… Moses went out, and told the people the words of the Lord, gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle.  And the Lord came down in a cloud, and spate unto him, and he took the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.

Nm 11; 24-25

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Moses – an extraordinary leader.  He spoke not from intellect but from the spirit. And he shared in this words the spirit with others and their life and insight was changed for the better.

If you read the Review section of this weekend’s Wall Street Journal you will encounter as I did three articles that highlight the prominent role of intellect in today’s world – and the shortcomings that flow from reliance on the intellect to the exclusion of the Spirit.

Yes, we can learn from Moses.

In today’s Journal, you can read of a very intelligent Rabbi who gave up his religious role in favor of Marxism and socialism.  You can also read an article that looks at the middle class and contends that they are less well off than they have recently been – a measure of “well-being” that fails to say that the middle class is not as affluent as it once was … or that its present state of existence might just free them up to live more simply and enjoy the small pleasures of life that anchor them in their heart and with others.

Finally, you can read of those who have influenced American foreign policy and decide whether the best of our foreign policy leadership is practiced as an “art” form or a “science.”

These articles seem weighted to the default setting that intellect is the primary, and most likely exclusive, tool for life.

Enter Moses.  He clearly led with a greater reliance on faith, and particularly the Spirit.

It is not hard to bring you, if you think about what you read or hear, to the point in this present secularized culture where you naturally come to ask: Do I live by the Spirit, or by the mind?  And this companion question: Am I led by those who live by the Spirit or by the mind?

For me, one with several post-graduate degrees, it is obvious that the difficult questions we face are not exclusively governed by intellect, but come to something deeper – a feel for the situation, its participants, the stakes, and the desired good end.  Yes, put me in the Spirit column – intellect but a part of the process of leadership and life, but not its most critical part.

Live in the Spirit.

Shalom.

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