Is it a treasure you can bring with you everywhere you go? Is it a treasure that will last forever? Is it a treasure you can store somewhere safe where thieves can steal and rust cannot destroy? Is it a treasure that will make a difference every day? Is it a treasure that will help you every day of your life? Is it a treasure that will make your life better? Is it a treasure that will help you improve your life and the lives of those around you? Is it a treasure that will never run out? Is it a treasure that will refill?
Have you found it? Are you treasuring it?
Today’s reading starts with Proverbs 7…
Treasure Torah’s Teaching
1My son, keep my words and treasure my mitzvot within you. 2Keep my mitzvot and live, my teaching as the apple of your eye. 3Bind them on your fingers, write them on the tablet of your heart. 4Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call understanding your relative. 5They will keep you from a seducing woman, from the foreign woman with her seductive speech. 6For at the window of my house I looked out through my lattice. 7I saw among the naïve, I noticed among the youth, a young man lacking understanding, 8crossing the street near her corner, walking in the direction of her house, 9in the twilight of the evening, in the darkest hours of the night. 10All of a sudden, a woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute and with a cunning heart. 11She is loud and defiant. Her feet never stay at home— 12now in the streets, now in the squares, at every corner she lurks. 13So she grabs him and kisses him and with a brazen face says to him: 14“I had to sacrifice fellowship offerings; today I paid my vow. 15So I’ve come out to meet you, to seek your presence eagerly— and I found you! 16I have spread my couch with tapestry of dyed Egyptian linens. 17I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. 18Come, let’s drink our fill of love till morning! Let’s delight ourselves with love. 19For my husband is not at home— he’s gone on a long journey. 20He took a bag of money with him— he won’t come home until full moon.” 21With her persistent pleading she entices him, with smooth talk she seduces him. 22Suddenly he follows her like an ox going to the slaughter, like a stag bounding toward a trap, 23till an arrow pierces its liver. Like a bird darting into a snare, he never considered his own soul! 24Now then, sons, listen to me, pay attention to the words of my mouth. 25Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray onto her paths. 26For many are the victims she has brought down, and numerous are all her slain. 27Her house is a highway to Sheol, leading down to the chambers of death.
–from Proverbs 7
Seek wisdom! Ask Jesus into your heart! Allow your faith to build! Store up and invest in eternity! God’s way is so much great and better and higher than anything we could ever do on our own!
Wisdom Appeals at the Gates
1Does not wisdom cry out, and understanding lift her voice? 2On the topmost heights along the way, at the crossroads, she takes her stand. 3Beside the gates leading into the city, at the entrances, she cries aloud: 4“To you, O men, I call out! My cry is to all mankind! 5O naïve ones, learn prudence! Fools, gain understanding! 6Listen, for I speak excellent things, and my lips utter right things. 7For my mouth speaks truth, and my lips detest wickedness. 8All the words of my mouth are righteous, Nothing in them is perverse or crooked. 9All of them are straightforward to the discerning, and right to those who find knowledge. 10Receive my instruction instead of silver and knowledge rather than choice gold. 11For wisdom is better than jewels, nothing you desire compares with her. 12“I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and acquire knowledge with discretion. 13To fear Adonai is to hate evil. I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and a perverse mouth. 14Counsel and sound wisdom are mine. I have understanding and power. 15By me kings reign and princes decree justice. 16By me princes govern, and all nobles who judge righteously. 17I love those who love me. Those who earnestly seek me find me. 18With me are wealth and honor, enduring riches and righteousness. 19My fruit is better than refined gold, my harvest better than choice silver. 20I walk in the way of righteousness, along paths of justice. 21I endow substance to those who love me and fill their treasuries.
Wisdom Before Creation
22“Adonai brought me forth, the first of His way, before His works of old. 23From eternity I was appointed from the beginning, before the world began. 24When there were no depths, I was brought forth, when there were no fountains abounding with water. 25Before the mountains were shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth. 26He had not yet made the land, the fields, or the first dust of the earth. 27 When He set the heavens in place, I was there. When He inscribed the horizon on the face of the ocean, 28when He established the skies above, when He securely fixed the fountains of the deep, 29when He set the boundaries for the sea, so that the waters never transgress His command, when He laid out earth’s foundations— 30then I was the craftsman beside Him, I was His daily delight, always rejoicing before Him, 31 rejoicing in His whole world, and delighting in mankind. 32“So now, children, listen to me! Blessed are those who keep my ways. 33Heed discipline and be wise, and do not neglect it. 34Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at my doorposts. 35For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from Adonai. 36But whoever fails to find me harms his life— all who hate me love death.”
–from Proverbs 8
Let’s live our lives in love! Loving God and loving others! Let’s allow God’s love to flow through us into the lives of those around by showing them grace!
Be Gracious to Your Servants
1A Song of Ascents. To You I lift up my eyes— You enthroned in the heavens. 2Behold, as the eyes of slaves to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a slave-girl to the hand of her mistress— so our eyes look to Adonai our God, till He shows us favor. 3Show us favor, Adonai, show us favor! For we have endured much contempt. 4Our soul has had enough of the scorn of those at ease, the contempt of the proud.
