Walking in the Fear of the Lord


What we are calling Wisdom Books are traditionally included in a larger collection of Hebrew Scripture known as the Ketuvim or Writings. In the Hebrew Bible, the Ketuvim constitutes the third section of the canon and includes the Psalms, Job, Proverbs, the “Festival Books” (Hebrew Megilloth: Ruth, Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations and Esther), Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah and Chronicles (1 and 2).

There is a much wider range of context and application in the Wisdom Books. They address a much wider audience and avail specific instruction and doctrine that is more directly accessible and applicable to a New Covenant Christian.

These selections from the Ketuvim generally, and sometimes very specifically, deal with wisdom in a more concentrated manner than any other portion of Scripture. These palatable units of divine wisdom are wonderfully accessible and practical gems calculated to enlarge one’s view of God and aid in the sanctification of the one who fears the Lord.

Indeed, "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness" (2 Tim 3:16), but not all Scripture is equally accessible and applicable to all people. As compared to the Prophets, the Wisdom Books are relatively short in length and more detached from historical background dependencies. They also tend to deal less with the national sin and judgment of Israel and focus more on personal and practical wisdom for living.

Proverbs and Psalms in particular address personal and practical living and life experiences. They provide comfort and hope to the afflicted and reproof and exhortation to the proud. The Psalms are a marvelous collection of inspired texts that most often help to direct the heart in proper worship to the Lord. They, along with Job, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, and even Lamentations avail truths concerning reality, human experience, life trials, pain and suffering, rejoicing and enjoyment, as well as practical doctrines concerning the Lord's sovereignty over life and death.

The majesty of God, in wisdom, authority, power, righteousness, goodness, providence, judgment, lovingkindness, and mercy are frequently extolled. A pervasive message that leaves an indelible mark on the reader is the sovereignty of God. God’s sovereignty appears to be a common and prominent theme in each of the books in this collection. This truth seems to be connected to the promotion of hope and trust in the Lord, which is an important feature of wisdom. The opposition of the Lord against pride and the call to humility plays a significant role in true wisdom. Finally, the theme of pain and suffering is presented more in this collection of writings than perhaps any other in the Bible.

Indeed, throughout these books, divine wisdom is availed and the sovereignty and trustworthiness of God is extolled. These are often presented in marvelous relationship and serve as a significant hope and guide for those who fear the Lord.