The limitless resource of strength and life

God’s Word and his Spirit is the foundation of a believer’s integrity.

Psalm 1:1-3 – How happy is the one who does not walk in the advice of the wicked or stand in the pathway with sinners or sit in the company of mockers! Instead, his delight is in Yahweh’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. He is like a tree planted beside flowing streams that bears its fruit in its season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.

At the opening of the book of Psalms is a description of the person of integrity, one who is not captivated and led astray by the sins of those around them. Notice: he does not abide by wicked advice or counsel, he does not take a stand in the way of sinners or dwell with those who arrogantly scorn others.

I have heard sermons illustrating the arc of being led astray by sin in this fashion: it begins by walking in bad advice, then standing with sinners, and finally sitting with those who mock others. Being led astray begins by walking, slows to standing, and ends with sitting among sinners. While it makes a good sermon and is not unhelpful, the underlying Hebrew is not quite that specific. The main focus is not to associate in casual ways with those who are rebellious against the things of God, or one will become like them and dwell among them.

By contrast, the person of integrity will avoid this downward spiral by a very simple and time-honored strategy: to delight in Yahweh’s torah or instruction and to constantly refer to and rely on the principles of God. To the person of integrity, God’s word is delightful, pleasant, and worthy of time and thoughtful study. The word in English is typically translated as meditate, but it also conveys ideas of musing, imagining, speaking and uttering God’s torah. This process is continual, day and night, thinking on, rehearsing and speaking about God’s instruction. This is the foundation of a believer’s integrity.

When one honor’s God’s instruction in this way, the psalmist likens them to a tree that is always vibrant, regardless of the harshness of the environment. If the weather is hot and dry, the tree continues to flourish and bear fruit just as if its roots were tapped into a nearby stream.

Yeshua also references this source of strength in similar terminology.

John 7:38-39 – The one who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.” He said this about the Spirit…

The believer in Messiah who is immersed in the instruction of God will be provided a resource to counter any adverse condition they may encounter. The depths of this resource are limitless, as it is the very Spirit of God himself. Not only will one avoid the snares of the ungodly, but they can also bear fruit in the most inhospitable environments. This is the path of the righteous, the person of integrity.

Proverbs 4:18-19 – The way of the wicked is like the darkest gloom; they don’t know what makes them stumble. But he path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, shining brighter and brighter until midday.

Having the light of the dawn carries hope that the night is almost over, but the righteous person is continually increasing in brightness as they draw from the limitless resource within them. Just as the sun is an inexhaustible source of light and heat, the Spirit of God is an inexhaustible source of wisdom, strength and life. This is the resource available to all believers.


If you enjoy these daily blog posts, be sure to visit the growing archive of the Core of the Bible podcast. Each week we take a more in-depth look at one of the various topics presented in the daily blog. You can view the podcast archive at https://core-of-the-bible.simplecast.com/ or your favorite podcast streaming service.

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Becoming a lighthouse of integrity on the foundation of God’s wisdom

For thousands of years, the wisdom of God has successfully guided the righteous.

Proverbs 4:18-19 – The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, shining brighter and brighter until midday. But the way of the wicked is like the darkest gloom; they don’t know what makes them stumble.

When we as believers are operating from a place of integrity, the way through situational obscurity can become clear. When we are obligated to do what’s right, there are limited actions, if not a singular course of action, available to us.

But how do we know what’s right? If we keep to the context of this proverbial wisdom, we find that wisdom is the key. Throughout the various chapters of Proverbs, we see they are based on a father who is imparting wisdom to a young child.

Proverbs 4:10-13 – Listen, my son. Accept my words, and you will live many years. I am teaching you the way of wisdom; I am guiding you on straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hindered; when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction; don’t let go. Guard it, for it is your life.

The key to “not stumbling” through life is to have a repository of wisdom from which to draw insight and understanding. We all must have some sort of foundational knowledge that serves to uphold our decision making processes. In ancient times, this was the common practice for parents to pass on to their children.

Proverbs 4:3-6 – When I was a son with my father, tender and precious to my mother, he taught me and said: “Your heart must hold on to my words. Keep my commands and live. “Get wisdom, get understanding; don’t forget or turn away from the words from my mouth. “Don’t abandon wisdom, and she will watch over you; love her, and she will guard you.

In today’s information-overloaded life, parents struggle to not only find their own way but to successfully impart any type of personal wisdom to their children. There are so many sources of opinion that are available on any topic these days that newer generations are being involuntarily raised by the collective angst of a worldwide mentorship. Rather than having an historically based heritage of proven familial insights, they are basing decisions by the shallow opinion of a hollow, aggregate new orthodoxy.

As believing parents, we need to caution our children that “the way of the wicked is like the darkest gloom; they don’t know what makes them stumble.” Even to declare today that anything, or anyone, could be wicked is in itself a transgression against this neo-orthodoxy of popular opinion. However, a biblical worldview does not hesitate to name wickedness and foolishness, along with righteousness and the source of all true wisdom.

Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and discipline.
Proverbs 2:3-9 – furthermore, if you call out to insight and lift your voice to understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it like hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of Yahweh and discover the knowledge of God. For Yahweh gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up success for the upright; He is a shield for those who live with integrity so that he may guard the paths of justice and protect the way of his faithful followers. Then you will understand righteousness, justice, and integrity ​– ​every good path.

The “good path” of integrity springs from a heart formed with true wisdom. The Bible teaches that wisdom comes from Yahweh. For thousands of years, the wisdom of God has successfully guided the righteous, and been faithfully passed to their children to provide them the right way amidst the chaos of their respective generations.

An ancient Hebraic proverb states: “Those who fear the Lord will form true judgments, and they will kindle righteous deeds like a light.” Our proverb today is filled with a similar sentiment: “The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, shining brighter and brighter until midday.” Yeshua also taught that righteous deeds of integrity can shine amidst a world of darkness that does not know God, and that the doing of those good and righteous deeds can provide a beacon of hope for others.

Matthew 5:14-16 – You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.


If you enjoy these daily blog posts, be sure to visit the growing archive of the Core of the Bible podcast. Each week we take a more in-depth look at one of the various topics presented in the daily blog. You can view the podcast archive at https://core-of-the-bible.simplecast.com/ or your favorite podcast streaming service. Questions or comments? Feel free to email me directly at coreofthebible@gmail.com.