The upright man (Prov 2:20-2:22)

“Therefore walk in the way of good people.

Keep to the paths of the just.

The upright will inhabit the land.

The innocent ones of integrity will remain in it.

But the wicked will be cut off from the land.

The treacherous will be rooted out of it.”

The young people were to walk in the way of the good people. Thus they would become upright and righteous as they kept to the path of the just ones. The upright will then inherit, inhabit, and abide in the land. The innocent ones who live with integrity will remain on the land. However, the wicked ones will be cut off from the land. The liars and the treacherous infidels will be rooted out of the land. Notice that the big reward and punishment is the land.

Prayer for help (Ps 41:10-41:12)

“But You!

Yahweh!

Be gracious to me!

Raise me up!

Thus I may repay them.

By this I know

That you are pleased with me.

My enemy has not triumphed over me.

But you have upheld me

Because of my integrity.

You have set me in your presence forever.”

David prayed to Yahweh. Once again he wanted Yahweh to be gracious to him and raise him up out of his sick bed. Then he would be able to repay all those who were not kind to him. David knew that Yahweh was pleased with him because his enemy had not defeated him. He had been sustained by Yahweh because of his integrity. Therefore he would be in the presence of Yahweh forever. Is this an indication of eternal life?

Walk in integrity (Ps 26:11-26:12)

“But as for me,

I walk in my integrity.

Redeem me!

Be gracious to me!

My foot stands on level ground.

In the great congregation

I will bless Yahweh.”

This psalm ends with the innocent David’s self-righteous plea that he had always walked in integrity. He wanted Yahweh to redeem him. He wanted Yahweh to be gracious to him. He had kept his feet on the level right path. In the congregations he blessed Yahweh. Therefore he was on the right side with Yahweh.

The innocent one cries out (Ps 26:1-26:3)

A psalm of David

“Vindicate me!

Yahweh!

I have walked in my integrity.

I have trusted in Yahweh

I have not wavered.

Prove me!

Yahweh!

Try me!

Test my heart!

Test my mind!

Your steadfast love is before my eyes.

I walk in faithfulness to you.”

Psalm 26 is another lament or prayer for deliverance from personal enemies like the preceding Psalm 25. It is more like Psalm 7 and Psalm 17 in that it is a cry of the innocent like Job. Once again the notation is simply that of a psalm of David. David maintained that he was innocent. He wanted to be vindicated. He walked in integrity. He had trusted in Yahweh, never wavering. He wanted both his heart and mind tested.   He always had the steadfast love of Yahweh before his eyes. He was always faithful.

Protection from enemies (Ps 25:19-25:21)

Resh   

“Consider how many are my foes!

With what violent hatred they hate me.

Shin   

O guard my life!

Deliver me!

Do not let me be put to shame!

I take refuge in you.

Tav     

May integrity and uprightness preserve me!

I wait for you.”

Yahweh should protect the psalmist from his foes and enemies. They hate him violently. Yahweh should guard his life and rescue him so that he would not be put to shame. He took refuge in Yahweh as he hoped that his integrity and uprightness would preserve him. Meanwhile he waited on Yahweh.

Yahweh is the judge (Ps 7:6-7:8)

“Rise up!

Yahweh!

In your anger.

Lift yourself up against the fury of my enemies.

Awake!

O my God!

You have appointed a judgment.

Let the assembly of the peoples be gathered around you.

Take your seat on high over it!

Yahweh judges the peoples!

Judge me!

Yahweh!

Judge me according to my righteousness.

Judge me according to the integrity that is in me.”

David wanted Yahweh, the judge to judge him. Of course, he wanted Yahweh to judge against his enemies. He wanted Yahweh to wake up and take his seat as the judge of all the people. Then everyone could see that David was innocent and righteous, as well as living with integrity if the judgment came from above, from Yahweh. This was David’s cry of self righteousness to be proclaimed by Yahweh.

Job maintains that he has not been fraudulent (Job 31:5-31:8)

“If I have walked with falsehood,

If my foot has hastened to deceit,

Let me be weighed in a just balance!

Let God know my integrity!

If my step has turned aside from the way,

If my heart has followed my eyes,

If any spot has clung to my hands,

Then let me sow!

Let another eat!

Let what grows for me be rooted out!”

The first question is falsehood. Has Job lied? Has Job cheated people? Job maintained that he had not deceived people. He had always used a just weight scale in his transactions. God knew his integrity. He had never turned from God’s way. If he has done anything wrong, let him be the sower and another person can eat of his crop. If he has been false and deceitful, whatever he has planted and grown should be rooted out.

Eliphaz speaks to Job (Job 4:1-4:6)

“Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered.

‘If one ventures a word with you,

Will you be offended?

But who can keep from speaking?

See!

You have instructed many.

You have strengthened the weak hands.

Your words have supported those who were stumbling.

You have made firm the feeble knees.

But now it has come to you.

You are impatient.

It touches you.

You are dismayed.

Is not your fear of God your confidence?

Is not the integrity of your ways your hope?’”

Now finally, someone other than Job speaks. Eliphaz the Temanite, who was one of his 3 friends, felt that he was forced to speak. Although he did not want to offend Job, he started out gently. He will represent the traditional opinion of retribution that God was punishing Job for something that he had done. Eliphaz reminded Job that he had instructed many people. Using beautiful metaphors, he said that Job had strengthened the weak, supported the stumbling, and firmed up the feeble. However, now the problems have come to Job. Suddenly Job was impatient. Where was his confidence in God? Where was his hope based on his integrity? Eliphaz chided Job for being impatient and not trusting in God.

Job and his wife (Job 2:9-2:10)

“Then his wife said to him.

‘Do you still persist in your integrity?

Curse God!

Then die!

But he said to her.

‘You speak as any foolish women would speak.

Shall we receive the good at the hand of God?

Shall we not receive the bad?’

In all this, Job did not sin with his lips.”

His wife, who had been saved, told him to curse God and die. She told him to forget about his integrity. However, he told her she was speaking like a foolish woman. He reminded her that they received good from God. Why would they nor receive bad from him? No matter what, Job did not sin with his lips.  Once again, like the female Eve in Genesis, chapter 3, his wife tried to tempt Job to give up, curse God and die.