Monday, February 2, 2009

Lovers & Fighters, Praisers & Mourners, Fools & Sages

I really do want to get to Song of Solomon (SOS) chapter one verses two & three.

But I think a quick Old Testament overview might help to give a better perspective of SOS and it's place in the Bible.
If you aren't much into overviews, I apologize. But I have found that overviews help me. And some people checking in here might benefit. Others that check in here probably already know what I'm about to share, and a whole lot more.

The Old Testament is divided into four parts.

~The Law

~Historical Books

~Poetic Books

~The Prophets.

The Law contained five books. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, & Deuteronomy. The stories within these books include, Adam & Eve, Noah & the Ark, Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob, Joseph and his coat of many colors, and the Ten Commandments among other stories.

The Historical Books are Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I & II Samuel, I & II Kings, I & II Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah. It contains stories like the Battle of Jericho, Gideon, Sampson & Delilah, David & Goliath, Elijah's chariot of fire, the building and rebuilding of the temple.

The Poetic books are Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. I will come back to this section.

The Prophets start with Isaiah (The evangelical prophet) & Jeremiah (The weeping prophet) and goes on to the end of the Old Testament. Stories within this grouping include Danial in the Lion' Den, Jonah and the Whale (or big fish if you want to be literal), and Ezekiel's valley of dry bones.

Now back to the Poetic section where SOS is found. To me, the poetic books are the heart and soul of the Old Testament. In the poetic books we see deep grief, high praise, great wisdom, intimate love and been there done that extremo. They deal with the deep places of the human heart.

The oldest book in the Bible may in fact be Job. And his is the story of a good man who loved God and his family. He's going along minding his own business when WHAMO (in loving memory of Steve Irwin). Now where was I? Oh yes, Job was going along, minding his own business, when WHAMO, everything is riped away from him. The rest of the book is him struggling with his situation, his friends telling him he must have done something wrong, and him calling on God. God answers him in the end. It's an excellent read.

Psalms is the longest book in the Bible, containing 150 chapters. It is not just a book of praises and high praises, but of repentance (Ps 51) and prayers of faith in adversity (pofia). Besides praise and thanksgiving, worship, waiting and meditating are common themes.

Proverbs is practical, rubber meets the road, observations on how the world and relationships work. There are 31 chapters and many people read through Proverbs once a month, chapter 1 on the first of the month, chapter 2 on day 2 etc. If you've never done this, I highly recommend doing so once in a while.

Ecclesiastes... well... It's the book of excesses. A wise and wealthy man became foolish and financed it freely for sometime, then comes back to his original conclusion. The last two verses of this book state:
Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
vs 14 For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

Then there is SOS. The best of the Songs. In the poetic section, they saved the best for last.


Mara Reid said...

I slept on this post last night and thought I better say something.

I never know who is going to visit this site. Perhaps people come here who have studied the Bible for years and feel that their intellegence is insulted when I breakdown the O.T. so basically.
Perhaps they think that I think I'm showing off when really what I've written is not rocket sciene.

I just was to share my heart here.
I had a friend who went to church and the pastor was preaching and he mentioned a story that "Everybody knows" like Daniel in the lions den or David and Goliath. But it upset her, because she DIDN'T know it. And it made her feel really stupid.

Since I don't know if someone coming here is like my friend, new to basic Bible stories, I want to make sure that I don't leave these people behind.

So dear visitors, be patient with me while I do what I feel is needed so as not to leave anyone behind. Anyone who wants to tag-a-long on this journey, that is.

Mara Reid said...

Another afterthought.

The title of this post includes the words "fools" and "fighters".
For those new to the Poetic Books, Psalms calls God a Man 0f War, and uses many military words to describe what He does for us.
Psalm 3 says that God is a shield for us. Elsewhere it says that He is our strong tower.

And fools are referred to in Proverbs, the book of wisdom contrasts the wise with the foolish.
So this is why I titled this post the way I did, but forgot to mention the fighter/fools part.