Jesus in 3 Wisdom Books: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon
Facilitated by Pastor Joedy
Shortcut! You could see the context of these 3 wisdom books in the following verses found in 1 Corinthians:
And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 1:30
Here, the word talks about Jesus and His finished work, and what it has brought up for us: Righteousness, holiness, and redemption. Grace is simply God’s wisdom, and therefore to embrace the grace of God is wise. Anything else that we could do which we call better than the grace of God for us is fleeting; we find all of it as vanity. And when we do talk about the literal word, ‘vanity’, for most people who have been studying the Word, the Book of Ecclesiastes comes up:
I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.
And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind.
Solomon started off with wisdom, but eventually, even in the wisdom he possessed, he would find himself drifting away. Thankfully, even in those moments he was able to impart another facet, or another perspective of wisdom towards us, which we mentioned earlier: Anything apart from the grace of God is vanity. Anything we try to achieve apart from our God is as effective as chasing after the wind.
Now when it comes to Solomon and his works, they seemed to focus on his own attempts to find some sort of meaning, beyond what he would call vanity. For instance, he tried to find what we would all be looking for in human strength and riches, as well as power over other humans. Ecclesiates 2:4-11 elaborates on just how far he went:
I made great works. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. I made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees. I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees. I bought male and female slaves, and had slaves who were born in my house. I had also great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem. I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines, the delight of the sons of man.
So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.
So much achieved, and all he had to say about it was, it was all vanity. Meaningless. All the projects, meaningless. All the power and strength, meaningless. He drifted in and out of expressing what I’m assuming were things that he wanted to add to the Proverbs, and also just saying downright that everything we were doing here in this world was just meaningless. He concludes all of it in Ecclesiastes 12:13:
The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
Before we go any further, let’s try to connect what was mentioned as the Wisdom of God in 1 Corinthians, to these 3 books we’re talking about today:
Righteousness – Proverbs
Redemption – Song of Solomon
Righteousness – Ecclesiastes
Proverbs – Jesus is our Wisdom and Holiness.
Simply put, without Christ, there is no wisdom to be had. Proverbs 3:5-6 puts emphasis in our absolute trust in the Lord. Proverbs 4:20-23 puts emphasis in our need to guard our heart and, really, to put some sort of focus in enjoying the new heart we have in Christ. Finally, in Proverbs 9:10 Pastor Joedy talks about the Fear of God – His take on it is that we shouldn’t be in terror of God, just as we would always be talking about – no, this fear is a fear expressed from being in full and complete awe of the limitless glory of God – again, seen absolutely in Christ and through His finished work.
The rest of the book of Proverbs can be summed up as the call to embrace, and to literally embrace Wisdom, and to be in awe of Holiness and its beauty. We also see in many instances of the differences between the fool and the wise, contrasts between the righteous and the wicked. Now, we could look for the said personifications of Wisdom and Holiness, but we eventually figure out that the literal personification of Wisdom and Holiness can be found in no less than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Just as He is God’s love personified, so He is Wisdom incarnate.
By merely looking at Proverbs 1 we see that the study of God’s Word, and even His living Word (Christ), we have prudence, understanding, knowledge, discretion, guidance, learning, and instruction; we have a garland of grace, we have safety, we are at ease, and we are free of fear from harm. Growing in Christ is growing in wisdom. This is what we embrace, this is what we receive when we embrace Christ. Now it’s a great thing to receive and behold miracles from Christ, but one better thing that we are sure to have is Wisdom. As we have Christ, so we have Wisdom.
But how do we grow in Christ’s Wisdom? James kept it simple:
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
Christ is sure to be our Good Shepherd who guides us… But as the sheep would bleat, I suppose there are instances when we ought to be asking Him for ourselves, where should we go? What should we be doing? Sure, and go ahead and throw it in there: Jesus, I know You’re here. I know You’re with me. But I want to go somewhere. Where should we go?
Besides praying and asking, we would do well as Christian leaders to continue to look at the Word through the lens of the Grace of God:
And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me“
It all points to Jesus – as mentioned a lot in these recent days, Christ is the Living Word who adds life into even the most seemingly ‘twisted’ and confusing verses we find in the Bible. Apparently, another way to say this is, Christ is the Wisdom behind our study of Scripture… and it all leads back to Him. And it’s all good: The more we see Jesus, the wiser we become.
Song of Songs (Song of Solomon) – Jesus is the Lover of our Soul
Here is a depiction of 2 people, a couple getting married, a couple in love with one another. King Solomon is a representation of Jesus, and his bride-to-be represents us – His beloved. It’s all a huge love song between the two, expressing everything that can come in between the two as they approach the upcoming wedding.
King Solomon’s chosen Bride is also a depiction of God’s unconditional love. Just as the hidden treasure and the hidden pearl, God sought us out and only rested when He found us. It was also pointed out here that the bride was pretty lowly: A shepherdess with dark skin – shades of what Paul says to the Corinthians:
For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.