–from Psalms 123
Let’s use our words for good! Words have power! Words have the power to build up and to tear down! Let’s use them to build up others and teardown strongholds! Ever heard sayings about your mouth? “Loose lips sink ships”, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.“… Today’s reading speaks to taming the tongue and the dangers of the tongue…
1Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, since you know that we will receive a stricter judgment. 2For we all stumble in many ways. If someone does not stumble in speech, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well. 3And if we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we guide their whole body as well. 4See also the ships—though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5So also the tongue is a small member—yet it boasts of great things. See how so small a fire sets a blaze so great a forest! 6And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is a world of evil placed among our body parts. It pollutes the whole body and sets on fire the course of life—and is set on fire by Gehenna. 7For every species of beasts and birds, reptiles and sea creatures, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. 8But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9With it we bless our Adonai and Father, and with it we curse people, who are made in the image of God. 10From the same mouth comes blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, these things should not be. 11A spring doesn’t pour out fresh and bitter water from the same opening, does it? 12My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Neither can salt water produce fresh water.
Gentle Wisdom from Above
13Who among you is wise and understanding? By his good conduct let him show his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. 14But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil practice. 17But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, not hypocritical. 18And the fruit of righteousness is sown in shalom by those who make shalom.
–from James 3
So, let’s not go it alone! Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. God has much for us to do! Let’s team up and go out there and take back the ground the devil is trying to steal from us! Let’s stand up for something rather than falling for everything! Let’s go and bring back a good report of how God was able to work in and through us! Let’s go and exhibit what it is like to be a good neighbor! Let’s show the love of God and our love for people! Let’s live each day to make a difference!
Yeshua Sends Out the Seventy
1Now after these things, the Lord assigned seventy others and sent them out by twos before Him into every town and place where He Himself was about to go. 2And He was telling them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore, beg the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest. 3“Go forth! Look, I am sending you as lambs in the midst of wolves. 4Do not be burdened with a money belt, travel bag, or shoes; and do not greet anyone along the way. 5Whatever home you enter, first say, “Shalom be on this home.” 6If a son of shalom is there, your shalom will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. 7And remain in this same home, eating and drinking the things they offer, for the worker is deserving of his wage. Do not keep moving from house to house. 8“Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what they set before you. 9Then heal the sick in that town, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10But if you enter a town and they do not welcome you, then go out into its streets and say, 11‘Even the dust of your town sticking to our feet, we wipe off as a witness to you. But know this! The kingdom of God has come near.’ 12I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day than for that town. 13“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have turned long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14Yet it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the Judgment than for you! 15And you, Capernaum? You won’t be lifted up to heaven, will you? No, you will go down as far as Sheol. 16The one who listens to you hears Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me, and the one who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me.”
Returning with a Good Report
17Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Master, even the demons submit to us in Your name!” 18And Yeshua said to them, “I was watching satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19Behold, I have given you authority to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20Nevertheless, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names have been written in the heavens.” 21In that very hour, He was overjoyed in the Ruach ha-Kodesh and said, “I praise You, Father, Master of the universe, that You have hidden these things from the wise and discerning and revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was pleasing to You. 22All things have been handed over to Me by My Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.” 23Then turning to the disciples, He said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! 24For I tell you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you are seeing yet did not see, and to hear what you are hearing yet did not hear.”
Who Is My Neighbor?
25Now a certain Torah lawyer stood up to entrap Yeshua, saying, “Teacher, what should I do to gain eternal life?” 26Then Yeshua said to him, “What has been written in the Torah? How do you read it?” 27And he replied, “You shall love Adonai your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” 28Yeshua said to him, “You have answered correctly. Do this and you will live.” 29But wanting to vindicate himself, he said to Yeshua, “Then who is my neighbor?” 30Yeshua replied, “A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho. He was attacked by robbers, who stripped him and beat him. Then they left, abandoning him as half dead. 31And by chance, a kohen was going down that road; but when he saw the man, he passed by on the opposite side. 32Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the opposite side. 33But a Samaritan who was traveling came upon him; and when he noticed the man, he felt compassion. 34He went up to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on olive oil and wine. Then setting him on his own animal, he brought him to a lodge for travelers and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him. And whatever else you spend, upon my return I will repay you myself.’ 36Which of these three seems to you a neighbor to the one attacked by robbers?” 37And he said, “The one who showed mercy to him.” Then Yeshua said to him, “Go, and you do the same.”
At Home with Miriam and Martha
38Now while they were traveling, Yeshua entered a certain village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39She had a sister called Miriam, who was seated at the Master’s feet, listening to His teaching. 40But Martha was distracted with much serving; so she approached Yeshua and said, “Master, doesn’t it concern you that my sister has left me to serve alone? Then tell her to help me!” 41But answering her, the Lord said, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and bothered about many things; 42but only one thing is necessary. For Miriam has chosen the good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
–from Luke 10