THE IMPORTANCE OF VIRTUE AND THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF RULERS (DAY 2)

INTRODUCTION

Today, Solomon reveals to you the importance of virtue. According to him, virtue has nothing to do with having or not having children, having or not having a wise or husband virtue has to do with keeping the being righteous and not storing up resentment against the Lord. He says that, “wisdom and righteousness are signs of the maturity that should come with old age". 
Are you virtueous?

responsibilities of rulers

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Solomon also cited Enoch as an example of a vitreous man who pleased God and God loved him and rewarded him by not allowing him to taste death. Although Enoch did not live long, but he achieved in a few years’ time a perfection that other people could never attain in a complete lifetime. He also dressed the fate of the wicked. According to Solomon, they will suffer great torment from God. Even when they die, they will not be given hournourable burial on the judgment day, the wicked will stand in fear while their sins are counted and they will be condemned by their own lawless actions. 

Also on the Day of Judgment, the wicked will be full of regrets when they see the righteous (those they afflicted while on earth) rejoicing in heaven. The wicked will now realize that they have left no legacy and compare themselves with objects thrown into the air, which leave no trace as they go into the air and return. Are you among the wicked? Solomon also discussed in detail, the responsibilities rulers. 

He reminds rulers and kings that the authority has been given to them by the Lord Most High. Therefore God himself will examine what they have done and what they planned to do. According to Solomon, judgment is very severe on those in power because God judges the conducts of rulers more strictly. He also advice rulers and kings to rule God’s people with the fear of God so as to evade the wrath of God on the Day of Judgment. How do you rule those under your authority?

TODAY’S READING (Wisdom 3.13-6.11)

Now read the teaching and wise quotes from Solomon for today

THE IMPORTANCE OF VIRTUE (3.13B- 4.9)

13b For blessed is the barren woman who is undefiled, who has not entered into a sinful union; she will have fruit when God examines souls.
14 Blessed also is the eunuch whose hands have done no lawless deed, and who has not devised wicked things against the Lord; for special favor will be shown him for his faithfulness, and a place of great delight in the temple of the Lord.
15 For the fruit of good labors is renowned, and the root of understanding does not fail.
16 But children of adulterers will not come to maturity, and the offspring of an unlawful union will perish.
17 Even if they live long they will be held of no account, and finally their old age will be without honor.
18 If they die young, they will have no hope and no consolation on the Day of Judgment.
19 For the end of an unrighteous generation is grievous.
1 Better than this is childlessness with virtue, for in the memory of virtue is immortality, because it is known both by God and by mortals.
2 When it is present, people imitate it, and they long for it when it has gone; throughout all time it marches, crowned in triumph, victor in the contest for prizes that are undefiled.
3 But the prolific brood of the ungodly will be of no use, and none of their illegitimate seedlings will strike a deep root or take a firm hold.
4 For even if they put forth boughs for a while, standing insecurely they will be shaken by the wind, and by the violence of the winds they will be uprooted.
5 The branches will be broken off before they come to maturity, and their fruit will be useless, not ripe enough to eat, and good for nothing.
6 For children born of unlawful unions are witnesses of evil against their parents when God examines them.
7 But the righteous, though they die early, will be at rest.
8 For old age is not honored for length of time, or measured by number of years;
9 but understanding is gray hair for anyone, and a blameless life is ripe old age.

THE EXAMPLE OF ENOCH (4.10 – 4.15)

10 There were some who pleased God and were loved by him, and while living among sinners were taken up.
11 They were caught up so that evil might not change their understanding or guile deceive their souls.
12 For the fascination of wickedness obscures what is good, and roving desire perverts the innocent mind.
13 Being perfected in a short time, they fulfilled long years;
14 for their souls were pleasing to the Lord, therefore he took them quickly from the midst of wickedness.
15 Yet the peoples saw and did not understand, or take such a thing to heart, that God's grace and mercy are with his elect, and that he watches over his holy ones.

THE FATE OF THE WICKED (4.16– 4.20)

16 The righteous who have died will condemn the ungodly who are living, and youth that is quickly perfected will condemn the prolonged old age of the unrighteous.
17 For they will see the end of the wise, and will not understand what the Lord purposed for them, and for what he kept them safe.
18 The unrighteous will see, and will have contempt for them, but the Lord will laugh them to scorn. After this they will become dishonored corpses, and an outrage among the dead forever;
19 because he will dash them speechless to the ground, and shake them from the foundations; they will be left utterly dry and barren, and they will suffer anguish, and the memory of them will perish.
20 They will come with dread when their sins are reckoned up, and their lawless deeds will convict them to their face.

