Thursday, January 12, 2012

Integrity and Rigteousness, the heart of EVERY believer...

As I contemplate integrity I am drawn to the spiritual aspect of integrity as defined in Job 27.  
[Job Continues: I Will Maintain My Integrity]
[27:1] And Job again took up his discourse, and said:
[2] “As God lives, who has taken away my right,
and the Almighty, who has made my soul bitter,
[3] as long as my breath is in me,
and the spirit of God is in my nostrils,
[4] my lips will not speak falsehood,
and my tongue will not utter deceit.
[5] Far be it from me to say that you are right;
till I die I will not put away my integrity from me.
[6] I hold fast my righteousness and will not let it go;
my heart does not reproach me for any of my days.
(Job 27:1-6 ESV)

Integrity: integrity, innocence, i.e., a state or condition of moral goodness in a life, with a focus of not having guilt or sin
James Swanson, Dictionary of Biblical Languages With Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament), electronic ed. (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).

In this passage, we see Job and we have read how his life has succumbed to complete loss.  This loss does not include his wife, these alleged friends and his life.  However, the rest of whom Job was has been removed, i.e. possessions, health and wealth.  Yet we see Job clinging to two things that I believe from a spiritual aspect are closely related and are of equal importance, righteousness and integrity.  

Righteousness is defined;  accurate(1), fairly(1), just(10), just cause(1), justice(3), righteous(15), righteously(6), righteousness(76), righteousness’(1), rightly(1), vindication(1), what is right(3).
Robert L. Thomas, New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries : Updated Edition (Anaheim: Foundation Publications, Inc., 1998).   

All this in common, how does God present Job in the early chapters and how do others testify about him?

[3] And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.”
(Job 2:3 ESV)

[9] Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.”
(Job 2:9 ESV)

Through all that has happened, Job clings to integrity and righteousness.  Today I ask myself, “Am I a man of righteousness and integrity in ALL that I do?”  I attempt to be a man full of righteousness and integrity  but fall woefully short.  May I be broken over my sin and repent immediately as the Holy Spirit convicts me of my failure.  May this be our prayer today!  May we value Christ so that we are concerned about righteous living and being men and women of biblical integrity.  May we desire to live this as an example to a lost and dying world.  

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