DAILY DEVOTIONAL TUESDAY, APRIL 20, 2021

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Integrity Guides the Upright

Proverbs 11:3 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
The integrity of the upright guides them,
    but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.

Verses 3-8 of Proverbs chapter 11 contain the same broad theme of what happens in the life of the righteous one and the wicked one.

The integrity of the upright guides them: The Hebrew word rendered integrity (tummah) has the meaning of purity, innocence, completeness, respectability, spotless character, with the sense of blamelessness, a state of innocence. One whose person and character are morally good, having no real guilt or sin. The upright (Heb. yashar) person is one whose behavior is morally innocent and proper according to God’s Word. The integrity guides (Heb. nachah), that is, it is the authority or charge to lead, direct the life-movements or choices of the upright one.

but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them: The Hebrew word rendered crookedness (seleph) is deviousness, duplicitous, deceitful, and underhanded. The wicked one deals in falsehoods and has no integrity about himself. The treacherous person (Heb. bagad) cannot be trusted as they will do someone wrong as they are not faithful to any authority, nor following any kind of moral standard. They are not reliable. This will destroy (shādā) them in the end. In other words, their way of life, prospering from the expense of others, will be undone, devastating them, ruining them.

Solomon recognized that integrity does not always protect the upright from danger or calamity. Nevertheless, integrity undeniably guides the upright in their efforts to live a life that is right in the eyes of God, even under the most difficult circumstances, bringing the upright one benefits that the unbeliever may not have. The treacherous one may feel like they are having successes in life and do not really care that it comes at the expense of others, seemingly prospering. However, even they, have a sense that in the end, their deviousness, duplicitous, deceitful, and underhanded life will destroy them.

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