(CNN)Bring on the Wisdom books! After the bloody battles of the two books of the Maccabees, it was time to pivot into the poetic books of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Wisdom and Sirach.
I have been waiting for these books!!
Job focuses on the story of a wealthy man who loses everything — his wealth and his health (think lots of boils described very vividly). His three friends Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar speak to him and want him to give up his faith in God. Even his own wife tells Job to “curse God, and die.”
Still, Job stands fast to his faith in God.
To this point in the Bible, it was largely about the physical challenges of war. Job is about the intellectual and spiritual war within believers.
Job’s “friends” assault him with what they see as common sense.
As each one of them offers their reasons for Job to leave behind his faith in God, he replies back. We get up to 10 replies. They are insistent.
In my head, I imagined some sort of poetry slam with all the back and forth.
But, as Job defends his faith in God, it also made me think: Eould I be able to do this?
One of his statements hit home. When I was a kid, my Mom would quote Franklin Delano Roosevelt and tell me, “there is nothing to fear but fear itself” when I would be scared to go to third grade.
I thought of my third-grade self and that phrase to keep when I read this, “For what I fear overtakes me, and for what I shrink from comes upon me. I have no peace nor ease, I have no rest, for trouble comes!” (Job 3: 25-26).
I wanted to hug Job like my mom hugged me.
And the wisdom of not dwelling on your trials is also something that makes me really like this book. I was recently having a bad day at work, and it kept getting worse with different people not realizing the struggle I was having. It felt like it was all being piled on at once.
In Job’s third reply, he says: “So with old age is wisdom, and with length of days understanding.” I could have used that meditation at work that day. It would have helped me to realize — I have got this.
I also loved this sharp-witted response about Job’s tormentors, “Oh, that you are all together silent! This for you would be wisdom.” Sometimes, you just want people to cease and desist.
The flow of Job’s story will stay with me for a while. If I were to judge it by notebook, there were a lot of stars next to favorite passages.
And in case you were wondering, God rewards Job for his steadfast faith with a long and healthy life and riches than before.
Now, onto the Book of Psalms.