Seek wisdom and justice
1You who judge the earth, love what is right. Set your mind on the Lord in goodness. Seek him with a sincere heart.
2Those who don’t put the Lord to the test will find him. He makes himself known to those who trust him. 3Perverse reasoning separates people from God. His power exposes the foolish people who test him.
4Wisdom will avoid a deceptive soul that plans evil. Wisdom won’t make her home in a body that is devoted to sin. 5A holy, instructive spirit will flee deceit and leave when ignorant people start to plot. It is ashamed to be found in the presence of wrongdoing. 6Wisdom is a spirit that wants only what is best for humans.
Wisdom won’t declare blasphemers to be innocent because their own words convict them. God is witness to their thoughts. Truth examines the heart and hears what is said. 7The Lord’s Spirit fills the whole world. It holds everything together and knows what everyone says. 8Therefore, those who utter unjust words don’t escape notice. Justice will expose them and not pass them by. 9A proper inquiry will be made into the plots of ungodly people. News of their words will reach the Lord and make their lawless deeds known. 10God’s ear listens intently to everything anyone says. Murmurings can’t be kept secret for long. 11So guard against useless murmuring. Keep your tongue from speaking ill. Everything you say has some consequence, even if you think that you are speaking in private. A lying mouth destroys the soul.
12Don’t seek death through the error of your ways. Don’t invite destruction on yourself by what you do. 13God didn’t make death. God takes no delight in the ruin of anything that lives. 14God created everything so that it might exist. The creative forces at work in the cosmos are life-giving. There is no destructive poison in them. The underworld#Gk Hades doesn’t rule on earth. 15Doing what is right means living forever.
The deluded reasoning of unrighteous people
16In spite of this, the ungodly called out to death by what they did and said. Thinking that death was their friend, they lost their resolve and made a treaty with death. Let them have each other: death and the ungodly belong together!
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