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What is the Old Testament?

Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness!

Psalm 150:2
What is the Old Testament? Book Cover

Did you know the Bible contains poetry and books full of wisdom? The latter may be easy to guess, but many do not realize that poetry is one of the literary styles found inside the Scriptures. Let’s talk about those books.

Job

The author of Job is unknown. Job is the key figure of the book of Job. While the book is classified with the poetics and appears toward the middle of the Bible, it is actually recognized as the earliest book written! Job is classified as poetry because most of the book is written in parallel lines, characteristic of poetry. The well-known story follows Job, the wealthy man from Uz. After a conversation between Satan and God, Job experienced extreme misfortune. Job cried out to God and continued to trust him, and God blessed Job by restoring his riches, his family, and his health.

Psalms

The Psalms is categorized into five collections: book 1 (Psalms 1–41); book 2 (Psalms 42–72); book 3 (Psalms 73–89); book 4 (Psalms 90–106); and book 5 (Psalms 107–150). Although David is popularly associated with the Psalms, he was not the only writer. Other writers included Solomon, Asaph, the sons of Korah, and even Moses (Psalm 90). Still other writers remained anonymous. We generally read Psalms today, but many of them were set to music when they were originally written. The book of Psalms span a period of over one thousand years and covers a range of emotions and situations: lament, praise, and thanksgiving, to name a few. Songs of ascent were generally sung on pilgrimages when the Israelites would travel to Jerusalem for one of the three annual feasts.

Proverbs and Ecclesiastes

Proverbs is a collection of short sayings that serve as principles for wise living. Multiple authors are thought to have penned the book, including Solomon, Agur, and Lemuel. Wisdom is the driving theme throughout Proverbs, and the authors advised their readers to apply the principles of these proverbs to their diverse life experiences. Although the author of Ecclesiastes refers only to himself as “The Preacher,” scholars often identify Solomon as the author. Solomon reflected on the vanity of choosing one’s own life interests above pursuit of God. In Ecclesiastes, Solomon questioned the ultimate meaning of life. Throughout his ponderings, Solomon arrived at the conclusion that God’s presence and interaction make life significant.

Song of Songs

In its original form, Song of Songs (or Song of Solomon) stood as one long poem that celebrated married love. In the poem, Solomon (widely accepted as the author) and his betrothed anticipated their wedding night, when they could physically express their affection for one another (Song of Songs 1–3). Once they were married, they were able to be together (Song of Songs 3–4). In the final section of the book, the bride finds comfort in her husband’s continued love for her. “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is for me” (Song of Songs 7:10).

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Old Testament: History and Wisdom

Daily Question

What do you hope the books in the poetry genre will teach you about God and his attributes? What you think they will show you about yourself?

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Comments (5)

I hope I can remind myself of God’s love in all aspects of my life all the time. I pray that I can have the wisdom from God. I find myself more related to Solomon. The ups and downs of his life and the lessons that he learned and shared in these books serve as a mirror to my own self. I should pray more for God’s protection and direction so as not to fall into temptations.

I hoe the poetry genre books reveal to me how powerful and loving God is. I hope they convict me and train me in being more like Jesus.

This is SOOOOO encouraging ❤️??

“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”
‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭12:13-14‬ ‭NIV‬‬
No matter what man does to me God is ultimately in control

Maybe just "more". There is so much to learn aboutGod,who is infinite and far beyond my finite understanding. I can learn so much from these intensely personal writings of people who walked with God.
I think they will show me how many ways I fall short in understanding His attributes and his patience.

I hope that they will show me the different ways that God’s love is multifaceted. God is not one dimensional. I believe that these books help me to see this truth. I think that these books will show me that God can handle all of me and all of the seasons that I face. As a good and strong Father who loves me as His creation He can take my raw emotions and my praise. He desires to be part of it all, not just the good parts.

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