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Proverbs 10The Message (MSG)

The Wise Sayings of Solomon

An Honest Life Is Immortal

10 Wise son, glad father;
    stupid son, sad mother.

Ill-gotten gain gets you nowhere;
    an honest life is immortal.

God won’t starve an honest soul,
    but he frustrates the appetites of the wicked.

Sloth makes you poor;
    diligence brings wealth.

Make hay while the sun shines—that’s smart;
    go fishing during harvest—that’s stupid.

Blessings accrue on a good and honest life,
    but the mouth of the wicked is a dark cave of abuse.

A good and honest life is a blessed memorial;
    a wicked life leaves a rotten stench.

A wise heart takes orders;
    an empty head will come unglued.

Honesty lives confident and carefree,
    but Shifty is sure to be exposed.

10 An evasive eye is a sign of trouble ahead,
    but an open, face-to-face meeting results in peace.

11 The mouth of a good person is a deep, life-giving well,
    but the mouth of the wicked is a dark cave of abuse.

12 Hatred starts fights,
    but love pulls a quilt over the bickering.

13 You’ll find wisdom on the lips of a person of insight,
    but the shortsighted needs a slap in the face.

14 The wise accumulate knowledge—a true treasure;
    know-it-alls talk too much—a sheer waste.

The Road to Life Is a Disciplined Life

15 The wealth of the rich is their bastion;
    the poverty of the indigent is their ruin.

16 The wage of a good person is exuberant life;
    an evil person ends up with nothing but sin.

17 The road to life is a disciplined life;
    ignore correction and you’re lost for good.

18 Liars secretly hoard hatred;
    fools openly spread slander.

19 The more talk, the less truth;
    the wise measure their words.

20 The speech of a good person is worth waiting for;
    the blabber of the wicked is worthless.

21 The talk of a good person is rich fare for many,
    but chatterboxes die of an empty heart.

Fear-of-God Expands Your Life

22 God’s blessing makes life rich;
    nothing we do can improve on God.

23 An empty-head thinks mischief is fun,
    but a mindful person relishes wisdom.

24 The nightmares of the wicked come true;
    what the good people desire, they get.

25 When the storm is over, there’s nothing left of the wicked;
    good people, firm on their rock foundation, aren’t even fazed.

26 A lazy employee will give you nothing but trouble;
    it’s vinegar in the mouth, smoke in the eyes.

27 The Fear-of-God expands your life;
    a wicked life is a puny life.

28 The aspirations of good people end in celebration;
    the ambitions of bad people crash.

29 God is solid backing to a well-lived life,
    but he calls into question a shabby performance.

30 Good people last—they can’t be moved;
    the wicked are here today, gone tomorrow.

31 A good person’s mouth is a clear fountain of wisdom;
    a foul mouth is a stagnant swamp.

32 The speech of a good person clears the air;
    the words of the wicked pollute it.

The Message (MSG)

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

Proverbs 11The Message (MSG)

Without Good Direction, People Lose Their Way

11 God hates cheating in the marketplace;
    he loves it when business is aboveboard.

The stuck-up fall flat on their faces,
    but down-to-earth people stand firm.

The integrity of the honest keeps them on track;
    the deviousness of crooks brings them to ruin.

A thick bankroll is no help when life falls apart,
    but a principled life can stand up to the worst.

Moral character makes for smooth traveling;
    an evil life is a hard life.

Good character is the best insurance;
    crooks get trapped in their sinful lust.

When the wicked die, that’s it—
    the story’s over, end of hope.

A good person is saved from much trouble;
    a bad person runs straight into it.

The loose tongue of the godless spreads destruction;
    the common sense of the godly preserves them.

10 When it goes well for good people, the whole town cheers;
    when it goes badly for bad people, the town celebrates.

11 When right-living people bless the city, it flourishes;
    evil talk turns it into a ghost town in no time.

12 Mean-spirited slander is heartless;
    quiet discretion accompanies good sense.

13 A gadabout gossip can’t be trusted with a secret,
    but someone of integrity won’t violate a confidence.

14 Without good direction, people lose their way;
    the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances.

15 Whoever makes deals with strangers is sure to get burned;
    if you keep a cool head, you’ll avoid rash bargains.

16 A woman of gentle grace gets respect,
    but men of rough violence grab for loot.

A God-Shaped Life

17 When you’re kind to others, you help yourself;
    when you’re cruel to others, you hurt yourself.

18 Bad work gets paid with a bad check;
    good work gets solid pay.

19 Take your stand with God’s loyal community and live,
    or chase after phantoms of evil and die.

20 God can’t stand deceivers,
    but oh how he relishes integrity.

21 Count on this: The wicked won’t get off scot-free,
    and God’s loyal people will triumph.

22 Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout
    is a beautiful face on an empty head.

23 The desires of good people lead straight to the best,
    but wicked ambition ends in angry frustration.

24 The world of the generous gets larger and larger;
    the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller.

25 The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed;
    those who help others are helped.

26 Curses on those who drive a hard bargain!
    Blessings on all who play fair and square!

27 The one who seeks good finds delight;
    the student of evil becomes evil.

28 A life devoted to things is a dead life, a stump;
    a God-shaped life is a flourishing tree.

29 Exploit or abuse your family, and end up with a fistful of air;
    common sense tells you it’s a stupid way to live.

30 A good life is a fruit-bearing tree;
    a violent life destroys souls.

31 If good people barely make it,
    what’s in store for the bad!

The Message (MSG)

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

Proverbs 12The Message (MSG)

If You Love Learning

12 If you love learning, you love the discipline that goes with it—
    how shortsighted to refuse correction!

A good person basks in the delight of God,
    and he wants nothing to do with devious schemers.

