PROVERB PRACTICALS Integrity's Guiding Hand, Proverbs 11:3, Audio
Proverbs 11:3, The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.
John the Apostle was told to write unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans.
The writing from the pen of John given him by the Spirit of God was a condemnation against this church for they were living in a state of lukewarm ness.
According to this writing God hates lukewarm ness for he told John to tell the Laodiceans that because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.
You would expect God not to condemn hotness but neither did He condemn coldness but left his condemnation only for lukewarm ness.
That same condemnation took place when Elijah faced off the prophets of Baal and he said to the people How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.
Basically they stood there dumb for this is what lukewarm ness brings.
We see from Elijah a condemnation against lukewarm ness for there was no stability of thinking in the people for they looked at Baal and then looked at God but came to no conclusion as to whom to follow for guidance for they had not integrity.
Now lukewarm ness is also discussed in the writing of James where it is addressed in this manner: A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
An unstable man is a man who falls.
An unstable man is a man who drifts from one side of the road to the other side.
An unstable man has no constant guide for he drifts from one position to another, having two minds.
He goes from hot to cold to lukewarm.
The amazing thing is that God would rather have a man or woman who was cold than lukewarm.
He would rather have you fully committed to coldness than to be drifting from one position to another.
Elijah expressed the same thing when he said: How long halt ye between two opinions?
How long are you going to sit on the fence?
Now fence sitting is not a comfortable seat.
It is much better to be firmly on the ground, on either side of the fence.
Elijah recognized this when he said: If you donít want to follow God then follow Baal.
Get some single mindedness even if it is in following Baal.
In other words get some integrity, get some wholeness in your position, quit wavering between two positions and go wholeheartedly with one position.
Quit playing both sides of the fence!
Now God wants you on His side of the fence for a wholeness toward God will bring the right guidance.
And therefore he tells us in our proverb.
The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.
The word 'dichotomy' is appropriate to describe what takes place in this proverb.
The Lord uses this method of teaching throughout the proverbs for He takes two parts and compares them.
One part enlightens the other.
It is as a dull piece of iron sharpening a sharp piece of iron.
A dichotomy is a division or dividing into two especially mutually exclusive or contradictory groups.
Thus the Lord places the word "integrity" in the same sentence as he places the word "perverseness."
Two ideas but opposing ideas. Two ways but opposing ways.
Now the word integrity is from the word integer.
The word integer describes things as basic as your finger.
Each one of your fingers is an integer.
Each one of your fingers stands alone from your other fingers.
Each finger is an individual and has its own name.
Even your right index finger is different than your left index finger.
In arithmetic an integer is a whole number, as distinct from a fraction.
The number one is an integer, two is an integer, as are the numbers three and four.
Each number stands alone from every other number and is whole in itself, not needing any other help to be itself.
In all cases it acts as itself and never tries to be anything but itself.
It never covets the part of another integer but always, whether in addition, subtraction, division or multiplication, it functions or acts as itself.
Being whole and complete in itself it has no need of anything else to perform its function.
But a fraction is not an integer for it is simply made up of parts of integers.
Since integrity is from the word integer the word integrity means wholeness, it means entireness.
It means the unimpaired state of anything and in relation to a person it is the unimpaired state of the mind.
On Godís side of the fence it is moral soundness or purity; incorruptness; uprightness; honesty.
Integrity presupposes a completeness in the moral character.
Like an integer there is nothing lacking or any thing to be added in that which has integrity.
Integrity therefore is wholeness in the moral character.
Jesus Christ, of perfect integrity, is in the business of making whole.
He does not involve himself in making parts of things.
We see this in Mark 6:56, And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.
What about the woman with the issue of blood who touched his garment?
Matthew reports in chapter 9:22, But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.
He involved himself in no partial fixes or fractions of solutions but in everything he did, he did the whole of it.
There were no half healings.
The woman had an issue of blood but she may also have had a bent back.
You can be sure that Jesus not only made her whole by taking away the issue of blood but he also straightened her back if that was the case.
That woman did not have to come back for further treatment either.
What about Bartimaeus who before Jesus came to town was blind.
Old Bartimaeus he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.
What do we see as a result of that cry?
Why we see Jesus granting mercy because of her faith.
Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.
Bartimaeus now had integrity of sight and whatever other malady he may have had was gone.
That is what God is involved in, the whole man, the whole woman.
This is the message of the song,
COMPLETE IN THEE, BY AARON R. WOLFE 1821-1902
1) Complete in Thee! No work of mine May take, dear Lord, the place of Thine;
Thy blood hath pardon bought for me, And I am now complete in Thee.
Yea justified! O blessed thought! And sanctified! Salvation wrought!
Thy blood hath pardon bought for me, And glorified I too shall be!
2) Complete in Thee! no more shall sin, Thy grace hath conquered, reign with-in;
Thy voice shall bid the tempter flee, And I shall stand complete in Thee.
3) Complete in Thee-each want supplied, And no good thing to me denied;
Since thou my portion, Lord wilt be, I ask no more, complete in Thee.
4) Dear Saviour! when before Thy bar All tribes and tongues assembled are,
Among Thy chosen will I be, At Thy right hand, complete in Thee.
Therefore our proverb can say: The integrity of the upright shall guide them.
The wholeness of the upright shall guide them.
The completeness of the upright shall guide them.
God puts a wholeness into the upright.
The upright are equipped with all they need to know what direction to go.
God does not keep this from the upright.
Why, because the upright are made whole by the word of God.
There is nothing lacking in the provision of God to the upright.
The integrity that guides the upright is like a track that guides a train.
The track is the boundary in which the train functions.
The track is the hedge.
And as long as the train stays within that boundary all is safe.
All the train needs is to follow the track and the train will arrive at its predetermined destination.
And so is the integrity of the upright.
As a train is equipped to follow the track so are the upright equipped by God with a wholeness to know and to follow the Way.
The lady with the issue of blood and Bartimaeus were made whole.
What guided them in a physical sense after Jesus made them whole?
Their integrity of sight and health that Jesus brought!
They are physical examples of what happens to God's children in a spiritual way.
But transgressors do not know that way because of perverseness.
Our proverb says that: the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.
Perverse literally means turned aside.
Perverse is saying, No one can tell me what to do.
Perverse goes a way he or she thinks is unique but that way is a broad way and is jammed with other free thinkers who are following a way that only leads to destruction.
Perverse is distorted from the right and obstinate in the wrong.
It means crossed grained.
Distorted from going with the grain but not only that when it goes across the grain it is always rough going.
Try being perverse when dealing with wood.
Perverse is disposed to be contrary, to be stubborn, to be intractable.
Intractable simply means not being willing to be put on a track.
Integrity is being on the track that God has laid while perverseness is going crosswise to the track.
Perverseness will not yield to guidance but instead wishes to go crosswise to guidance.
Perverseness is acting in opposition to what is proper or what is desired by others.
It is wanting to make your own way apart from the right way.
As a train that does not follow the track, is there any wonder that the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them?
There is no other conclusion for such an unguided train.
Without the wholeness that Jesus Christ provides, transgressors are totally out of control and doomed to destruction as a train off the track is doomed.
There can be no other result to those who are in darkness and undone refusing the light of the word of God!