A A A A A
Bible Book List

Proverbs 19The Message (MSG)

If You Quit Listening

19 Better to be poor and honest
    than a rich person no one can trust.

Ignorant zeal is worthless;
    haste makes waste.

People ruin their lives by their own stupidity,
    so why does God always get blamed?

Wealth attracts friends as honey draws flies,
    but poor people are avoided like a plague.

Perjury won’t go unpunished.
    Would you let a liar go free?

Lots of people flock around a generous person;
    everyone’s a friend to the philanthropist.

When you’re down on your luck, even your family avoids you—
    yes, even your best friends wish you’d get lost.
If they see you coming, they look the other way—
    out of sight, out of mind.

Grow a wise heart—you’ll do yourself a favor;
    keep a clear head—you’ll find a good life.

The person who tells lies gets caught;
    the person who spreads rumors is ruined.

10 Blockheads shouldn’t live on easy street
    any more than workers should give orders to their boss.

11 Smart people know how to hold their tongue;
    their grandeur is to forgive and forget.

12 Mean-tempered leaders are like mad dogs;
    the good-natured are like fresh morning dew.

13 A parent is worn to a frazzle by a stupid child;
    a nagging spouse is a leaky faucet.

14 House and land are handed down from parents,
    but a congenial spouse comes straight from God.

15 Life collapses on loafers;
    lazybones go hungry.

16 Keep the rules and keep your life;
    careless living kills.

17 Mercy to the needy is a loan to God,
    and God pays back those loans in full.

18 Discipline your children while you still have the chance;
    indulging them destroys them.

19 Let angry people endure the backlash of their own anger;
    if you try to make it better, you’ll only make it worse.

20 Take good counsel and accept correction—
    that’s the way to live wisely and well.

21 We humans keep brainstorming options and plans,
    but God’s purpose prevails.

22 It’s only human to want to make a buck,
    but it’s better to be poor than a liar.

23 Fear-of-God is life itself,
    a full life, and serene—no nasty surprises.

24 Some people dig a fork into the pie
    but are too lazy to raise it to their mouth.

25 Punish the insolent—make an example of them.
    Who knows? Somebody might learn a good lesson.

26 Kids who lash out against their parents
    are an embarrassment and disgrace.

27 If you quit listening, dear child, and strike off on your own,
    you’ll soon be out of your depth.

28 An unprincipled witness desecrates justice;
    the mouths of the wicked spew malice.

29 The irreverent have to learn reverence the hard way;
    only a slap in the face brings fools to attention.

The Message (MSG)

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

Proverbs 20The Message (MSG)

Deep Water in the Heart

20 Wine makes you mean, beer makes you quarrelsome—
    a staggering drunk is not much fun.

Quick-tempered leaders are like mad dogs—
    cross them and they bite your head off.

It’s a mark of good character to avert quarrels,
    but fools love to pick fights.

A farmer too lazy to plant in the spring
    has nothing to harvest in the fall.

Knowing what is right is like deep water in the heart;
    a wise person draws from the well within.

Lots of people claim to be loyal and loving,
    but where on earth can you find one?

God-loyal people, living honest lives,
    make it much easier for their children.

8-9 Leaders who know their business and care
    keep a sharp eye out for the shoddy and cheap,
For who among us can be trusted
    to be always diligent and honest?

10 Switching price tags and padding the expense account
    are two things God hates.

11 Young people eventually reveal by their actions
    if their motives are on the up and up.

Drinking from the Chalice of Knowledge

12 Ears that hear and eyes that see—
    we get our basic equipment from God!

13 Don’t be too fond of sleep; you’ll end up in the poorhouse.
    Wake up and get up; then there’ll be food on the table.

14 The shopper says, “That’s junk—I’ll take it off your hands,”
    then goes off boasting of the bargain.

15 Drinking from the beautiful chalice of knowledge
    is better than adorning oneself with gold and rare gems.

16 Hold tight to collateral on any loan to a stranger;
    beware of accepting what a transient has pawned.

17 Stolen bread tastes sweet,
    but soon your mouth is full of gravel.

18 Form your purpose by asking for counsel,
    then carry it out using all the help you can get.

19 Gossips can’t keep secrets,
    so never confide in blabbermouths.

20 Anyone who curses father and mother
    extinguishes light and exists benighted.

The Very Steps We Take

21 A bonanza at the beginning
    is no guarantee of blessing at the end.

22 Don’t ever say, “I’ll get you for that!”
    Wait for God; he’ll settle the score.

23 God hates cheating in the marketplace;
    rigged scales are an outrage.

24 The very steps we take come from God;
    otherwise how would we know where we’re going?

25 An impulsive vow is a trap;
    later you’ll wish you could get out of it.

26 After careful scrutiny, a wise leader
    makes a clean sweep of rebels and dolts.

27 God is in charge of human life,
    watching and examining us inside and out.

28 Love and truth form a good leader;
    sound leadership is founded on loving integrity.

29 Youth may be admired for vigor,
    but gray hair gives prestige to old age.

30 A good thrashing purges evil;
    punishment goes deep within us.

The Message (MSG)

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

Proverbs 21The Message (MSG)

God Examines Our Motives

21 Good leadership is a channel of water controlled by God;
    he directs it to whatever ends he chooses.

We justify our actions by appearances;
    God examines our motives.

