Lessons for Life
The story of Job can help us keep a right perspective on evil, suffering, and every trial and challenge that comes our way. This Biblical drama plays out with Job, the sufferer; Satan, the accuser; Job’s wife, the caregiver; Job’s friends, the blamers; and God, the Sovereign and benevolent ruler over good and evil. The message of Job, as he endures loss, afflictions, accusations, and even blame for his misfortune is this: God can be trusted in all circumstances, always. Despite what we may feel and what the world may say, God remains the all-loving and all-powerful One. A generous portion of the Bible is given to help us understand how we can connect our emotions to the God who created them. The Psalms express a cornucopia of human emotion: highs and lows; joy and grief; peace and turmoil. This lesson categorizes the Psalms into four main types. There are those that:
- reach up,
- push down,
- look within, and
- push out.
The wide and sometimes wild gamut of feelings expressed in the book of Psalms provide us with touch points for our own experiences in life. They also show us how to live better before others and before God. Proverbs are not mere rules to be analyzed, but golden axioms of insight designed to help us live with proper reverence before God and others. Of all the types of fears that we face, Proverbs emphasizes the singular, most important fear we can have — the fear of God. It is through this fear, rightly understood and applied, that all wisdom begins. In this study, we consider the fear of God by:
- location (the heart),
- definition (loving, trusting reverence), and
- application (showing us how better to live).
The questions Solomon asks in the book of Ecclesiastes are worth pondering. Is life meaningless? What about wisdom or pleasure? Hard work or time? Wealth or morality? Is hope without meaning? When we ponder such questions, we come to appreciate that we have been given the commands of God to prod us and the promises of God to secure us. We need prods to keep our lives on track and to keep us moving and secure pegs to keep our focus. When we do so, Solomon’s teachings can point us to some of the most substantial answers to life’s deep questions. Is the Song of Songs a collection of love sonnets? Or is it also an allegory of Christ’s passionate love for His Bride, the Church? Perhaps it is both for these two themes intersect and uphold one another in time and eternity. The Song of Songs teaches us about the amazing love of God as it applies to both marrieds and singles. Singleness is a blessed state for those who truly trust in God. And covenant marriage is a key image that God uses to communicate His most intimate love for His Bride. Such imagery is reinforced in Scripture, from Genesis through Revelation. Truly, there is no greater love!