As we enter the Season After Pentecost during this Bible Year, we begin a new worship series next Sunday. In this series, we will focus on the truth to be mined from the wisdom books of the Hebrew Bible.
If you have been reading along with us, you have already encountered the story of Job. The understanding of wisdom and life in Job is very complex. Job’s story represents a challenge to the general understanding of wisdom in that time that suggested, that if you are wise and remain faithful, good will follow. This led Job’s friends to accuse him of being unrighteous and demand he confess his sin so that he might be saved from his ordeal. He was vindicated as righteous in the end demonstrating that life is not as simple as, “Do good. Be rewarded.”
Proverbs leans the opposite way of Job. It thinks our behavior and the results are always related. It is very much in dialogue with Job. If we take both in tandem, we will find that both relate in many ways to life as we experience it. Good results do often result from wise and faithful behavior. However, there are no guarantees. Wise and faithful people do suffer. These two streams of thought never seemed more in tandem than when the Jewish people found themselves under the sway of a conquering army.
We will explore both sides of the coin during our series entitled “The Wise Life.” We will consider how wisdom calls us to trust, holiness, and integrity in Proverbs and follow that with Ecclesiastes teaching regarding time. May wisdom lead us closer to God over these next four weeks whatever our circumstances.
Grace and peace,
Rev. J.D. Allen