My study group is having difficulty with grasping why the term WISDOM means different things in different chapters like Job, Ecclesiastes, Proverbs. If anyone can help us we'd be very grateful; and please give us an example with each of these: (Job, Ecclesiastes, Proverbs) as it helps solidify our understanding. Thank you.
Wisdom has the same meaning but expressed in a slightly different way in each of the Wisdom Books.
The Psalms were written by David, was about how to succeed against evil without resorting to evil. The structure is less obvious than some psalms; it appears to be a collection of proverbs organized around the problem of evil and God's retributive justice. There is no general format for these kinds of psalms, but organized as an alphabetic acrostic of 22 strophes. It begins (vv. 1-6) and ends (vv.34-40) with the encouragement to hope in Yahweh's deliverance. The middle section reminds us of God's eventual retributive justice (vv.7-11 & 27-33) and the contrast between the wicked and righteous (vv.12-26). They may extol God's attributes, his creation or his law. They may express skepticism. Regardless of the content, however, the goal of the psalmist is to argue for the superiority of God and his ways. There are two types of wisdom psalms: (a) wisdom (general) (b) Psalms of the Law
Wisdom psalms are identified as such because of their similarity to the genre of wisdom literature found in Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs and Ecclesiastes. This similarity includes similarity in literary devices as well as similarity in content with each having a slightly different focus. Wisdom literature tends to:
(a) Contrast the life choices made by those who reject God (e.g. the foolish or the wicked) with those who embrace God's rule (the wise or righteous).
(b) God curses those who reject him, while he blesses those who obey (the wise)-so wisdom is about obeying God's laws.
(c) Wisdom has to do with living life consistent with God's covenants.
(d) Wisdom literature (Psalms, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes)is very focused on the 'here and now' - the completeness and beauty of a life lived under the covenant obligations, in dependence upon God.
(e) Wisdom is about gaining understanding and wise behavior.
(f) Fear of the Lord is the basis of wisdom.
(g) Psalms impart wisdom, the do's and don't of rightful living, living under the covenant of God, behaving in a way that is pleasing to him.
(h) Don't: Envy (v.1, 16) b/c they will pass (v.2); Fret (v.1,8); Be persistently angry (v.8)and this is part of wisdom.
(i) Do: Place yourself in God's hands (v.3,5,7,23,28,33,34); Delight yourself in God (v.4); Do good where you are (v.3,21,27); Absorb yourself in God's truth and let it guide your words & deeds (vv.30-31)which is wisom through rightful living.
(j) Psalms impart wisdom on how to succeed amongst ungodly people. The ungodly can knock us for a loop (Ps.73); They do pretty well for themselves (v.1,7,16,35) ; They scheme against the weak (v.14); They try to destroy the godly (v.12,14,32).
How do you get wisdom or become wise? Solomon prayed for wisdom. Fear of the Lord" is the basis. You also gain ...
This solution explores the term WISDOM through providing examples from Job, Ecclesiastes and Proverbs.