12 ‘I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence;
I possess knowledge and discretion.
13 To fear the Lord is to hate evil;
I hate pride and arrogance,
evil behaviour and perverse speech.
14 Counsel and sound judgment are mine;
I have insight, I have power.
15 By me kings reign
and rulers issue decrees that are just;
16 by me princes govern,
and nobles – all who rule on earth.
17 I love those who love me,
and those who seek me find me.
18 With me are riches and honour,
enduring wealth and prosperity.
19 My fruit is better than fine gold;
what I yield surpasses choice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness,
along the paths of justice,
21 bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me
and making their treasuries full.
Persons may rise to power through lucky circumstances or even through deceitful and wicked behavior. Individuals may obtain wealth through the same means. But their rise sets up their downfall, for they mistake power and wealth for what only Wisdom can provide – prudence, knowledge, discretion, counsel, sound wisdom, insight, and inner strength. It is the ruler who decrees what is just and who governs justly that is able to withstand his enemies and carry out his rule with riches and honor.
Whether as a government ruler or in any other position of authority, the one who rules with pride, arrogance, and the way of evil and perverted speech can at best hold on to his position through intimidation. That is a precarious position. He continually creates enemies, and his sin must increase in order to keep his semblance of security. It is only a semblance of security, because his greatest enemy is Wisdom. She hates such traits. She withholds from the wicked her virtues that bring lasting joy and security, and she gladly bestows these gifts on those who diligently seek her.
Why then envy the wicked? Why bemoan your circumstances which seem to be worse than that of the arrogant? As easily as they may seem to rise to position and wealth, as easily they will fall. And pray that they will fall in this lifetime so that they may repent and diligently seek Wisdom. Otherwise, their destruction is inevitable. You, if you have found the Wisdom of the Gospel, have been given the assurance of an eternal inheritance that cannot be destroyed. Your trials can only result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ (cf. 1 Peter 1:3-9).
1 The Lord called to Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting. He said, 2 ‘Speak to the Israelites and say to them: “When anyone among you brings an offering to the Lord, bring as your offering an animal from either the herd or the flock.
3 ‘“If the offering is a burnt offering from the herd, you are to offer a male without defect. You must present it at the entrance to the tent of meeting so that it will be acceptable to the Lord. 4 You are to lay your hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on your behalf to make atonement for you. 5 You are to slaughter the young bull before the Lord, and then Aaron’s sons the priests shall bring the blood and splash it against the sides of the altar at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 6 You are to skin the burnt offering and cut it into pieces. 7 The sons of Aaron the priest are to put fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire. 8 Then Aaron’s sons the priests shall arrange the pieces, including the head and the fat, on the wood that is burning on the altar. 9 You are to wash the internal organs and the legs with water, and the priest is to burn all of it on the altar. It is a burnt offering, a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord.
10 ‘“If the offering is a burnt offering from the flock, from either the sheep or the goats, you are to offer a male without defect. 11 You are to slaughter it at the north side of the altar before the Lord, and Aaron’s sons the priests shall splash its blood against the sides of the altar. 12 You are to cut it into pieces, and the priest shall arrange them, including the head and the fat, on the wood that is burning on the altar. 13 You are to wash the internal organs and the legs with water, and the priest is to bring all of them and burn them on the altar. It is a burnt offering, a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord.
14 ‘“If the offering to the Lord is a burnt offering of birds, you are to offer a dove or a young pigeon. 15 The priest shall bring it to the altar, wring off the head and burn it on the altar; its blood shall be drained out on the side of the altar. 16 He is to remove the crop and the feathers and throw them down east of the altar where the ashes are. 17 He shall tear it open by the wings, not dividing it completely, and then the priest shall burn it on the wood that is burning on the altar. It is a burnt offering, a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord.
The grain offering
2 ‘“When anyone brings a grain offering to the Lord, their offering is to be of the finest flour. They are to pour olive oil on it, put incense on it 2 and take it to Aaron’s sons the priests. The priest shall take a handful of the flour and oil, together with all the incense, and burn this as a memorial portion on the altar, a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord. 3 The rest of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and his sons; it is a most holy part of the food offerings presented to the Lord.
4 ‘“If you bring a grain offering baked in an oven, it is to consist of the finest flour: either thick loaves made without yeast and with olive oil mixed in or thin loaves made without yeast and brushed with olive oil. 5 If your grain offering is prepared on a griddle, it is to be made of the finest flour mixed with oil, and without yeast. 6 Crumble it and pour oil on it; it is a grain offering. 7 If your grain offering is cooked in a pan, it is to be made of the finest flour and some olive oil. 8 Bring the grain offering made of these things to the Lord; present it to the priest, who shall take it to the altar. 9 He shall take out the memorial portion from the grain offering and burn it on the altar as a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord. 10 The rest of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and his sons; it is a most holy part of the food offerings presented to the Lord.
11 ‘“Every grain offering you bring to the Lord must be made without yeast, for you are not to burn any yeast or honey in a food offering presented to the Lord. 12 You may bring them to the Lord as an offering of the firstfruits, but they are not to be offered on the altar as a pleasing aroma. 13 Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings.
14 ‘“If you bring a grain offering of firstfruits to the Lord, offer crushed heads of new grain roasted in the fire. 15 Put oil and incense on it; it is a grain offering. 16 The priest shall burn the memorial portion of the crushed grain and the oil, together with all the incense, as a food offering presented to the Lord.