Job, Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Psalms
and Proverbs

Those who teach children should read study #34 for children.

 

Prayer. “Dear Lord, help us to use the beautiful poetry that you inspired Hebrew speaking Israelites to write many centuries ago, to instruct, exhort and praise you.”

Choose activities that fit the needs of the people.

1.    Prepare prayerfully with God’s Word to teach from the poetical books.

Explain the unique beauty and power of ancient Hebrew Poetry.

·         Poetry of many cultures rhymes; the words at the end of phrases sound alike. It also has meter; the number and position of accented syllables in the phrases follow a pattern. Such poetry is hard to translate. God intended for people to read His Word in all languages and thus used another style of poetry.

·         The poets of ancient Israel used a form of beauty and balance that fits all languages and cultures. Rather than harmonizing the mere form of words and stressed syllables, God inspired poets to balance the meanings of their thoughts. They balanced their verses by expressing a thought in two or more different ways.


Go to the ant, O sluggard, Observe her ways and be wise.
(Proverbs 6:6)

·         Find an idea that Proverbs 16:11 balances in parallel phrases.

·         Find the idea that Proverbs 13:1 balances in contrasting phrases.

Books of Drama: Job and Song of Solomon

Job records intense, penetrating conversations between men who differed sharply in their opinions about God and His justice. In Job chapter 11, Zophar, a friend of Job, made the common error of assuming that people suffer because of their sin, what Hindus call ‘karma.’

Find in Job 11:11-15 of what Zophar accused Job.

Find in Job 12:1-3 what Job thought about Zophar’s advice.

Song of Solomon expresses the passion of young lovers, echoed by a chorus. It illustrates reciprocal love between God and believers, and between our Lord Jesus Christ and His bride, His followers.

Hymns that ancient Israelites sang: Psalms

·         Almost all Christian congregations use the Psalms in worship.

·         King David, his worship leader, Asaph, and other composers expressed to God their deepest feelings of praise, pleading, anger, gratitude, complaints, hope, despair, and thanks.

·         Find what 2 Samuel 23:1 called David at the end of his life.

Sayings of wisdom: Proverbs

Proverbs are wise sayings written by David’s son, King Solomon, and other wise men.

Find in Proverbs chapter 5 …

·         What an adulteress’ speech is like [verses 3-4],

·         Where her feet lead to [verses 5-6],

·         Why husbands should be faithful to their wives [verses 15-23].

Many of the Proverbs give instruction for young people.

 “My son, give attention to my words;

Incline your ear to my sayings.

Do not let them depart from your sight;

Keep them in your heart.

For they are life to those who find them

And health to all their body.

Watch over your heart with diligence,

For from it flow the springs of life.” (Proverbs 4:20-23)

The sluggard says, "There is a lion in the road! A lion is in the town square! As the door turns on its hinges, So does the sluggard on his bed. (Proverbs 26:13-14)

 

 

Find in Proverbs 31:10-31 several things that a virtuous woman does.

Pessimistic complaints of an aged man: Ecclesiastes

An elderly writer, possibly Solomon, reminisced about the futility of life on earth (‘under the sun’). He had tried every pleasure but finally found it all to be vanity (‘chasing after the wind’).

2.    Plan with your co-workers the activities you and they will to do during the week

Visit and help parents to apply Proverbs 13:24, 19:18; 22:6; 23:13.

Help their children to apply Proverbs 1:8-9.

Ask believers who enjoy doing extensive Bible study to examine carefully the books of Job, Psalms or Proverbs. Later let them tell what they found to be helpful.

Help novice shepherds, whom you are training, to recognize poetry in Old Testament books.

Select verses from Psalms that focus attention on God and praise Him. Use them in worship.

3.    Plan with co-workers the next worship.

Explain the unique method and beauty of Old Testament poetry and read some examples.

Explain the main topics of the different poetical books.

Explain some of the proverbs from the book of Proverbs.

Let believers who have been blessed by reading the poetical books tell about it.

Let the children present what they have prepared.

To introduce the Lord’s Supper, read Psalm 133 and explain that when we break bread in remembrance of Jesus’ sacrificial death, we experience the deep unity between believers.

Form groups of two and three people to pray for one another and to review helpful verses of Hebrew poetry.

Memorise together Psalm 145:1-2.

 

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