Hudson View Baptist Church
Poetry is Important!
August 11, 2021

Poetry is Important!

August 11, 2021

Poetry is Important!

Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, & Song of Solomon

 

Biblical Poetry 101

-Old Testament poetry does not rhyme, has no meter, and very few stanzas.

-Hebrew poetry utilizes parallelism (rhyming of ideas):

  1. 2nd line repeats the idea of the 1st line – Psalm 6:1 O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.
  2. 2nd line contrasts with the 1st line – Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.
  3. 2nd line further develops the 1st line – Psalm 95:3 For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
  4. One line conveys the main point while the other gives an image or illustration – Psalm 42:1 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

-Hebrew poetry was sometimes used as songs in worship and instruments like harp, lyre, pipe, flute, wind organ, horn, trumpet, bells, cymbals, and timbrel were often used as accompaniment.

-Poetry was also used to teach, express emotion, and to prophesy.

 

When Things Go Wrong (Job)

-The opening words of the book of Job describe how great Job became because he served God. God favored him and blessed him. Satan, however, saw him as the perfect victim for destruction.

-God allowed Satan to give Job 2 major tests:

  1. 1:13-19 – loss of fortune, livestock stolen and killed; servants killed; all sons and daughters killed
  2. 2:7-8 – loss of health; painful sores all over his body

-Satan believed that Job would curse God to His face if God’s blessings were taken away (1:11; 2:5). Instead, Job repented, worshipped God, and did not sin by accusing God of wrongdoing (1:20–22).

-Job’s big question was “WHY?” (7:20–21; 10:2–3; 13:20–27)

-After Job had questioned God for some time, God instructs Job’s heart by asking faith-building questions and teaching the following lessons:

  1. Trust Me. Don’t question Me. (38:2; 40:2; 42:1-3)
  2. Who are you to condemn Me? (40:8)
  3. Suffering helps people grow spiritually. (42:1-6)

-In your suffering, remember:

  • To trust God
  • That God has a plan
  • That God cares about you
  • To look for a way to grow through a trial

 

Sing It! (Psalms)

– There are 150 psalms, and the Book of Psalms is divided into 5 books.

  • Book #1: 1-41; #2: 42-72; #3: 73-89; #4: 90-106; #5: 107-150
  • David is identified as the author of 75 psalms.
  • Asaph (David’s choir director) wrote 12 psalms.
  • The Sons of Korah wrote 11 psalms.
  • Solomon wrote 2 psalms.
  • Heman and Ethan each wrote one psalm.
  • Moses wrote the oldest psalm. (90)
  • 47 psalms are anonymous (to us).

-There are at least 6 Big Ideas in the Book of Psalms:

  1. Praising God (see Ps. 100)
  2. Trusting God (see Ps. 52:8)
  3. God’s Mercy (see Ps. 103:8-12)
  4. Thanking God (see Ps. 136)
  5. God’s Word (see Ps. 119)
  6. Finding Strength in God (see Ps. 46:1-2)

 

A Bit of Wisdom (Proverbs)

Proverb: a short, wise saying

-The book of Proverbs is a collection of wise sayings, most of which were written by Solomon (1:1) to his son (1:8).

– Wisdom is the main subject of Proverbs. Solomon answers such questions as: How do I get wisdom? How can I keep it? What do I do with it? (see 1:7)

-Prov. 3:1-6 lists demands and benefits of wisdom:

Demands concerning Wisdom

Benefits of Wisdom

Keep My commandments

Long life; peace

Keep mercy and truth in your heart

Favor of God and man

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; acknowledge God in everything you do

He will direct your paths

  • How do I get wisdom? (Pr. 2:6; James 1:5) 
  • What will wisdom do for me? (Pr. 4:6-9)

 

What’s Life All About? (Ecclesiastes)

-The title “Ecclesiastes” means “the preacher, the teacher, or one who addresses the assembly.” (See its use in Ecclesiastes 1:1, 12.)

-This preacher, David’s son and king of Israel after him (1:1), was Solomon.

-The first words of the preacher present the problem about which he intends to write. He says that all things are vanity/meaningless (1:2).

-Solomon concludes that each of these are meaningless: wisdom (1:12-18); pleasures (2:1-11); work (2:17-26); success/advancement (4:13-16); and riches (5:8-17).

-Solomon does not give up just because life seems to have no meaning. He knows the source of meaning. It cannot be found in things or in man himself. It can be found only in God.

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. (12:18)

-Solomon draws 2 other conclusions:

  • Enjoy the life and work God gives (2:24-25; 3:12-13)
  • Make good use of wisdom (7:1-12, 19; 9:17-18)

-Solomon does not suggest throwing out all of these things about which he complains. He suggests using them properly. Use them in light of God’s coming judgment. Use them according to God’s guidelines. Realize that they are temporary. Enjoy them, but don’t make them a god.

 

A Love Song (Song of Solomon)

The song of songs, which is Solomon’s. (1:1)

-This is a love song that is sung between a lover and his beloved.

-The lover is King Solomon, and the beloved is a Shulamite lady whom he married (see 6:13).

-The song is about their deep love for each other.

-Both Solomon and his bride describe how beautiful each is to the other and how much he or she wants to be with the other.

-The bride becomes afraid when she is separated from Solomon and cannot find him anywhere.

-This song describes 3 aspects of love in marriage:

  1. Physical desire (1:2-3, 9-11, 15)
  2. Emotional attachment (3:1-4; 4:9-10)
  3. Personal devotion (2:3-4; 8:6-7)

-Solomon’s song praises God’s creation of married love. The book is a beautiful picture of the wholehearted commitment and devotion that God intends to be present in marriage. The key verses of the book are 8:6–7.

Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned. (8:6-7)

*Consider how the message of unconditional attraction, attachment, and commitment from Song of Solomon differs from the world’s approach to love and relationships today.

*Study from Route 66: Travel Through the Bible by Mark Reed, Positive Action for Christ, Inc.

 

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