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Proverbs 25-26The Message (MSG)

Further Wise Sayings of Solomon

The Right Word at the Right Time

25 There are also these proverbs of Solomon,
    collected by scribes of Hezekiah, king of Judah.

God delights in concealing things;
    scientists delight in discovering things.

Like the horizons for breadth and the ocean for depth,
    the understanding of a good leader is broad and deep.

4-5 Remove impurities from the silver
    and the silversmith can craft a fine chalice;
Remove the wicked from leadership
    and authority will be credible and God-honoring.

6-7 Don’t work yourself into the spotlight;
    don’t push your way into the place of prominence.
It’s better to be promoted to a place of honor
    than face humiliation by being demoted.

Don’t jump to conclusions—there may be
    a perfectly good explanation for what you just saw.

9-10 In the heat of an argument,
    don’t betray confidences;
Word is sure to get around,
    and no one will trust you.

11-12 The right word at the right time
    is like a custom-made piece of jewelry,
And a wise friend’s timely reprimand
    is like a gold ring slipped on your finger.

13 Reliable friends who do what they say
    are like cool drinks in sweltering heat—refreshing!

14 Like billowing clouds that bring no rain
    is the person who talks big but never produces.

15 Patient persistence pierces through indifference;
    gentle speech breaks down rigid defenses.

A Person Without Self-Control

16-17 When you’re given a box of candy, don’t gulp it all down;
    eat too much chocolate and you’ll make yourself sick;
And when you find a friend, don’t outwear your welcome;
    show up at all hours and he’ll soon get fed up.

18 Anyone who tells lies against the neighbors
    in court or on the street is a loose cannon.

19 Trusting a double-crosser when you’re in trouble
    is like biting down on an abscessed tooth.

20 Singing light songs to the heavyhearted
    is like pouring salt in their wounds.

21-22 If you see your enemy hungry, go buy him lunch;
    if he’s thirsty, bring him a drink.
Your generosity will surprise him with goodness,
    and God will look after you.

23 A north wind brings stormy weather,
    and a gossipy tongue stormy looks.

24 Better to live alone in a tumbledown shack
    than share a mansion with a nagging spouse.

25 Like a cool drink of water when you’re worn out and weary
    is a letter from a long-lost friend.

26 A good person who gives in to a bad person
    is a muddied spring, a polluted well.

27 It’s not smart to stuff yourself with sweets,
    nor is glory piled on glory good for you.

28 A person without self-control
    is like a house with its doors and windows knocked out.

Fools Recycle Silliness

26 We no more give honors to fools
    than pray for snow in summer or rain during harvest.

You have as little to fear from an undeserved curse
    as from the dart of a wren or the swoop of a swallow.

A whip for the racehorse, a tiller for the sailboat—
and a stick for the back of fools!

Don’t respond to the stupidity of a fool;
you’ll only look foolish yourself.

Answer a fool in simple terms
so he doesn’t get a swelled head.

You’re only asking for trouble
when you send a message by a fool.

A proverb quoted by fools
is limp as a wet noodle.

Putting a fool in a place of honor
is like setting a mud brick on a marble column.

To ask a moron to quote a proverb
is like putting a scalpel in the hands of a drunk.

10 Hire a fool or a drunk
and you shoot yourself in the foot.

11 As a dog eats its own vomit,
    so fools recycle silliness.

12 See that man who thinks he’s so smart?
    You can expect far more from a fool than from him.

13 Loafers say, “It’s dangerous out there!
    Tigers are prowling the streets!”
    and then pull the covers back over their heads.

14 Just as a door turns on its hinges,
    so a lazybones turns back over in bed.

15 A shiftless sluggard puts his fork in the pie,
    but is too lazy to lift it to his mouth.

Like Glaze on Cracked Pottery

16 Dreamers fantasize their self-importance;
    they think they are smarter
    than a whole college faculty.

17 You grab a mad dog by the ears
    when you butt into a quarrel that’s none of your business.

18-19 People who shrug off deliberate deceptions,
    saying, “I didn’t mean it, I was only joking,”
Are worse than careless campers
    who walk away from smoldering campfires.

20 When you run out of wood, the fire goes out;
    when the gossip ends, the quarrel dies down.

21 A quarrelsome person in a dispute
    is like kerosene thrown on a fire.

22 Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy;
    do you want junk like that in your belly?

23 Smooth talk from an evil heart
    is like glaze on cracked pottery.

24-26 Your enemy shakes hands and greets you like an old friend,
    all the while conniving against you.
When he speaks warmly to you, don’t believe him for a minute;
    he’s just waiting for the chance to rip you off.
No matter how cunningly he conceals his malice,
    eventually his evil will be exposed in public.

27 Malice backfires;
    spite boomerangs.

28 Liars hate their victims;
    flatterers sabotage trust.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

2 Corinthians 9The Message (MSG)

1-2 If I wrote any more on this relief offering for the poor Christians, I’d be repeating myself. I know you’re on board and ready to go. I’ve been bragging about you all through Macedonia province, telling them, “Achaia province has been ready to go on this since last year.” Your enthusiasm by now has spread to most of them.

3-5 Now I’m sending the brothers to make sure you’re ready, as I said you would be, so my bragging won’t turn out to be just so much hot air. If some Macedonians and I happened to drop in on you and found you weren’t prepared, we’d all be pretty red-faced—you and us—for acting so sure of ourselves. So to make sure there will be no slipup, I’ve recruited these brothers as an advance team to get you and your promised offering all ready before I get there. I want you to have all the time you need to make this offering in your own way. I don’t want anything forced or hurried at the last minute.

6-7 Remember: A stingy planter gets a stingy crop; a lavish planter gets a lavish crop. I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give. That will protect you against sob stories and arm-twisting. God loves it when the giver delights in the giving.

8-11 God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done. As one psalmist puts it,

He throws caution to the winds,
    giving to the needy in reckless abandon.
His right-living, right-giving ways
    never run out, never wear out.

This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God.

12-15 Carrying out this social relief work involves far more than helping meet the bare needs of poor Christians. It also produces abundant and bountiful thanksgivings to God. This relief offering is a prod to live at your very best, showing your gratitude to God by being openly obedient to the plain meaning of the Message of Christ. You show your gratitude through your generous offerings to your needy brothers and sisters, and really toward everyone. Meanwhile, moved by the extravagance of God in your lives, they’ll respond by praying for you in passionate intercession for whatever you need. Thank God for this gift, his gift. No language can praise it enough!

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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