I have just recently finished working my way through a wonderful sermon series on Ecclesiastes, and I am considering moving on to look at the Song of Solomon next.
I was just pondering whether there were any books which looked at the person of Solomon, taking into account the history found in Kings and Chronicles as well as his writings in Ecclesiastes, the Song and the Proverbs. I will no doubt work my way through those things individually, but something more connective appeals to me and I’m not aware of such a thing, nor do I really know where to look.
By the by, if you know of a particularly good sermon series on the Song then give me a shout!
On the surface it might seem like consumerism as a way of life is a fairly new creation. The 20th century saw the rise of consumerism as the cultural norm in the west, and the term is certainly closely linked the current trend of materialism and consumption.
I dont think for a moment though that modern day western society can lay any claim to inventing consumerism, and I think its pretty arrogant to make that claim. The idea that we can improve our lives by consuming has been around as long as people have, and the modern west was by no means the first society to take up that mantle as the norm.
I have been working my way through Ecclesiastes with the help of Matt Chandler (have a listen here), and its pretty clear that Solomon both lived in a society where consumerism was normality, and recognised its folly. As Solomon writes at the start of the book,
What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun.
– Ecclesiastes 1:9
Consumerism is a lie which must be challenged and responded to with the gospel, but it is not a new lie.