Everything had fallen apart…
This is the context for so much of Scripture, including Wisdom Literature.
Wisdom Literature–Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, etc.–was probably assembled after the golden era of King David was over, after the temple had been destroyed, after God’s people had completely lost their sense of security.
So in many ways, Wisdom Literature is a soul-searching exercise. Proverbs, for instance, reflects generations of people’s search for the heart of the matter, their search for the few things or the one thing we need to live well. We can imagine their question: What’s the one thing we need to take with us going forward?
Their answer: God.
Boringly obvious, right? Maybe, but these voices and writers challenge us to be honest about what we really think and believe. For example, do we really have “fear of the Lord” embedded in our hearts? Do we have a deep sense of God, who was, and is and is to come?
In essence, if we had nothing else but God’s awesome presence–fear of the Lord–would we have enough? Listen to this past Sunday’s message for more:
Image: Bartolomeo, fra, 1472-1517. Risen Christ with Mary Magdalene and Catherine of Siena, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=47873[retrieved August 11, 2016]. Original source: http://www.yorckproject.de.