THE REGRETS OF THE WICKED (5.1-5.23)

1 Then the righteous will stand with great confidence in the presence of those who have oppressed them and those who make light of their labors.
2 When the unrighteous see them, they will be shaken with dreadful fear, and they will be amazed at the unexpected salvation of the righteous.
3 They will speak to one another in repentance, and in anguish of spirit they will groan, and say,
4 "These are persons whom we once held in derision and made a byword of reproach — fools that we were! We thought that their lives were madness and that their end was without honor.
5 Why have they been numbered among the children of God? And why is their lot among the saints?
6 So it was we who strayed from the way of truth, and the light of righteousness did not shine on us, and the sun did not rise upon us.
7 We took our fill of the paths of lawlessness and destruction, and we journeyed through trackless deserts, but the way of the Lord we have not known.
8 What has our arrogance profited us? And what good has our boasted wealth brought us?
9 "All those things have vanished like a shadow, and like a rumor that passes by;
10 like a ship that sails through the billowy water, and when it has passed no trace can be found, no track of its keel in the waves;
11 or as, when a bird flies through the air, no evidence of its passage is found; the light air, lashed by the beat of its pinions and pierced by the force of its rushing flight, is traversed by the movement of its wings, and afterward no sign of its coming is found there;
12 or as, when an arrow is shot at a target, the air, thus divided, comes together at once, so that no one knows its pathway.
13 So we also, as soon as we were born, ceased to be, and we had no sign of virtue to show, but were consumed in our wickedness."
14 Because the hope of the ungodly is like thistledown carried by the wind, and like a light frost driven away by a storm; it is dispersed like smoke before the wind, and it passes like the remembrance of a guest who stays but a day.
15 But the righteous live forever, and their reward is with the Lord; the Most High takes care of them.
16 Therefore they will receive a glorious crown and a beautiful diadem from the hand of the Lord, because with his right hand he will cover them, and with his arm he will shield them.
17 The Lord will take his zeal as his whole armor, and will arm all creation to repel his enemies;
18 he will put on righteousness as a breastplate, and wear impartial justice as a helmet;
19 he will take holiness as an invincible shield,
20 and sharpen stern wrath for a sword, and creation will join with him to fight against his frenzied foes.
21 Shafts of lightning will fly with true aim, and will leap from the clouds to the target, as from a well-drawn bow,
22 and hailstones full of wrath will be hurled as from a catapult; the water of the sea will rage against them, and rivers will relentlessly overwhelm them;
23 a mighty wind will rise against them, and like a tempest it will winnow them away. Lawlessness will lay waste the whole earth, and evildoing will overturn the thrones of rulers.

THE RESPONSIBILITY OF RULERS (6.1 – 6.11)

1 Listen therefore, O kings, and understand; learn, O judges of the ends of the earth.
2 Give ear, you that rule over multitudes, and boast of many nations.
3 For your dominion was given you from the Lord, and your sovereignty from the Most High; he will search out your works and inquire into your plans.
4 Because as servants of his kingdom you did not rule rightly, or keep the law, or walk according to the purpose of God,
5 he will come upon you terribly and swiftly, because severe judgment falls on those in high places.
6 For the lowliest may be pardoned in mercy, but the mighty will be mightily tested.
7 For the Lord of all will not stand in awe of anyone, or show deference to greatness; because he himself made both small and great, and he takes thought for all alike.
8 But a strict inquiry is in store for the mighty.
9 To you then, O monarchs, my words are directed, so that you may learn wisdom and not transgress.
10 For they will be made holy who observe holy things in holiness, and those who have been taught them will find a defense.
11 Therefore set your desire on my words; long for them, and you will be instructed.
WISE QUOTE FOR DAY 2
For the fruit of good labors is renowned, and the root of understanding does not fail (wisdom 3.15)

CLOSING PRAYERS FOR DAY 2

(Recite with deep faith)
Lord Jesus help me to fully understand the experience of virtue and learn from the vitreous and righteous life of Enoch. Keep far away from me, the spirit of wickedness so that the fate and regret of the wicked will not befall me. Help me to take of everything you put under my care on earth and to rule there under my authority with the fear of God – Amen. 


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