Clean living before God and justice with our neighbors
    mean far more to God than religious performance.

Arrogance and pride—distinguishing marks in the wicked—
    are just plain sin.

Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run;
    hurry and scurry puts you further behind.

Make it to the top by lying and cheating;
    get paid with smoke and a promotion—to death!

The wicked get buried alive by their loot
    because they refuse to use it to help others.

Mixed motives twist life into tangles;
    pure motives take you straight down the road.

Do Your Best, Prepare for the Worst

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

10 Wicked souls love to make trouble;
    they feel nothing for friends and neighbors.

11 Simpletons only learn the hard way,
    but the wise learn by listening.

12 A God-loyal person will see right through the wicked
    and undo the evil they’ve planned.

13 If you stop your ears to the cries of the poor,
    your cries will go unheard, unanswered.

14 A quietly given gift soothes an irritable person;
    a heartfelt present cools a hot temper.

15 Good people celebrate when justice triumphs,
    but for the workers of evil it’s a bad day.

16 Whoever wanders off the straight and narrow
    ends up in a congregation of ghosts.

17 You’re addicted to thrills? What an empty life!
    The pursuit of pleasure is never satisfied.

18 What a bad person plots against the good, boomerangs;
    the plotter gets it in the end.

19 Better to live in a tent in the wild
    than with a cross and petulant spouse.

20 Valuables are safe in a wise person’s home;
    fools put it all out for yard sales.

21 Whoever goes hunting for what is right and kind
    finds life itself—glorious life!

22 One sage entered a whole city of armed soldiers—
    their trusted defenses fell to pieces!

23 Watch your words and hold your tongue;
    you’ll save yourself a lot of grief.

24 You know their names—Brash, Impudent, Blasphemer—
    intemperate hotheads, every one.

25 Lazy people finally die of hunger
    because they won’t get up and go to work.

26 Sinners are always wanting what they don’t have;
    the God-loyal are always giving what they do have.

27 Religious performance by the wicked stinks;
    it’s even worse when they use it to get ahead.

28 A lying witness is unconvincing;
    a person who speaks truth is respected.

29 Unscrupulous people fake it a lot;
    honest people are sure of their steps.

30 Nothing clever, nothing conceived, nothing contrived,
    can get the better of God.

31 Do your best, prepare for the worst—
    then trust God to bring victory.

The Message (MSG)

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

Romans 13The Message (MSG)

To Be a Responsible Citizen

13 1-3 Be a good citizen. All governments are under God. Insofar as there is peace and order, it’s God’s order. So live responsibly as a citizen. If you’re irresponsible to the state, then you’re irresponsible with God, and God will hold you responsible. Duly constituted authorities are only a threat if you’re trying to get by with something. Decent citizens should have nothing to fear.

3-5 Do you want to be on good terms with the government? Be a responsible citizen and you’ll get on just fine, the government working to your advantage. But if you’re breaking the rules right and left, watch out. The police aren’t there just to be admired in their uniforms. God also has an interest in keeping order, and he uses them to do it. That’s why you must live responsibly—not just to avoid punishment but also because it’s the right way to live.

6-7 That’s also why you pay taxes—so that an orderly way of life can be maintained. Fulfill your obligations as a citizen. Pay your taxes, pay your bills, respect your leaders.

8-10 Don’t run up debts, except for the huge debt of love you owe each other. When you love others, you complete what the law has been after all along. The law code—don’t sleep with another person’s spouse, don’t take someone’s life, don’t take what isn’t yours, don’t always be wanting what you don’t have, and any other “don’t” you can think of—finally adds up to this: Love other people as well as you do yourself. You can’t go wrong when you love others. When you add up everything in the law code, the sum total is love.

11-14 But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed. We can’t afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight. Get out of bed and get dressed! Don’t loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about!

The Message (MSG)

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

Bible Gateway Recommends

Hardcover -- Slightly Imperfect
Hardcover -- Slightly Imperfect
Retail: $39.99
Our Price: $25.49Save: $14.50 (36%)Buy Now
  Back

1 of 1

You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more

Viewing of
Cross references
Footnotes