You can’t find firm footing in a swamp,
    but life rooted in God stands firm.

A hearty wife invigorates her husband,
    but a frigid woman is cancer in the bones.

The thinking of principled people makes for justice;
    the plots of degenerates corrupt.

The words of the wicked kill;
    the speech of the upright saves.

Wicked people fall to pieces—there’s nothing to them;
    the homes of good people hold together.

A person who talks sense is honored;
    airheads are held in contempt.

Better to be ordinary and work for a living
    than act important and starve in the process.

10 Good people are good to their animals;
    the “good-hearted” bad people kick and abuse them.

11 The one who stays on the job has food on the table;
    the witless chase whims and fancies.

12 What the wicked construct finally falls into ruin,
    while the roots of the righteous give life, and more life.

Wise People Take Advice

13 The gossip of bad people gets them in trouble;
    the conversation of good people keeps them out of it.

14 Well-spoken words bring satisfaction;
    well-done work has its own reward.

15 Fools are headstrong and do what they like;
    wise people take advice.

16 Fools have short fuses and explode all too quickly;
    the prudent quietly shrug off insults.

17 Truthful witness by a good person clears the air,
    but liars lay down a smoke screen of deceit.

18 Rash language cuts and maims,
    but there is healing in the words of the wise.

19 Truth lasts;
    lies are here today, gone tomorrow.

20 Evil scheming distorts the schemer;
    peace-planning brings joy to the planner.

21 No evil can overwhelm a good person,
    but the wicked have their hands full of it.

22 God can’t stomach liars;
    he loves the company of those who keep their word.

23 Prudent people don’t flaunt their knowledge;
    talkative fools broadcast their silliness.

24 The diligent find freedom in their work;
    the lazy are oppressed by work.

25 Worry weighs us down;
    a cheerful word picks us up.

26 A good person survives misfortune,
    but a wicked life invites disaster.

27 A lazy life is an empty life,
    but “early to rise” gets the job done.

28 Good men and women travel right into life;
    sin’s detours take you straight to hell.

The Message (MSG)

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

Romans 10The Message (MSG)

Israel Reduced to Religion

10 1-3 Believe me, friends, all I want for Israel is what’s best for Israel: salvation, nothing less. I want it with all my heart and pray to God for it all the time. I readily admit that the Jews are impressively energetic regarding God—but they are doing everything exactly backward. They don’t seem to realize that this comprehensive setting-things-right that is salvation is God’s business, and a most flourishing business it is. Right across the street they set up their own salvation shops and noisily hawk their wares. After all these years of refusing to really deal with God on his terms, insisting instead on making their own deals, they have nothing to show for it.

4-10 The earlier revelation was intended simply to get us ready for the Messiah, who then puts everything right for those who trust him to do it. Moses wrote that anyone who insists on using the law code to live right before God soon discovers it’s not so easy—every detail of life regulated by fine print! But trusting God to shape the right living in us is a different story—no precarious climb up to heaven to recruit the Messiah, no dangerous descent into hell to rescue the Messiah. So what exactly was Moses saying?

The word that saves is right here,
    as near as the tongue in your mouth,
    as close as the heart in your chest.

It’s the word of faith that welcomes God to go to work and set things right for us. This is the core of our preaching. Say the welcoming word to God—“Jesus is my Master”—embracing, body and soul, God’s work of doing in us what he did in raising Jesus from the dead. That’s it. You’re not “doing” anything; you’re simply calling out to God, trusting him to do it for you. That’s salvation. With your whole being you embrace God setting things right, and then you say it, right out loud: “God has set everything right between him and me!”

11-13 Scripture reassures us, “No one who trusts God like this—heart and soul—will ever regret it.” It’s exactly the same no matter what a person’s religious background may be: the same God for all of us, acting the same incredibly generous way to everyone who calls out for help. “Everyone who calls, ‘Help, God!’ gets help.”

14-17 But how can people call for help if they don’t know who to trust? And how can they know who to trust if they haven’t heard of the One who can be trusted? And how can they hear if nobody tells them? And how is anyone going to tell them, unless someone is sent to do it? That’s why Scripture exclaims,

A sight to take your breath away!
Grand processions of people
    telling all the good things of God!

But not everybody is ready for this, ready to see and hear and act. Isaiah asked what we all ask at one time or another: “Does anyone care, God? Is anyone listening and believing a word of it?” The point is: Before you trust, you have to listen. But unless Christ’s Word is preached, there’s nothing to listen to.

18-21 But haven’t there been plenty of opportunities for Israel to listen and understand what’s going on? Plenty, I’d say.

Preachers’ voices have gone ’round the world,
Their message to earth’s seven seas.

So the big question is, Why didn’t Israel understand that she had no corner on this message? Moses had it right when he predicted,

When you see God reach out to those
    you consider your inferiors—outsiders!—
    you’ll become insanely jealous.
When you see God reach out to people
    you think are religiously stupid,
    you’ll throw temper tantrums.

Isaiah dared to speak out these words of God:

People found and welcomed me
    who never so much as looked for me.
And I found and welcomed people
    who had never even asked about me.

Then he capped it with a damning indictment:

Day after day after day,
    I beckoned Israel with open arms,
And got nothing for my trouble
    but cold shoulders and icy stares.

The Message (MSG)

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

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