One day we will learn that the heart can never be totally right if the head is totally wrong. Only through the bringing together of head and heart – intelligence and goodness – shall man rise to a fulfillment of his true nature. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
You can find a one-year Bible reading plan here.
Head and heart. Thinking and feeling. Brains and emotions. You need both to live abundantly, and you need them in balance. This week’s readings in Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon give us some of that balance. Ecclesiastes explores the need for wisdom in a world threatened by futility. Song of Solomon shows snapshots of romantic love in action, with all its passion and devotion, a love that mirrors God’s devotion to his people and Christ’s devotion to the church.
The key wisdom of Ecclesiastes rests in proper perspective. Instead of looking around at one’s place in space and time in a secular and humanistic way, we must look up to heaven and see our work in the world from a spiritual and eternal viewpoint. Chuck Swindoll in Living on the Ragged Edge called it horizontal and vertical living. With only a horizontal perspective (under the sun) it is easy to be overwhelmed by the brevity of life and effort. With both a horizontal and vertical perspective we enter into the kingdom of heaven and find grace from God that gives power to live with difficulties and purpose for the days of our life. Knowledge, pleasure, work, and possessions will fail us. Amusements and achievements will not satisfy us. But God’s wisdom reveals the truth and gives eternal insight along with the strength to overcome our problems.
Song of Solomon has been frequently classified as allegory, denying its description of romantic love in favor of a representation of divine love. Instead we should embrace the picture of romance without throwing away the comparison with God’s love. We can learn much about both in the Song of Songs, including:
- the unmatched passion of love
- the exclusivity of love
- the adoration of the beloved
- the complete surrender of self in love
The melding of heart and mind is one of the most important tasks for maturing persons. In this time, especially, we can see every day the mistakes of those who are all passion and no thought, as well as the danger of people who make heartless decisions in a calculating mind devoid of compassion.
About this blog
During 2020 I plan to post weekly writings covering the material you would read during each week as you proceed from Genesis to Revelation in one year. And so for this week I have covered Proverbs 30 – Isaiah 8. Next week I will write about Isaiah 9 – 41. I hope you will continue along with me. You can find daily posts about these chapters archived here on the Bible in a Year blog. For your convenience here are the previous posts covering Proverbs 30 – Isaiah 8.
The Super-woman syndrome: Proverbs 31
Finding meaning “under the sun” – Ecclesiastes 1-3
How to make the most of life: Ecclesiastes 9
Love as strong as death: Song of Solomon