See Christ in the Books of Poetry
They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.
-Psalm 22:18, emphasis added
The Five Poetic Books: these five books, in the middle of the Old Testament, deal with the heart of Jewish life: pain, worship, living, life, and love.
Job pictures Christ as our sure Redeemer. This book gives the truth from God that "Christ is our sufficiency" in pain and suffering.
Psalms pictures Christ as our Good Shepherd. This book gives the truth from God that "Christ is our worship."
Proverbs pictures Christ as our wisdom. This book gives the truth from God that "Christ is our wisdom"-He is wisdom incarnate. Proverbs teaches us how to live by principles, not promises.
Ecclesiastes pictures Christ as our hope of contentment. This book gives the truth from God that "Christ is our way of life."
The Song of Solomon pictures Christ as our beloved. This book gives the truth from God that "Christ is our altogether lovely one."
The Scriptures are all about God revealing himself to His creatures. The ultimate expression of God's nature and character is Christ. In the Books of Poetry we see God's servants worshiping the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the suffering One, the Good Shepherd, the Redeemer!
We can learn from a seasoned sufferer--Job.High on the list of what Job's perseverance taught is this: even when suffering, pleasing God should be our goal in life-not happiness, comfort, or satisfaction. For "happy is the man whom God corrects; therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty." . . . Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. . . . Make it [your]aim . . . to be well pleasing to Him (Job 5:17; 1 Corinthians 10:31 2 Corinthians 5:9).
Following God often entails losing precious possessions and suffering pain for His sake: "Look, I go forward, but He is not there, and backward, but I cannot perceive Him; when He works on the left hand, I cannot behold Him; when He turns to the right hand, I cannot see Him" (Job 23:8-9). Tests like this are meant to be faith builders. When we need God most, yet He seems silent, it is time to stretch our faith and, like Job, say "He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold" (Job 23:10). What a precious and proven truth!
Trusting God turns present losses into future gains: And the Lord restored Job's losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. Then all his brothers, all his sisters, and all those who had been his acquaintances before, came to him and ate food with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversity that the Lord had brought upon him. . . . After this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children and grandchildren for four generations. So Job died, old and full of days (Job 42:10-11, Job 42:16-17 ).
Ecclesiastes 9 contains some valuable life principles. For example, by the fruit of the Spirit called joy, we can rise above our circumstances by choosing to be contagiously happy: Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God has already accepted your works (Ecclesiastes 9:7). As God's children, through Christ's forgiveness and approval, we can be continually free of guilt and its bondage: Let your garments always be white, and let your head lack no oil (Ecclesiastes 9:8).
Ecclesiastes 9:9 tells us of the importance of being constantly committed to God in every area of life: Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun (Ecclesiastes 9:9). God desires that we live life to the maximum by the power of the Holy Spirit: Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going (Ecclesiastes 9:10). In other words, live life zestfully!
Now that we have had an overview of seeing Christ in the Old Testament books of History and books of Poetry, tomorrow we will begin focusing on the theme of these three weeks-seeing Christ in the seventeen prophetic books. Remember: many of the 404 verses in Revelation are quotations and allusions to these prophets. By understanding Isaiah to Malachi, we can better appreciate the richness of Revelation and more fully worship the One whom the book exalts. Are you worshiping Christ as He deserves?
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