The Hebrew Scriptures have been a great source of inspiration and wisdom in the teachings of Jesus and all the apostles and writers in the New Testament.
It was a simple and intimate account of man’s relationship with God. God in the Hebrew Scriptures was viewed as a physical presence around his people. They feared him and lived his teachings in their hearts, for fear of being punished and burned in hell.The Book of Job profoundly described and narrated a man’s struggle, which is believed to be a punishment from God. While Job had unfailingly professed his faith and obedience to God, Satan was unconvinced.
With God’s permission, he inflicted Job with endless tragedies and losses. Believing Job was a righteous man, his friends and people who knew of his wealth have finally found a reason to say that Job was not righteous at all and that he must have sinned terribly to displease God. In this story of Job’s life, we see the kind of faith and life the people have. Obeying God and his laws would ultimately be rewarded and disobedience was an action they painfully regret.
The Book of Job, together with Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon are among the books in the Hebrew Scriptures that narrates the wonders and pain of human love and his love for God (Robinson, 2000). They spoke mainly of wisdom and how someone could have a better life if he has it within himself. God may have rewarded Job with a thousand more blessings because of his faith but the story simply told us that in daily life, our faith, hope, and kindness provide us from our losses.
King Solomon taught us all this in the beautiful poetry of Proverbs and Songs. The deepest root of his wonderful messages was a love for God. Every human action, teaching your children well, leading a community and a nation, working hard to attain success, must be centered on God. For nothing could make a man more arrogant and wicked than an absence of God in the heart.In the face of King Solomon’s struggles with everyday life, he passionately wrote in Ecclesiastes the joys and sadness of humanity (Larue, Read Ecclesiastes, 1968). Life, according to him, is defined as how a man lives it.
Man is simply a passenger on the journeys of life. He has to live it according to what the world’s grand design has to offer. However, he emphasized man’s greatest tools to aid him in his journey. Wisdom was on top of it all, followed by togetherness and faithfulness to God. Man is responsible for himself, so it his duty to live life happily and perseveringly when things go wrong.
These so-called books of wisdom, especially Ecclesiastes, did not exactly promise the voice of God from heaven or lightning strikes as reward and punishment for man’s actions. King Solomon’s emphasis, and all the writers of Psalms and Proverbs, was a heaven everyone could ever go to after living a life of wisdom and blessedness. If we look clearly at the written words on the Scriptures, the closest and the most perfect heaven we could provide for ourselves is simply in our hearts. This was their promise. We could all live a life of heaven on earth. This is what Jesus had repeatedly and lovingly taught the next generation in his times.The books have defined in different ways of living a good life.
They have provided examples and have left us with instructions. Some were simple and ordinary, like Ecclesiastes, some were too intense and strong, as in the case of Song of Solomon. They were all written by remarkable prophets, kings, and leaders. But they all have the same message – ultimate love for God.ReferencesLarue, Gerald.
“Wisdom Writings: Ecclesiastes.” Old Testament Life and Literature. 1997.
Internet Infidels. Retrieved 27 Oct 2006. <http://www.infidels.org/ library/modern/gerald_larue/otll/chap28.
html>.Robinson, B. A.
“Books of the Hebrew Scriptures Poetry and Wisdom.” 13 June 2000.Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. Retrieved 27 Oct 2006.<http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_otb3.htm>.