The Wisdom of the Heart
April Dixon | March 3, 2020
“Tell all the skilled workers to whom I have given wisdom in such matters that they are to make garments for Aaron, for his consecration, so he may serve me as priest.” — Exodus 28:3
Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. This week’s Torah portion is Tetzaveh, which means “contributions,” from Exodus 27:20-30:10, and the Haftorah is from 1 Samuel 15:1-34.
In this week’s Torah portion, God commanded Moses to tell the “skilled workers” to create the priestly garments for Aaron. A careful look at the original Hebrew verse reveals that the term “skilled” comes from two Hebrew words that literally mean “wise of heart.” God called these workers “wise of heart” because it was their hearts, not their heads, which provided the knowledge and understanding necessary for such a holy task.
In our culture, we tend to believe that wisdom comes from books, and that the mind is the seat of all knowledge. But Scripture tells us in Proverbs that “the LORD gives wisdom” (2:6) and that “wisdom will enter your heart” (2:10). True wisdom comes from God and lives in our hearts.
When I decided to marry my husband, arguably the most important decision I have ever made, the decision came from my heart. When we decided to make aliyah (immigration to Israel) and move to the Holy Land, my head told me that it didn’t make any sense to leave behind the land, culture, and language I knew, let alone my entire family. Yet, my heart wouldn’t leave me alone and kept telling me that Israel was where I belonged.
When we arrived in Israel, and I told my father that I wanted to work at The Fellowship offices in Jerusalem, he tried to talk me out of it. He encouraged me to pursue a different career — one that would provide a more comfortable lifestyle. But my heart knew that I was meant for the work of The Fellowship, and I refused to be turned away.
Every important choice that I have ever made was informed by my head, but ultimately was decided based on the God-given wisdom of my heart.
Whenever we have an important decision to make, yes, we must surely turn to the seat of wisdom for guidance. Yet, while our minds can provide us with indispensable knowledge, we must always remember that God places wisdom in our hearts — and sometimes our hearts have reasons that even our minds cannot understand.
What decisions are you facing today? What is your head telling you? What is your heart telling you? Pray to God about it and ask for His guidance. Then, listen to your heart.