
Than he who flatters with the tongue.

24 Whoever robs his father or his mother,
And says, “It is no transgression,”
The same is companion to a destroyer.

25 He who is of a proud heart stirs up strife,
But he who trusts in the Lord will be prospered.

26 He who trusts in his own heart is a fool,
But whoever walks wisely will be delivered.

27 He who gives to the poor will not lack,
But he who hides his eyes will have many curses.

28 When the wicked arise, men hide themselves;
But when they perish, the righteous increase.

Proverbs 27

My Son, Be Wise

1 Do not boast about tomorrow,
For you do not know what a day may bring forth.

Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth;
A stranger, and not your own lips.

A stone is heavy and sand is weighty,
But a fool’s wrath is heavier than both of them.

Wrath is cruel and anger a torrent,
But who is able to stand before jealousy?

Open rebuke is better
Than love carefully concealed.

Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb,
But to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.

Like a bird that wanders from its nest
Is a man who wanders from his place.

Ointment and perfume delight the heart,
And the sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel.

10 Do not forsake your own friend or your father’s friend,
Nor go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity;
Better is a neighbor nearby than a brother far away.

11 My son, be wise, and make my heart glad,
That I may answer him who reproaches me.

12 A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself;
The simple pass on and are punished.

13 Take the garment of him who is surety for a stranger,
And hold it in pledge when he is surety for a seductress.

14 He who blesses his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning,
It will be counted a curse to him.

15 A continual dripping on a very rainy day
And a contentious woman are alike;
16 Whoever restrains her restrains the wind,
And grasps oil with his right hand.

17 As iron sharpens iron,
So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

18 Whoever keeps the fig tree will eat its fruit;
So he who waits on his master will be honored.

19 As in water face reflects face,
So a man’s heart reveals the man.

20 Hell and Destruction are never full;
So the eyes of man are never satisfied.

21 The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,
And a man is valued by what others say of him.

22 Though you grind a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain,
Yet his foolishness will not depart from him.

23 Be diligent to know the state of your flocks,
And attend to your herds;
24 For riches are not forever,
Nor does a crown endure to all generations.
25 When the hay is removed, and the tender grass shows itself,
And the herbs of the mountains are gathered in,
26 The lambs will provide your clothing,
And the goats the price of a field;
27 You shall have enough goats’ milk for your food,
For the food of your household,
And the nourishment of your maidservants.

Proverbs 26

Honor Is Not Fitting for a Fool

1 As snow in summer and rain in harvest,
So honor is not fitting for a fool.

Like a flitting sparrow, like a flying swallow,
So a curse without cause shall not alight.

A whip for the horse,
A bridle for the donkey,
And a rod for the fool’s back.
Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
Lest you also be like him.
Answer a fool according to his folly,
Lest he be wise in his own eyes.
He who sends a message by the hand of a fool
Cuts off his own feet and drinks violence.
Like the legs of the lame that hang limp
Is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
Like one who binds a stone in a sling
Is he who gives honor to a fool.
Like a thorn that goes into the hand of a drunkard
Is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
10 The great God who formed everything
Gives the fool his hire and the transgressor his wages.
11 As a dog returns to his own vomit,
So a fool repeats his folly.
12 Do you see a man wise in his own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.

13 The lazy man says, “There is a lion in the road!
A fierce lion is in the streets!”
14 As a door turns on its hinges,
So does the lazy man on his bed.
15 The lazy man buries his hand in the bowl;
It wearies him to bring it back to his mouth.
16 The lazy man is wiser in his own eyes
Than seven men who can answer sensibly.

17 He who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own
Is like one who takes a dog by the ears.

18 Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death,
19 Is the man who deceives his neighbor,
And says, “I was only joking!”

20 Where there is no wood, the fire goes out;
And where there is no talebearer, strife ceases.
21 As charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire,
So is a contentious man to kindle strife.
22 The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles,
And they go down into the inmost body.

23 Fervent lips with a wicked heart
Are like earthenware covered with silver dross.

24 He who hates, disguises it with his lips,
And lays up deceit within himself;
25 When he speaks kindly, do not believe him,
For there are seven abominations in his heart;
26 Though his hatred is covered by deceit,
His wickedness will be revealed before the assembly.

27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it,
And he who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him.

28 A lying tongue hates those who are crushed by it,
And a flattering mouth works ruin.



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