Don’t tell me what the poets are doing.”
Brad discusses Psalm 1, and the Poetry of a People; specifically happiness: our yearning for it, our tendency to seek it out as an end to itself, and how the bible pushes us to see happiness as being possible, but a by-product of obedience. “What do we worship?”
A huge portion of the Old Testament talks about kings and prophets in Israel and Judah. The kings of the Old Testament, while some were good, never truly measured up to God’s standard for them. The prophets served to remind Israel constantly that they were not living up to the covenant they had made with God, either in their actions or in their hearts. Ultimately, both the kings and the prophets leave us wanting, knowing that a new covenant is needed, and waiting with anticipation for the true King to come.
This week is also the start of Advent, and we look at the expectation of Christ coming as the true King.
Wisdom literature – the name sometimes given to the books of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs – needs to be read in the context of how God is redeeming Israel. These books, written by sages and poets, teach us how to become wise: There are really only two ways to live life, with God or against God; true wisdom is about how to live out relationship with God; and wisdom ultimately comes by a work of God, rather than our own intellect.
Brad takes us through the beginnings of Exodus, and the introduction of Moses, through whom God sends redemption to the Isrealites , taking them out of slavery – and the hard rules that come from having identity in God’s kingdom. That promise of identity and redemption from slavery, and the laws that come with it, are still relevant to us today.