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BIBL 102 (Fa '14) T15 - OT Wisdom

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by

Hartmut Scherer

on 6 December 2014

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Transcript of BIBL 102 (Fa '14) T15 - OT Wisdom

Chapter Outline:
1-2 Job is afflicted
2-37 Job searches unsuccessfully for a rational
answer
38-42 God answers Job’s accusations
42 Job’s friends are rebuked and Job is restored
“Of making may books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.”
Ecclesiastes 12:12b
(Adapted from Zondervan Academic Resources for "Grasping God's Word)
OT Wisdom
Introduction
You have persevered to the end of this book!
Proverbs
Job
Song of Songs
Ecclesiastes
W
i
s
d
o
m
Purpose of the Wisdom Books
Law, narrative, and prophets stress “Believe!” and “Obey!” while
wisdom stresses “Think!”
Call us to listen, look, think, and reflect
Offer practical insights for living
Goal
is to develop a wise and
godly character
for life in the real world
The Big Picture
Four wisdom books balance each other theologically.
Read each one in context of all four.
Proverbs
Rational norms of life (what normally happens).
Does not present universals (what will always happen).
Job
The righteous and wise suffer in ways that mere humans cannot understand.
Ecclesiastes
Failure of the rational, ordered approach to provide ultimate meaning to life.
Meaning only comes through a relationship with God.
Irrationality of romantic love between husband and wife.
Song of Songs
Wisdom as Poetry
Wisdom books use parallelism as their standard structural feature.
The more emotional the tone, the more the book will use figurative language:
Less emotionally charged
Less picture language
More emotionally charged
More picture language
Proverbs
Job
Song of Songs
Ecclesiastes
Grasping the Wisdom Books
A large portion of wisdom literature is poetry.
Proverbs – short, concise sayings that
teach practical wisdom
about life.
Proverbs
Individual proverbs reflect general nuggets of wisdom about what
normally
happens in life (e.g., “Don’t be lazy! Work hard!”).
Proverbs are
never
to be taken as
universal promises.
The book of Proverbs does
not deal
with the
exceptions
to the normal rules.
Since each proverb presents a general principle, the river of differences is usually quite narrow and shallow.
But be
careful
how you
define “blessing.”
Conclusion
Job does all that Proverbs commands, but he receives dead children, financial ruin, physical pain, and criticism from his friends.
Job
Job is a story (in contrast to Proverbs) and we must take the literary context of a narrative seriously:
The differences between the ancient audience and us are not great.
Lessons from Job:
- God is sovereign and we are not
- God knows all and we know precious little
- God is always just, but does not always
disclose his reasons
- God expects us to trust his character
Ecclesiastes (like Job) must be interpreted as a whole with the ultimate answer coming at the very end.
Ecclesiastes
NT presents suffering as a normal feature of a godly life.
Don’t repeat the mistake of Job’s friends and misuse biblical truth.
Book of Job teaches us that it is not wrong to cry out to God in anger and frustration when unexplained tragedy strikes.
Our focus in grief should not be on “why” but rather on God and his character.
Comforting friends is different from having all the answers.
The book is full of satire, sarcasm, and cynicism.
The “Teacher” or “Preacher” declares that a strictly rational search for meaning is “meaningless.”
At the end of the book, the Teacher comes to his conclusion: “Fear God and keep his commandments.”
Apart from God, not even wisdom can give life meaning.
River normally shallow in Ecclesiastes except for a limited concept of death and the afterlife.
The NT adds that apart from a relationship with Jesus Christ, life is meaningless.
Apart from a relationship with Christ, not even a college degree can make life meaningful!
Shocking book because it speaks openly and joyfully about human sexuality (read 7:7-8).
Song of Songs
The book is organized into three sequential units:
1-3 Courtship
3-5 Wedding
5-8 Life of Love
Highly emotional and full of picture language as the man and woman describe their love for each other
Scholars today reject the allegorical interpretation
A model of the joy and irrationality of a married couple madly in love.
Wise and godly people should express their marital love in strong, emotional (mushy?) terms.
All four Wisdom books balance each other theologically.
Most of the Proverbs are not universal promises.
Be careful in Job and Ecclesiastes about pulling verses out of context.
Through the Wisdom books God gives advice for godly living.
Full transcript