Today’s Scrip-Bit   10 February 2023 Proverbs 19:1.

Proverbs 19:1.       Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.

How interesting it is to awaken to a house with no electricity on a damp and cloudy Friday morning! Just the encouragement you need to jump back into bed, because it means no internet and thus no messaging or no Bit. And I could genuinely say ‘Thank God it’s Friday!’ and pull the covers back over my head. (smile) But good things don’t last forever, and some forty minutes later the electricity returned. Chuh! I was just getting warm and cozy with the duchess. 

And once the electricity came back, she was ready to be up and about and begin her day. No lounging in bed for her. So, I reluctantly got up too. And here I am contemplating what to write. Obviously, I asked the Lord to show me what He wants me to write on, but nothing has come to mind so far, so let’s open the Good Library and see where He leads me. Soon come. 

And it didn’t take long. He guided me to these awesome words of Cousin Sol in Proverbs. ‘Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.’ (Prov. 19:1) And isn’t that the awesome truth? It certainly is, and it’s highlighted ever so much by our current talkative society, who, with the help of social media talk a whole lot of baloney, on things they know nothing about. I don’t think we’ve ever had so many foolish people in our world like we do today, thanks to social media and the supposed encouragers who manipulate it for their own selfish and evil purposes. 

And sadly, many of us don’t even know the word ‘integrity’ much less it’s meaning. And what does it mean eh? Well, according to the Random House Dictionary, integrity is: ‘Adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty. The state of being whole, entire or undiminished.’ Now how many of us nowadays adhere to moral and ethical principles or are honest eh? Not too many, because those things are no longer the backbone, the foundation of our societal character. Rather things like fraud, dishonesty, deceit, immorality and evil doings now are the guiding principles of our ungodly society. 

And here are some character traits related to integrity, which hopefully will rub off on us and keep us walking along the straight and narrow path. Integrity is: ‘Gracious, Respectful., Honest. Integrity requires honesty. … Trustworthy. People with integrity follow through on their commitments. … Hardworking, Responsible. Those with integrity take accountability for their actions. … Helpful. When someone has integrity, they help those in need. … Patient.’ Yes friends, to have true integrity, we must possess most, if not all of those characteristics. 

Now, if you read through those traits again and compare them to our current society, you will find that we are a failed society under those terms of reckoning. And isn’t it interesting that later on in Proverbs, Cousin Sol chooses to reiterate his words on integrity in a slightly different manner. This time he writes: ‘Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness (integrity), than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich.’ (Prov. 28:6) 

Oh my people, that’s another glorious truth! Wealth doesn’t give us the privilege to behave perverse and foolish, without integrity. But that’s exactly how many a wealthy person and/or family behaves nowadays. As though their earthly wealth has given them the authority to behave like they own the world and can do whatever they want, as dishonestly, deceitfully and ungodly as they desire. But yuh know what? The verse just before that last one offers us an interesting picture as it says: ‘Evil men understand not judgement (justice): but they that seek the Lord understand all things.’ (Prov. 28:5) 

And that’s something we should sincerely contemplate, then try to make it true in our own lives. Sadly though, the Father of our faith, Abraham, suffered two occasions where serious integrity was totally lacking. Twice he lied and said that his wife Sarah was his sister, and since Sarah was beautiful both the Pharoah of Egypt and King Abimelech of Gerar took her for their wives. The Lord plagued Pharaoh’s house with great plagues because of it, and Pharaoh finally saw the light and returned Sarah to Abraham and then ran him out of town.  (Gen. 12:10-20) 

With Abimelech though, God warned him in a dream that Sarah was Abraham’s wife and he was playing with fire if he touched her. (Gen. 20:1-4) Abimelech protested his innocence. ‘Said he (Abraham) not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this. And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thine heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her. 

Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, and all that are thine.’ (Gen. 20:5-7) And Abimelech obeyed the Lord’s command, but first seriously reproaching both Abraham and Sarah.’ (Gen. 20:9-18)  

Oh my fellow believers, you see the major problems we can cause others through lack of honesty and true integrity. Meanwhile in Psalm 7, Bruh David pleads with God to deal with him according to his integrity. ‘The Lord shall judge the people: judge me, O lord, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.’ (Ps. 7:8) Now how many of us have the parts to ask God to do such a thing eh? Not too many. 

And the Book of Job is chocked full of talk on integrity, for Job maintained before his friends and God that he had done no wrong to cause all his calamity to befall him. But I think the moment he shows the most awesome integrity is when his wife tells him: ‘Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive (accept) good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive (accept) evil (calamity)? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.’ (Job 2:9-10) 

Ah friends, it’s not easy living the Christian life, especially in these last days, but live it we must. And with the help of the Holy Spirit that indwells us, we certainly can live it victoriously. We only have to abide by His leading and guidance. And the first thing He always recommends in our uncertainty is prayer. And there’s no better time for prayer than right now. So, let’s go to the throne of God, through our Friday Chant asking for divine help in our sinful and ungodly world. 

Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the confusion and anxiety caused by the pandemic and our many other serious problems. We can’t fix them on our own Lord, so we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat the simmering unrest in our land. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, without further serious setbacks. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to return backsliders to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

And please introduce a new flock of believers, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic, the bubbling discontent and dissatisfaction in our land, as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, wake up and smell it sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Now, our next move is to truly start living and behaving like the faithful believers we mentioned above, so that the Lord can look down on us with His divine favour! Much LOVE!

…a righteous heart walks in integrity…but the evil heart walks in ungodliness… 

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