Monday, July 18, 2011

Reading the Bible in 90 Days, day 48: Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs

Let me tell you, it's interesting to read Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs on the same day.

You have the world-weary cynicism of "the preacher" and the breathless romanticism of the lovers.  "The Preacher" wants to let us know that he has seen everything and that there is nothing new under the sun.  He has seen the innocent suffer and the guilty get off scot-free.  He's worked hard and seen his efforts come to nothing. 

The lovers, on the other hand, are almost embarrassingly optimistic.  They long for one another.  They are uncensored in their appreciation for one another's bodies.  They have a reason for living:  one another. 

The two books, right alongside each other, couldn't be more different.

And yet, there is something that connects them. 

Both of these small volumes concern themselves more with daily living than they do with salvation and eternal things.  The author of Ecclesiastes, the "preacher" says that since we don't have that much control about how our lives turn out anyway, it is good to eat and drink and be merry, to live fully each day. 

I think that the lovers of Song of Songs would agree.

And now a word of caution:  Tomorrow we enter the prophets.

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