Proverbs 30-31The Message (MSG)
The Words of Agur Ben Yakeh
God? Who Needs Him?
30 1-2 The skeptic swore, “There is no God!
3-4 “I flunked ‘wisdom.’
5-6 The believer replied, “Every promise of God proves true;
7-9 And then he prayed, “God, I’m asking for two things
10 Don’t blow the whistle on your fellow workers
11 Don’t curse your father
12 Don’t imagine yourself to be quite presentable
13 Don’t be stuck-up
14 Don’t be greedy,
15-16 A leech has twin daughters
Three things are never satisfied,
17 An eye that disdains a father
18-19 Three things amaze me,
how an eagle flies so high in the sky,
20 Here’s how a prostitute operates:
21-23 Three things are too much for even the earth to bear,
when the janitor becomes the boss,
Four Small Wonders
24-28 There are four small creatures,
ants—frail as they are,
29-31 There are three solemn dignitaries,
a lion, king of the beasts, deferring to none;
32-33 If you’re dumb enough to call attention to yourself
Speak Out for Justice
31 The words of King Lemuel,
2-3 “Oh, son of mine, what can you be thinking of!
4-7 “Leaders can’t afford to make fools of themselves,
8-9 “Speak up for the people who have no voice,
Hymn to a Good Wife
10-31 A good woman is hard to find,
2 Corinthians 11:1-15The Message (MSG)
Pseudo-Servants of God
11 1-3 Will you put up with a little foolish aside from me? Please, just for a moment. The thing that has me so upset is that I care about you so much—this is the passion of God burning inside me! I promised your hand in marriage to Christ, presented you as a pure virgin to her husband. And now I’m afraid that exactly as the Snake seduced Eve with his smooth patter, you are being lured away from the simple purity of your love for Christ.
4-6 It seems that if someone shows up preaching quite another Jesus than we preached—different spirit, different message—you put up with him quite nicely. But if you put up with these big-shot “apostles,” why can’t you put up with simple me? I’m as good as they are. It’s true that I don’t have their voice, haven’t mastered that smooth eloquence that impresses you so much. But when I do open my mouth, I at least know what I’m talking about. We haven’t kept anything back. We let you in on everything.
7-12 I wonder, did I make a bad mistake in proclaiming God’s Message to you without asking for something in return, serving you free of charge so that you wouldn’t be inconvenienced by me? It turns out that the other churches paid my way so that you could have a free ride. Not once during the time I lived among you did anyone have to lift a finger to help me out. My needs were always supplied by the believers from Macedonia province. I was careful never to be a burden to you, and I never will be, you can count on it. With Christ as my witness, it’s a point of honor with me, and I’m not going to keep it quiet just to protect you from what the neighbors will think. It’s not that I don’t love you; God knows I do. I’m just trying to keep things open and honest between us.
12-15 And I’m not changing my position on this. I’d die before taking your money. I’m giving nobody grounds for lumping me in with those money-grubbing “preachers,” vaunting themselves as something special. They’re a sorry bunch—pseudo-apostles, lying preachers, crooked workers—posing as Christ’s agents but sham to the core. And no wonder! Satan does it all the time, dressing up as a beautiful angel of light. So it shouldn’t surprise us when his servants masquerade as servants of God. But they’re not getting by with anything. They’ll pay for it in the end.