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I Kings 14-18
Thursday, May 24, 2018
The Books of Poetry
My son, pay attention to my wisdom, listen well to my words of insight,
that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge.
For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil;
but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword.
Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave.
She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths are crooked, but she knows it not.
Now then, my sons, listen to me; do not turn aside from what I say.
Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house,
lest you give your best strength to others and your years to one who is cruel,
lest strangers feast on your wealth and your toil enrich another man's house.
At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent.
You will say, "How I hated discipline! How my heart spurned correction!
I would not obey my teachers or listen to my instructors.
I have come to the brink of utter ruin in the midst of the whole assembly."
Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well.
Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares?
Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers.
May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
A loving doe, a graceful deer-- may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love.
Why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress? Why embrace the bosom of another man's wife?
For a man's ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all his paths.
The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast.
He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly.
My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, if you have struck hands in pledge for another,
if you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth,
then do this, my son, to free yourself, since you have fallen into your neighbor's hands: Go and humble yourself; press your plea with your neighbor!
Allow no sleep to your eyes, no slumber to your eyelids.
Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler.
Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander, no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.
How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest--
and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.
A scoundrel and villain, who goes about with a corrupt mouth,
who winks with his eye, signals with his feet and motions with his fingers,
who plots evil with deceit in his heart-- he always stirs up dissension.
Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant; he will suddenly be destroyed--without remedy.
There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil,
a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.
My son, keep your father's commands and do not forsake your mother's teaching.
Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten them around your neck.
When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you.
For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life,
keeping you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of the wayward wife.
Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes,
for the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the adulteress preys upon your very life.
Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?
Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched?
So is he who sleeps with another man's wife; no one who touches her will go unpunished.
Men do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his hunger when he is starving.
Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold, though it costs him all the wealth of his house.
But a man who commits adultery lacks judgment; whoever does so destroys himself.
Blows and disgrace are his lot, and his shame will never be wiped away;
for jealousy arouses a husband's fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
He will not accept any compensation; he will refuse the bribe, however great it is.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. NIV. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.
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