Proverbs, Chapter 24

(1) Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them. (2) For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief. (3) Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: (4) And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches. (5) A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength. (6) For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety. (7) Wisdom is too high for a fool: he openeth not his mouth in the gate. (8) He that deviseth to do evil shall be called a mischievous person. (9) The thought of foolishness is sin: and the scorner is an abomination to men. (10) If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. (11) If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; (12) If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works? (13) My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste: (14) So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off. (15) Lay not wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous; spoil not his resting place: (16) For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief. (17) Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: (18) Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him. (19) Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked; (20) For there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out. (21) My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change: (22) For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both? (23) These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment. (24) He that saith unto the wicked, Thou art righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him: (25) But to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them. (26) Every man shall kiss his lips that giveth a right answer. (27) Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house. (28) Be not a witness against thy neighbour without cause; and deceive not with thy lips. (29) Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work. (30) I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; (31) And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. (32) Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. (33) Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: (34) So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.

A Random Prayer...

Country Prayer for Lent

Dear Lord, we are now in the holy season of Lent. We begin to realize anew that these are the days of salvation, these are the acceptable days. We know that we are all sinners. We know that in many things we have all offended Your infinite majesty. We know that sin destroys Your life in us as a drought withers the leaves and chokes the life from the land, leaving an arid, dusty desert. Help us now, Lord, in our feeble attempts to make up for past sin. Bless our efforts with the rich blessing of Your grace. Make us realize ever more our need of penance and of mortification. Help us to see, in our ordinary difficulties and duties, in the trials and temptations of every day, the best opportunity of making up for past infidelities. Every day we are so often reminded in field and wood, in sky and stream, of Your own boundless generosity to us. Help us to realize that You are never outdone in generosity, and that the least thing we do for You will be rewarded, full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and flowing over. Then we shall see, in our own souls, how the desert can blossom, and the dry and wasted land can bring forth the rich, useful fruit that was expected of it from the beginning. Amen.

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