1 Corinthians 1:26-29
Going back to the parables of the hidden treasure, and the hidden pearl, Pastor Joedy wanted to point out that he didn’t always see these parables the way he sees them now: There was a time that he emphasized that Christ was the treasure, and Christ was the pearl – and he went on to say that we needed to give everything up and to spend all that we could just to find Him.
But the thing is, just as the treasure was in the earth, it was Christ was actually the one who sought us in this world – even as we were, He considered us as treasures! He gave everything up to redeem the world, in order to redeem the treasure. We see the same thing in the Song of Songs: King Solomon expressed his lavish love unto the lowly woman.
You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.
Song of Songs 4:7
You have captivated my heart, my sister, my bride; you have captivated my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.
How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much better is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your oils than any spice!
Song of Songs 4:9-10
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
1 John 3:1
At one point the Bride dreams of the Groom’s disappearance:
On my bed by night I sought him whom my soul loves; I sought him, but found him not.
I will rise now and go about the city, in the streets and in the squares; I will seek him whom my soul loves.
I sought him, but found him not. The watchmen found me as they went about in the city.
“Have you seen him whom my soul loves?”
Song of Songs 3:1-3
Does this look familiar? Check out John 20:11-18:
But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.”
Pastor Joedy said it, and I have to agree: I never saw this parallel before seeing these scriptures through the lens of grace, and through the revelations brough about by Christ and His finished work. And to be honest, it is already amazing enough… but guess what? It doesn’t stop there! Check out the next verse in Song of Songs 3:
Scarcely had I passed them when I found him whom my soul loves. I held him, and would not let him go until I had brought him into my mother’s house, and into the chamber of her who conceived me.Song of Songs 3:4
Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.
Now to clarify: The Bride held the Groom when He was found, but as Christ refused a hug from Mary. What does this mean? Christ had His promises to fulfill, and though we may have had our own ideas of how He would keep His word, it was still up to His actions and His timetable… and it’s funny that I mentioned that, because it was when He ascended into heaven that He sat at the right hand of the Father, ultimately resulting in our seating with Him in the heavenly places, beyond the notion of time and especially the concept of a timetable. How did we know this was true? The infinite love of the Father engulfed our existence in this finite world by way of the Holy Spirit being poured out upon the disciples in the upper room, after Christ’s ascension.
We may have thought that the resurrection of Christ was already such a spectacle, but why did Christ tell Mary not to cling to Him? It was after a period of what would soon be insignificant time that Christ ascended to the Father, and because of that, Christ clung to ALL of us – the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was much more intimate for all humanity who would come to believe in Him, much more intimate that one person hugging Him.
And as I mentioned in another post I had on Facebook so long ago… We hug because He first hugged us.
How pleasant and wonderful to see these parallels! Indeed, we can never be satisfied or fulfilled without God’s love for us through His Son!
Ecclesiastes – Jesus is God’s free gift of righteousness.
Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.” Jeremiah 9:23-24
It’s pointed out here that there are things greater than riches and power and knowledge: kindness, justice and righteousness – and these three can still be condensed into one thing greater – Love. Now, when it comes to love, we see it manifest and poured out upon us through no less than the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is where we find our righteousness. We do not find it in observance of the Law, but in faith in Jesus Christ.
Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” John 6:28-29
What is this work of God? Don’t go any further than our famous John 3:16! He gave us Christ, that whosoever believes shall not perish but have everlasting life!
We end with the verse we started with: And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
In all three of these wisdom books, it all points us to the Lord Jesus Christ. The Wise King points out that in order for us to have Wisdom, we ought to know that it all comes from Christ, who is Wisdom incarnate – who, in His wisdom, was the one who sought us first.
What a great revelation! We can have everything in this life, or we would have nothing at all – but we will always have reason to glory, we will have reason to boast – For there was actually a time that we may have had something, but all that we did amounted to nothing; and yet, even in our worthlessness, Christ, who was both overflowing in wisdom and glory, chose us to be His bride. And though we would certainly respond by loving Him back, and giving Him our everything, let us not forget that we were actually brought to that mindset because of His love, and because He gave us His all, and all first.
Friends, tonight I just pray; We’ve gone through a lot of scripture, and you’ve certainly gone through a lot of my ramblings and fillers, but I pray and I hope that you got something of value from all of this. I’m not going to lie if I said I’m doing this for the word quota, but I would say that a whole bunch of these words are a revelation of what I wanted to have clarified in my mind… and let me tell you, by the grace of God, not only HAVE things been clarified, but there have been new avenues opened to other considerations and perspectives.
And in all that’s been revealed and clarified, only one thing stands as not only superior, but common in all that’s been overflowing – that is, God’s everlasting love and glory demonstrated by Christ and His finished work. He alone is worthy of all the glory and honor.
May the Lord continue to minister to our hearts, and may we continue to enjoy His goodness and grace in overwhelming ways, as we continue to navigate through life.
God bless us all. Amen.
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