Hear this, all you peoples; listen, all you that dwell in the world, You of low or high degree, both rich and poor together. My mouth shall speak of wisdom and my heart shall meditate on understanding. I will incline my ear to a parable; I will unfold my riddle with the lyre.
Why should I fear in evil days, when the malice of my foes surrounds me, Such as trust in their goods and glory in the abundance of their riches? For no one can indeed ransom another or pay to God the price of deliverance. To ransom a soul is too costly; there is no price one could pay for it, So that they might live for ever, and never see the grave. For we see that the wise die also; with the foolish and ignorant they perish and leave their riches to others. Their tomb is their home for ever, their dwelling through all generations, though they call their lands after their own names.
Those who have honour, but lack understanding, are like the beasts that perish. Such is the way of those who boast in themselves, the end of those who delight in their own words. Like a flock of sheep they are destined to die; death is their shepherd; they go down straight to the Pit. Their beauty shall waste away, and the land of the dead shall be their dwelling. But God shall ransom my soul; from the grasp of death will he take me.
Be not afraid if some grow rich and the glory of their house increases, For they will carry nothing away when they die, nor will their glory follow after them. Though they count themselves happy while they live and praise you for your success, They shall enter the company of their ancestors who will nevermore see the light. Those who have honour, but lack understanding, are like the beasts that perish.
O praise the Lord, all you nations; praise him, all you peoples. For great is his steadfast love towards us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures for ever.
1 Kings 19.15-21
Then the Lord said to him, ‘Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king over Aram. Also you shall anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king over Israel; and you shall anoint Elisha son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah as prophet in your place. Whoever escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall kill; and whoever escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall kill. Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.’
So he set out from there, and found Elisha son of Shaphat, who was ploughing. There were twelve yoke of oxen ahead of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and threw his mantle over him. He left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, ‘Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.’ Then Elijah said to him, ‘Go back again; for what have I done to you?’ He returned from following him, took the yoke of oxen, and slaughtered them; using the equipment from the oxen, he boiled their flesh, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out and followed Elijah, and became his servant.
2 Timothy 3.14-17
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.
O Almighty God, whose blessed Son called Matthew the tax collector to be an apostle and evangelist:
give us grace to forsake the selfish pursuit of gain and the possessive love of riches that we may follow in the way of your Son Jesus Christ, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.