Self Pity Part 2 the Old Testament

Throughout much of Wisdom Literature (ie Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs) one will see the authors/characters moving in and out of states of self-pity (or as put by J Watson put it self-absorption, I like that term better.)  Job, but mostly his friends dwell on the trying situation of Job’s life. In the Psalms David can be found to question the attacks and encroachment of his enemies around his life.  Even Qoheleth opens with a look at life’s trying situations “2 Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” 3 What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun?” Ecclesiastes 1:2-3.

However, it’s not just in the Wisdom Literature. Look at prophets such as Jonah and Jeremiah and you’ll also see them questioning their present situations in life.  Yet the greatest insight gained from the OT concerning self-absorption would be found in the opening chapters of Genesis. The human situation changed, we became “fallen” (impure and unrighteous) creatures in life. Pride and self-centerdness are at the core of human nature; as a result,  self-pity emerges when our lives are turned upside down. It is when people cannot get their own way and feel frustrated in their designs that they can descend into self-pity, an ever-increasing spiral.

What then can we learn…self-absorbtion is part of our new-yet-fallen nature. It is an aspect of our design that we must learn to deal with. Those in the OT learned how to deal with it, especially Job! Till next time press on!

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One Response to “Self Pity Part 2 the Old Testament”

  1. Good words. Hope all is well.

    J

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