March 29, 2017
“Who has done this and carried it through,
calling forth the generations from the beginning?
I, the Lord—with the first of them
and with the last—I am he.”
The islands have seen it and fear;
the ends of the earth tremble.
They approach and come forward;
they help each other
and say to their companions, “Be strong!”
The metalworker encourages the goldsmith,
and the one who smooths with the hammer
spurs on the one who strikes the anvil.
One says of the welding, “It is good.”
The other nails down the idol so it will not topple.
“But you, Israel, my servant,
Jacob, whom I have chosen,
you descendants of Abraham my friend,
I took you from the ends of the earth,
from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’;
I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
“All who rage against you
will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
those who oppose you
will be as nothing and perish.
Though you search for your enemies,
you will not find them.
Those who wage war against you
will be as nothing at all.
For I am the Lord your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.
Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob,
little Israel, do not fear,
for I myself will help you,” declares the Lord,
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.”
Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”
Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant,you and your descendants after you for the generations to come.”
A wise son brings joy to his father,
but a foolish man despises his mother.
Folly brings joy to one who has no sense,
but whoever has understanding keeps a straight course.
Plans fail for lack of counsel,
but with many advisers they succeed.
A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—
and how good is a timely word!
The path of life leads upward for the prudent
to keep them from going down to the realm of the dead.
The Lord tears down the house of the proud,
but he sets the widow’s boundary stones in place.
The Lord detests the thoughts of the wicked,
but gracious words are pure in his sight.
The greedy bring ruin to their households,
but the one who hates bribes will live.
The heart of the righteous weighs its answers,
but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.
The Lord is far from the wicked,
but he hears the prayer of the righteous.
Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart,
and good news gives health to the bones.
Whoever heeds life-giving correction
will be at home among the wise.
Those who disregard discipline despise themselves,
but the one who heeds correction gains understanding.
Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord,
and humility comes before honor.
To humans belong the plans of the heart,
but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue.
All a person’s ways seem pure to them,
but motives are weighed by the Lord.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
and he will establish your plans.
The Lord works out everything to its proper end—
even the wicked for a day of disaster.
The Lord detests all the proud of heart.
Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.
Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for;
through the fear of the Lord evil is avoided.
When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way,
he causes their enemies to make peace with them.
Better a little with righteousness
than much gain with injustice.
In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps.