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First Reading: Proverbs Chapter 15 and 16

Proverbs 15

A gentle answer turns away wrath,but a harsh word stirs up anger.
2 The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.
3 The eyes of the LORD are everywhere,keeping watch on the wicked and the good.
4 The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life,but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.
5 A fool spurns his father's discipline,but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.
6 The house of the righteous contains great treasure,but the income of the wicked brings them trouble.
7 The lips of the wise spread knowledge;not so the hearts of fools.
8 The LORD detests the sacrifice of the wicked,but the prayer of the upright pleases him.
9 The LORD detests the way of the wicked but he loves those who pursue righteousness.
10 Stern discipline awaits him who leaves the path;he who hates correction will die.
11 Death and Destruction lie open before the LORD — how much more the hearts of men!
12 A mocker resents correction;he will not consult the wise.
13 A happy heart makes the face cheerful,but heartache crushes the spirit.
14 The discerning heart seeks knowledge,but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly. 15 All the days of the oppressed are wretched,but the cheerful heart has a continual feast.
16 Better a little with the fear of the LORD than great wealth with turmoil.
17 Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred.
18 A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension,but a patient man calms a quarrel.
19 The way of the sluggard is blocked with thorns,but the path of the upright is a highway.
20 A wise son brings joy to his father,but a foolish man despises his mother.
21 Folly delights a man who lacks judgment,but a man of understanding keeps a straight course.
22 Plans fail for lack of counsel,but with many advisers they succeed.
23 A man finds joy in giving an apt reply — and how good is a timely word!
24 The path of life leads upward for the wise to keep him from going down to the grave.
25 The LORD tears down the proud man's house but he keeps the widow's boundaries intact.
26 The LORD detests the thoughts of the wicked,but those of the pure are pleasing to him.
27 A greedy man brings trouble to his family,but he who hates bribes will live.
28 The heart of the righteous weighs its answers,but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.
29 The LORD is far from the wicked but he hears the prayer of the righteous.
30 A cheerful look brings joy to the heart,and good news gives health to the bones.
31 He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise.
32 He who ignores discipline despises himself,but whoever heeds correction gains understanding.
33 The fear of the LORD teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor.
Proverbs 16

To man belong the plans of the heart,but from the LORD comes the reply of the tongue.
2 All a man's ways seem innocent to him,but motives are weighed by the LORD.
3 Commit to the LORD whatever you do,and your plans will succeed.
4 The LORD works out everything for his own ends — even the wicked for a day of disaster.
5 The LORD detests all the proud of heart.Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.
6 Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for;through the fear of the LORD a man avoids evil.
7 When a man's ways are pleasing to the LORD,he makes even his enemies live at peace with him.
8 Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice.
9 In his heart a man plans his course,but the LORD determines his steps.
10 The lips of a king speak as an oracle,and his mouth should not betray justice.
11 Honest scales and balances are from the LORD;all the weights in the bag are of his making.
12 Kings detest wrongdoing,for a throne is established through righteousness.
13 Kings take pleasure in honest lips;they value a man who speaks the truth.
14 A king's wrath is a messenger of death,but a wise man will appease it.
15 When a king's face brightens, it means life;his favor is like a rain cloud in spring.
16 How much better to get wisdom than gold,to choose understanding rather than silver!
17 The highway of the upright avoids evil;he who guards his way guards his life.
18 Pride goes before destruction,a haughty spirit before a fall.
19 Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.
20 Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers,and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.
21 The wise in heart are called discerning,and pleasant words promote instruction.
22 Understanding is a fountain of life to those who have it,but folly brings punishment to fools.
23 A wise man's heart guides his mouth,and his lips promote instruction.
24 Pleasant words are a honeycomb,sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
25 There is a way that seems right to a man,but in the end it leads to death.
26 The laborer's appetite works for him;his hunger drives him on.
27 A scoundrel plots evil,and his speech is like a scorching fire.
28 A perverse man stirs up dissension,and a gossip separates close friends.
29 A violent man entices his neighbor and leads him down a path that is not good.
30 He who winks with his eye is plotting perversity;he who purses his lips is bent on evil.
31 Gray hair is a crown of splendor;it is attained by a righteous life.
32 Better a patient man than a warrior,a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.
33 The lot is cast into the lap,but its every decision is from the LORD.

Second Reading: Psalms Chapter 29 and 30

Psalms 29

29:1 A psalm of David.

Ascribe to the LORD, O mighty ones,ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. 2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.
3 The voice of the LORD is over the waters;the God of glory thunders,the LORD thunders over the mighty waters. 4 The voice of the LORD is powerful;the voice of the LORD is majestic. 5 The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars;the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. 6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,Sirion like a young wild ox. 7 The voice of the LORD strikes with flashes of lightning. 8 The voice of the LORD shakes the desert;the LORD shakes the Desert of Kadesh. 9 The voice of the LORD twists the oaks and strips the forests bare.And in his temple all cry, "Glory!"
10 The LORD sits enthroned over the flood;the LORD is enthroned as King forever. 11 The LORD gives strength to his people;the LORD blesses his people with peace.

Psalms 30

30:1 A psalm. A song. For the dedication of the temple. Of David.

I will exalt you, O LORD,for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. 2 O LORD my God, I called to you for help and you healed me. 3 O LORD, you brought me up from the grave;you spared me from going down into the pit.
4 Sing to the LORD, you saints of his;praise his holy name. 5 For his anger lasts only a moment,but his favor lasts a lifetime;weeping may remain for a night,but rejoicing comes in the morning.
6 When I felt secure, I said,"I will never be shaken." 7 O LORD, when you favored me,you made my mountain stand firm;but when you hid your face,I was dismayed.
8 To you, O LORD, I called;to the Lord I cried for mercy: 9 "What gain is there in my destruction, in my going down into the pit?Will the dust praise you?Will it proclaim your faithfulness? 10 Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me;O LORD, be my help."
11 You turned my wailing into dancing;you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, 12 that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.

Bible Background


The following is an outline of Old Testament history according to the books and with approximate dates:


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