March 23, 2017
Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scoffers
who rule this people in Jerusalem.
You boast, “We have entered into a covenant with death,
with the realm of the dead we have made an agreement.
When an overwhelming scourge sweeps by,
it cannot touch us,
for we have made a lie our refuge
and falsehood our hiding place.”
So this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation;
the one who relies on it
will never be stricken with panic.
I will make justice the measuring line
and righteousness the plumb line;
hail will sweep away your refuge, the lie,
and water will overflow your hiding place.
Your covenant with death will be annulled;
your agreement with the realm of the dead will not stand.
When the overwhelming scourge sweeps by,
you will be beaten down by it.
As often as it comes it will carry you away;
morning after morning, by day and by night,
it will sweep through.”
The understanding of this message
will bring sheer terror.
The bed is too short to stretch out on,
the blanket too narrow to wrap around you.
The Lord will rise up as he did at Mount Perazim,
he will rouse himself as in the Valley of Gibeon—
to do his work, his strange work,
and perform his task, his alien task.
Now stop your mocking,
or your chains will become heavier;
the Lord, the Lord Almighty, has told me
of the destruction decreed against the whole land.
These are the clans of Noah’s sons, according to their lines of descent, within their nations. From these the nations spread out over the earth after the flood.
Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.
They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.
A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul,
but fools detest turning from evil.
Walk with the wise and become wise,
for a companion of fools suffers harm.
Trouble pursues the sinner,
but the righteous are rewarded with good things.
A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children,
but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.
An unplowed field produces food for the poor,
but injustice sweeps it away.
Whoever spares the rod hates their children,
but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.
The righteous eat to their hearts’ content,
but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry.
The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.
Whoever fears the Lord walks uprightly,
but those who despise him are devious in their ways.
A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride,
but the lips of the wise protect them.
Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty,
but from the strength of an ox come abundant harvests.
An honest witness does not deceive,
but a false witness pours out lies.
The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none,
but knowledge comes easily to the discerning.