If I asked you to think about a few of your favorite songs, you could probably hear them in your head. The tune. The words. The cadence. You could recall the lyrics and sing them out loud. The reason this is possible is because one of the best ways to learn something is to put it into a song or into a poem. As a child, you probably learned your ABC’s by singing them to a simple tune. You probably also learned very simple nursery rhymes as well.
The five poetry and wisdom books (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Songs of Solomon) function this way for God’s people. But they are not simply collections of songs and poetry; they are books for learning. Wisdom means applying spiritual truth to life’s realities. They teach us how to live wisely in every scenario of life. One of the striking characteristics that ties these books together is their realism about life. These books are not merely philosophical or theological exercises, but they tackle some of the most common human experiences, and they do it with honesty and a great deal of wisdom.
However, it’s easy to read these books in disjointed ways. A Psalm here. A Proverb over there. But again, I want to challenge you to find Jesus in the wisdom books. Some Scriptures directly point to Christ (for example, look at Psalms 18, 29, 45, 93 and 99). Some are a precursor. The book of Job shows God’s sovereignty in suffering and prepares us for not only Jesus’ suffering, but our own suffering as believers. But ultimately, we see that Jesus is wisdom embodied. In His earthly ministry, Jesus did not just teach wisdom. He did not just live wisely and make wise decisions. But He actually is the very wisdom of God. So, when we read the wisdom literature, often we can picture Christ!
What is your favorite verse from one of the wisdom books, and have you committed it to memory yet?