Do not envy the wicked, nor desire to be with them; for their minds devise violence, and their lips talk of mischief.
By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled
with all precious and pleasant riches. Wise warriors are mightier than strong ones, and those who have knowledge than those who have strength; for by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counsellors there is victory. Wisdom is too high for fools; in the gate they do not open their mouths.
Whoever plans to do evil will be called a mischief-maker. The devising of folly is sin, and the scoffer is an abomination to all.
If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength being small; if you hold back from rescuing those taken away to death, those who go staggering to the slaughter; if you say, ‘Look, we did not know this’—
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it?
And will he not repay all according to their deeds?
Therefore, thus says the Lord: If you turn back, I will take you back, and you shall stand before me.
If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall serve as my mouth.
It is they who will turn to you, not you who will turn to them. And I will make you to this people
a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail over you,
for I am with you to save you and deliver you, says the Lord.
The Example of Jesus
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as children—‘My child, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, or lose heart when you are punished by him; for the Lord disciplines those whom he loves, and chastises every child whom he accepts.’ Endure trials for the sake of discipline. God is treating you as children; for what child is there whom a parent does not discipline?
Whom to Fear
‘So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground unperceived by your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.
‘Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.