Saturday Quotable – Wisdom

Old Testament religion was not focused on philosophy and thoughts about God, but on how one lived. To follow God, to walk with God, was to obey his law. To believe was to live in a certain way.

So wisdom, to an Old Testament Hebrew, was moral rather than intellectual. Wisdom was something you lived out, not something you knew intellectually. To be wise was to live wisely, that is, to live according to the precepts of God.

Keri Wyatt Kent, Deeper into the Word
(p. 236, Wisdom)

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13 Responses to Saturday Quotable – Wisdom

  1. nmcdonal says:

    Why not both?

    • Tim says:

      Yes Nick, good question, because under the New Covenant we are also to renew our minds. Plus, it’s not like the ancient Israelites were contra-intellectual. Just look at Solomon!

      Still, this book is an excellent word study on 100 OT words, and – as in this section in particular – it is a really helpful resource for understanding how the ancient Israelites saw wisdom. Lifestyle meant something significant for their walk with God.

  2. You can have both. If you live according to wisdom, you have to have an intellectual grasp of it, to a certain degree. But the emphasis was on the living of it. We’ve all met people who seem like they have a lot of “head knowledge” but don’t live according to that knowledge–and I don’t know about you, but I’ve actually been that kind of person. Jesus called these people hypocrites.

  3. janehinrichs says:

    Thanks. I like this quote a lot. Sounds like a good book.

  4. Kathleen says:

    Kind of like drinking from the well? Need it to live, but how deeply are we drinking and are we willing to serve it to others?

  5. Adriana says:

    I love how Wisdom is often personified as female in the OT. (At least in Proverbs anyway.)

  6. Jeannie says:

    Thanks for this — makes me want to read more!

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