The Books of the Solomon in today’s tumultuous times
Note: the following forms a section of my forthcoming book: “Song of Songs, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes – Meditations from Solomon’s three books”:
The Books of Solomon (Song of Songs, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes), along with that of the Psalms and Ecclesiastes, may be referred to as Wisdom literature and is part of a section of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) known as the Writings, which along with the Law and the Prophets form the entire Old Testament, 39 books in total – although, in the Hebrew Bible, several of these books are combined. Together with the 27 books of the New Testament, we have what is known at the Christian Bible (66 books in total), and while the general consensus among Christians (and one accepted by this author) is that these books are divinely inspired, some would want to add to or take from the “canon”.
The Apostle Peter affirms: “for the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” 2Peter 1:21. As for the Apostle Paul, when he wrote that: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” 2Timothy 3:16-17, it is likely he was referring to the Old Testament, and these texts provide us with good reasons why studying the OT is a good thing to do. As far as this book is concerned, if the only thing achieved is getting people to do this, then it has been well worth the effort. It is this author’s view that, along with prayer, our regularly studying of the scriptures should be an important part in what we do in order for us to live as God intends.
Writing this book has been done while tumultuous events have been taking place in the world, and in particular the Covid-19 “pandemic” (and as this book goes to press, we are still a long way off from seeing or knowing what the end will be) with various restrictions being brought in, supposedly in order to contain the worst effects of the “virus”, and
Writing this book has been done while tumultuous events have been taking place in the world, and in particular the Covid-19 “pandemic” (and as this book goes to press, we are still a long way off from seeing or knowing what the end will be) with various restrictions being brought in, supposedly in order to contain the worst effects of the “virus”, and this has significantly impacted all our lives, often for the worst and in ways before all this began few could have predicted. There is a lot more going on of significance, even if media is selective in its reporting, including a lot that is bad and the unmasking of evil (and some that is good), some of which one might venture to say we did not realise was happening until recently, and this applies to the world over.
Part of what the author does, when he blogs, is to reflect on what is going on around him and suggest what might be appropriate responses. These considerations have also been dealt with in his most recent book Prophets of the Bible. Where all this will end, even in the near future, is a big question, and people have offered widely different views, ranging from the bad guys prevailing, with the ushering in of the reign of the Antichrist, to the world getting a temporary reprieve as the bad guys are brought to heel. In either case, what all right minded and expectant Christians should be longing for is spiritual revival, and, whether the way ahead of us is good or bad, we serve God regardless.
For some, speculating on these matters, especially as the truth is often hard to come by and those who we might have expected to tell us the truth – don’t, has sometimes been a distraction from what truly matters, including applying some of the very lessons we are able to draw when we study the three books of Solomon. While some search for truth in suspect alternative media, ignorance is no excuse and we are called to watch and pray, including “Thy will be done”. We are not immune from what is going on in the world, even if we turn off the TV and stop watching news outlets, including mainstream, alternative and social media (sometimes a good idea). After all, we are put here on planet earth for a purpose and what happens around us affects what we are able to do and what is most prudent for us to do. One text helping us decide on such matters is: “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Micah 6:8.
As for what those lessons are, that is what the rest of this book seeks to draw. The first thing to point out is that Satan does not want us walking in truth and will do all he can to deceive believers, and often he appears to be succeeding. Our eyes must be focused on God, and that includes what He is saying in His Word, including, for our purposes, the three books of Solomon, starting with Song of Songs and “love is strong as death”. While the spotlight of the Song is on two human lovers, love can permeate all around us. After all, we are commanded to love our neighbour and just as, if not more, importantly, to love God. While the realities of life in the raw sometimes appear not to lend themselves to loving, if we make that our aim, noting what the Song has to say, it will make a difference.
Then we have Proverbs and “the way of wisdom”. While we can’t avoid what is difficult, challenging and unpleasant even, if we walk wisely (and Proverbs tells us how we can) we will make important decisions carrying on our journey in life. And finally, we have Ecclesiastes and “life under the sun”. If ever we needed a wake-up call and reality check on how life is on planet earth, then we find it here. But it is never about cynical resignation to fate etc., but rather an encouragement that by seeing how life is if God is left out, which is the norm, we can find out how life should be when God is brought into the picture. Whether Song of Songs, Proverbs or Ecclesiastes or, come to think of it, any of the other 63 books of the Bible, we can draw helpful, needful lessons in living in today’s tumultuous times.