I wasn’t sure what title to give this next instalment of two more double pages of my journal. I’m working through the history of the kings of Israel and Judah with a bit of psalms and the book of Ecclesiastes. And I finished off Proverbs. I note that there are many proverbs warning against bad wives or women leading men astray, but nothing about bad husbands.
The days I enjoyed most were my meditation on Psalm 150 – Let everything that has breath praise the Lord, and Ecclesiastes. I learnt that the Hebrew word hevel often translated as meaningless is the same word as smoke or vapour. This makes the thoughts that everything is meaningless more meaningful. When we think about wisdom and folly, riches and poverty, good fortune and bad, why are some people successful and others not, we can conclude that life is like vapour or smoke – you can’t catch hold of it, it shifts and moves. And at the end of the day, our lives are fleeting; a moment in time. We are here for a season and then gone. In that respect, then yes, all of life is hevel/smoke/meaningless.
I used a stick of chalk to make the smoky background. I would have liked to have done more work on it, but life is busy and I didn’t have time. When I went to art on Tuesday night I wasn’t in the mood to work on the painting I had started the previous time I attended, so I took some pastels and decided to play a bit with the techniques of making swirls and then added more to do some of the interlocking lines. But I wasn’t too pleased with the outcome. However I will stash it away – you never know it may be just the thing I need one day. I had hoped that I could write on the top of it using other media. But it didn’t work.
The lesson to learn from reading about the kings is that when you honour God and obey his ways things go better than when you don’t. How much of the events of those days were down to God and how much the historians deciding whether God had been with them or not is debatable. I will be glad when I get to the end of these books and get into the prophets.