Monday, October 11, 2010

Integrity Check

Last Wednesday night we took at look at Joshua 9 and 10 and how Joshua showed his integrity by defending the Gibeonites.  Integrity is defined as the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.  In other words integrity is doing what you are supposed to do.

In Joshua 9, the Gibeonites realize that they do not want to suffer defeat from the Israelites just as Jericho and Ai did.  They decided it would be best to make a treaty with them, but they would have to deceive them into believing that they were from a far away land.  They put on old clothes and equipment, and when they met up with the Israelites they told them they were from far away.  Joshua 9:14 says that they agreed to a treaty without seeking God's counsel.  Joshua later discovered the truth that they were actually from close by, but because of the treaty he had made in God's name, he could not change his mind and defeat them.  The Gibeonites ended up becoming slaves for what they had done.

In Joshua 10, 5 kings come together to try to defeat Israel by first attacking Gibeon.  Joshua could have made the decision to just allow them to defeat Gibeon because it wouldn't be him that was doing it.  But he chose to do the right thing.  His integrity shone through as they went and defended Gibeon by defeating these 5 kingdoms.  A pretty incredible thing happens in Joshua 10:12-14.  As the Israelites are running out of sunlight for battle, Joshua asks God to make the sun stand still, and He does!  God causes the sun to stand still for about an entire day while the Israelites defeat their enemies.  Because Joshua honored God, God honored Joshua.

So looking at how Joshua maintained his integrity we looked at ways you can lose your integrity:
1)  When you do something you know you should not do.  It could be that you are doing something to spite someone.  Whatever the reason, if you know what you should not do but do it anyway, you lose integrity.  Same is true if you know what you are supposed to do and do not do it.
2)  Situational Dedication- this is when you go to church, act holy, but you only live that way in certain situations or you try to fool people.  Or you might just live that way when it is convenient for you.  

So how does your integrity stand up?  Are you following God at all times or only when you want to?  Make a commitment to honor God in all you do.

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