“Making Sense of the Old Testament”: Job – Song of Songs

Bible ClothespinsJob – Song of Songs are the Poetry and Wisdom Books of the Old Testament. They contain insights that guided Israel’s religion and daily life. They show how reverence for God and obedience to His commands are essential for living well.

But these books can be difficult to read. They are written almost entirely in poetry. Poetry was written differently in the ancient world than it is today. The figures of speech, symbolism, and writing formats can easily confuse us!

These books are also difficult because reverence is no longer a virtue. Most people live without an awareness or recognition of God. They have no idea what He wants or how He expects them to live. They just do what seems best to them at the time.

But the whole reason these books were written was to impart a sense of reverence. They teach us how to relate to God in every area and emotion of human life. They show us that true happiness and satisfaction are found only in Him.

Job
The book of Job shows us how to relate to God in pain and suffering. Job was a righteous and wealthy man, but God allowed Satan to afflict him in order to test his faith. His wife tells him to curse God and his friends accuse him of wrongdoing.

Job maintains his hope and innocence throughout the entire book. God eventually appears to him. He makes Job realize that pain and suffering are beyond his ability to grasp, and he has no right to question God.

Psalms
The book of Psalms shows us how to relate to God in any situation. It is a book of songs that Israel used as a hymnal for public worship and private devotion. It is also the longest book in the entire Bible.

There are many different types of psalms, including: praises and thanksgivings, pleas for deliverance, confessions of sin, reflections on the Law, remembrances of Israel’s history, imprecations against enemies, and predictions of the Messiah.

Proverbs
The book of Proverbs shows us how to relate to God in everyday life. It is filled with short statements that express generalized truths. Its main emphasis is that wisdom comes from God. To fear and obey Him results in a life well-lived.

Proverbs describes things as they normally are and not how they will always be. It would be a mistake to take them as clear-cut promises from God. But if we seek and follow His guidance, we can be sure He will bless us.

Ecclesiastes
The book of Ecclesiastes shows us how to relate to God in the futility of life on earth. It declares that all earthly pursuits are meaningless. It is only by remembering God and obeying His commands that our lives have meaning and purpose.

Ecclesiastes teaches us that life isn’t worth living without God. It shows that wisdom, pleasure, work, advancement, and wealth fail to satisfy. These are the very distractions that often keep us from pursuing a closer relationship with Him.

Song of Songs
The book of Song of Songs shows us how to relate to God in sex and romance. It tells the story of a lover and his beloved. They express their desire for and enjoyment of each other using language that is figurative and erotic.

Song of Songs tends to make us uncomfortable. That is why some interpret it as an allegory of God’s love for Israel or Jesus’ love for the church. But it is most natural to interpret it as a celebration of sex within marriage.

What do you think makes these books difficult to read? Share your thoughts with a comment below!

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One thought on ““Making Sense of the Old Testament”: Job – Song of Songs

  1. Pingback: Why You Should Preach from the Old Testament – Zack Donaldson

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