Live with Integrity

KEY VERSE: “Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things.” —Proverbs 28:5

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Proverbs 28:4-10,13

THE TITLE OF this lesson states one of the principal admonitions of the Bible. A righteous life is to be lived by all who seek the blessing of God. The admonition to live righteously occurs throughout the Scriptures. When the nation of Israel was given the Law, they were told by God, “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.”—Deut. 30:19

In this lesson in Proverbs a comparison is made of those who keep God’s commandments, and those who do not. “They that forsake the Law praise the wicked: but such as keep the Law contend with them.” (Prov. 28:4) In this present evil world, the righteous have a struggle in resisting evil even as Malachi wrote: “Now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.” (Mal. 3:15) This condition will not continue forever. God has a plan wherein the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness and accordingly be rewarded with blessings and life.

In the Gospel Age, the selection of those who will be associated with Jesus in his kingdom are mainly from among the poor. In exhorting the Early Church not to be partial toward the rich, the Apostle James said: “Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?” (James 2:5) There are blessings in store for all the poor in God’s kingdom.

In God’s kingdom there will be justice and equity for all. As our theme text indicates, those who are seeking the Lord understand justice, whereas evil men do not. A contrast is then made between those who have amassed wealth and are rich with those who are poor. “Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich.” (Prov. 28:6) The poor who keep God’s commandments are the fortunate ones in this contrast. The perverse man, though rich, will not be a happy person.

The Law helps those who love righteousness to be wise. (Prov. 28:7) They have inspiring communication with God; whereas God will not respond to the prayers of the wicked. All of these blessings are for those who seek after righteousness and to live in integrity.

During the Gospel Age, those who are walking in the footsteps of Jesus are truly living with integrity. They are being conformed to the image of God’s son. (Rom. 8:29) In the Millennial kingdom they are pictured as sheep in the parable of the sheep and goats (Matt. 25:31-46) and are told by Jesus, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”—Matt. 25:34

None of us can keep God’s Law perfectly, hence Proverbs 28:13 says: “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” The mercy of God has been made available for the church in this Gospel Age through the merit of our Lord’s sacrifice. The Apostle John has written of our Savior, Jesus, “He is the propitiation for our sins: … also for the sins of the whole world.”—I John 2:2

Dawn Bible Students Association
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