Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Godlike Integrity

Godlike Integrity
June 16, 2008

Ge 39:9 "...How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?"

The word integrity has become synonymous with the word moral. If we say that someone has integrity, we are saying that he maintains a high moral standard. But the word integrity means more than that; it means being complete or undivided. If something gets burned in a fire but maintains its integrity, it remains unchanged. It is still complete. If a diamond goes through a fire, it comes out a diamond and is said to have its integrity in tact. God has the highest degree of integrity. Not that He simply adheres to a high moral standard but that nothing can change God. Nothing can harm Him and He will not be swayed by any influence. God cannot be altered in His person or His resolve. No matter what, God will be the same. He will remain integral to His character.

There was a man in the Bible who had the most Godlike integrity out of any hero we could study. The man's name was Joseph. Joseph was sold into slavery, though he did nothing wrong, by his jealous brothers. He lived as a slave and was later imprisoned. Despite serving the Lord, God still allowed these things to happen to Joseph. Some theologians say his slavery lasted almost 17 years. But his imprisonment is particularly of interest since he arrived there after being falsely accused. He lived in a very powerful man's house and was in charge of everything, though still a slave. The man's wife tried to seduce Joseph but was unsuccessful. Joseph said that He did not wish to sin against God by doing such a horrible thing. She was embarrassed and accused him of following through with it. The powerful man threw Joseph into prison and God allowed it.

Think about this for a minute. It was God who allowed Joseph to become a slave in the first place; what did Joseph owe the Lord? Joseph could have become bitter or angry with God and walked away from having a relationship with Him. He certainly had no reason to stay true to God. But he did. Joseph remained faithful to God, though it appeared on the outside that God was not being faithful to Joseph. Joseph had integrity, Godlike integrity, for denying that man's wife. After all, after being a slave, it appeared Joseph had nothing to lose. But he lost even more; his integrity landed him in prison. Thankfully the story had a happy ending for Joseph, but no one was clued in to the ending while the slavery was in place. Joseph's integrity remained intact despite his circumstances, no matter what the possible outcome. Joseph proved that he could not be altered in his person or his resolve. No matter what, Joseph stayed the same. Joseph remained integral to his character, his Godlike integrity.

1. Has it ever appeared that God was not being faithful to you?
2. Were you able to retain your integrity to God despite your circumstances?

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