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Proverbs 1:1-7, 20-33
Earth’s Farthest Bounds 072711
Occasionally, a city person complains that we live so far out we are lost! At that moment my family and I know maybe we are not far enough out of town! But God knows where the wagon tracks are that lead to out gate.
This reminds me of a poem by the Chinese poet Tao Chien who complained that his lane was almost too muddy for some to make it to him, except his old friends who brought spring wine. Like Psalm 65:8, our gateways shout for joy, both morning and evening.
We hope your day will be bounded by the joyous gateways to and from night by the Lord. We pray today for the millions who must work in oppressive heat and humidity, and we pray for the thousands of UN and church workers who began today distributing food and water in Somalia and eastern Africa. We pray that they will save the lives of many now dying of starvation and thirst, and that rain will come to eastern Africa to help the 11.3 million people affected, and countless creatures and ecosystems.
8Those who live at earth’s farthest bounds are awed by your signs; you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy.
9You visit the earth and water it, you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide the people with grain, for so you have prepared it.
10You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth.
11You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with richness.
12The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy,
13the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy.
Proverbs 1:1-7, 20-33
1The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
2For learning about wisdom and instruction,
for understanding words of insight,
3for gaining instruction in wise dealing,
righteousness, justice, and equity;
4to teach shrewdness to the simple,
knowledge and prudence to the young—
5let the wise also hear and gain in learning,
and the discerning acquire skill,
6to understand a proverb and a figure,
the words of the wise and their riddles. 7The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction. 20Wisdom cries out in the street;
in the squares she raises her voice.
21At the busiest corner she cries out;
at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
22“How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing
and fools hate knowledge?
23Give heed to my reproof;
I will pour out my thoughts to you;
I will make my words known to you.
24Because I have called and you refused,
have stretched out my hand and no one heeded,
25and because you have ignored all my counsel
and would have none of my reproof,
26I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when panic strikes you,
27when panic strikes you like a storm,
and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
when distress and anguish come upon you.
28Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer;
they will seek me diligently, but will not find me.
29Because they hated knowledge
and did not choose the fear of the Lord,
30would have none of my counsel,
and despised all my reproof,
31therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way
and be sated with their own devices.
32For waywardness kills the simple,
and the complacency of fools destroys them;
33but those who listen to me will be secure
and will live at ease, without dread of disaster.”
30He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? 31It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; 32yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”
33With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; 34he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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