A Hymn of Praise
I have more on my mind to express; I am full like the full moon.
Listen to me, my faithful children, and blossom like a rose growing by a stream of water.
Send out fragrance like incense, and put forth blossoms like a lily.
Scatter the fragrance, and sing a hymn of praise; bless the Lord for all his works.
Ascribe majesty to his name and give thanks to him with praise,
with songs on your lips, and with harps; this is what you shall say in thanksgiving:
“All the works of the Lord are very good, and whatever he commands will be done at the appointed time.
No one can say, ‘What is this?’ or ‘Why is that?’—for at the appointed time all such questions will be answered.
At his word the waters stood in a heap, and the reservoirs of water at the word of his mouth.
When he commands, his every purpose is fulfilled, and none can limit his saving power.
The works of all are before him, and nothing can be hidden from his eyes.
From the beginning to the end of time he can see everything, and nothing is too marvelous for him.
No one can say, ‘What is this?’ or ‘Why is that?’— for everything has been created for its own purpose.
“His blessing covers the dry land like a river, and drenches it like a flood.
But his wrath drives out the nations, as when he turned a watered land into salt.
To the faithful his ways are straight, but full of pitfalls for the wicked.
From the beginning good things were created for the good, but for sinners good things and bad.
The basic necessities of human life are water and fire and iron and salt and wheat flour and milk and honey, the blood of the grape and oil and clothing.
All these are good for the godly, but for sinners they turn into evils.
“There are winds created for vengeance, and in their anger they can dislodge mountains; on the day of reckoning they will pour out their strength and calm the anger of their Maker.
Fire and hail and famine and pestilence, all these have been created for vengeance; the fangs of wild animals and scorpions and vipers, and the sword that punishes the ungodly with destruction.
They take delight in doing his bidding, always ready for his service on earth; and when their time comes they never disobey his command.”
So from the beginning I have been convinced of all this and have thought it out and left it in writing:
All the works of the Lord are good, and he will supply every need in its time.
No one can say, “This is not as good as that,” for everything proves good in its appointed time.
So now sing praise with all your heart and voice, and bless the name of the Lord.
Sirach 39:12-35 (NRSVCE)
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