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The Upsides of the Upright - Pastor Stacey Shiflett



The Upsides of the Upright

2 Samuel 22

  • 21 The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness: according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.

  • 22 For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God.

  • 23 For all his judgments were before me: and as for his statutes, I did not depart from them.

  • 24 I was also upright before him, and have kept myself from mine iniquity.

  • 25 Therefore the LORD hath recompensed me according to my righteousness; according to my cleanness in his eye sight.

  • 26 With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful, and with the upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright.

 

Intro: Last Wednesday night, I preached on Things that Please God. On Thursday morning, I preached on being Simple Concerning Evil out Romans 16:19. Tonight, I want to draw our attention to the Upsides of living a life that God describes as UPRIGHT.

 

·        UPRIGHT mentioned 66 times.

·        UPRIGHTNESS is used 18 times.

Several different Hebrew words are used for the English word UPRIGHT.

They all have similar meanings.

 

The Bible described Job as a man that was upright.

Hebrew: yashar yaw-shawr’

correct, right; straight, level; pleasing, correct; straightforward, just, upright, fitting, proper

 

Hebrew: tamiym taw-meem’

whole, sound, healthful; complete, entire; wholesome, unimpaired, innocent, having integrity; what is complete or entirely in accord with truth and fact

 

Tonight, we are going to do a word study on why it pays to live a life that is upright.

The Bible uses the word upright in several ways to give us a picture of what it means.

 

I. The Depictions of the Upright

 

A. The FIRST use of the word we find the SHEAVES were UPRIGHT.

This use of the word UPRIGHT is a picture of a SUPERNATURAL DOMINANCE.

·        Genesis 37:7 For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.

 

B. The SECOND use of the word we find the SEA was UPRIGHT. 

This use of the word UPRIGHT is a picture of a SUPERNATURAL DELIVERANCE.

·        Exodus 15:8 And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea.

 

C. The THIRD use of the word UPRIGHT we find the SOULS were UPRIGHT.

This use of the word UPRIGHT is a picture of a SUPERNATURAL DEPENDENCE.

·        Leviticus 26:13 I am the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright.

 

Thanks to God, they were no longer bowed down by the weight of the slavery,

No more in the bondage of Egypt.

No more constrained by the bands of the yoke.

No more hanging their heads in shame and reproach.

No more dreariness and weariness from stomping in the devils mudpits.

God made them go UPRIGHT!!

When they couldn’t, He could!

When they failed, He succeeded!

When their cries and their groaning was their only way, God made a way!

·        God SAVED them, and then He STRAIGHTENED them!!

·        He changed their MASTER, and then He changed their MANNER!

·        He RESCUED them, and then He RESTRUCTURED them!

 

NOTE: We only find the word UPRIGHT in the New Testament one time, and it is in

Acts 14

·        8 And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked:

·        9 The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed,

·        10 Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.

 

There are apparently levels of uprightness.

·        2 Chronicles 29:34 But the priests were too few, so that they could not flay all the burnt offerings: wherefore their brethren the Levites did help them, till the work was ended, and until the other priests had sanctified themselves: for the Levites were more upright in heart to sanctify themselves than the priests.

 

II. The Despising of the Upright


A. The Upright is an Abomination to the Wicked

·        Proverbs 29:27 An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked.

·        Proverbs 29:10 The bloodthirsty hate the upright: but the just seek his soul.

 

B. The Upright are an Amusement to the Wicked

·        Job 12:4 I am as one mocked of his neighbour, who calleth upon God, and he answereth him: the just upright man is laughed to scorn.

 

C. The Upright are an Adversary to the Wicked

·        Psalms 11:2 For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart.

·        Psalms 37:14 The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation.

 

III. The Dividends of the Upright

 

When the world and your flesh and the devil try to tell you that it doesn’t pay to live upright, remind them of this:

 

The Upsides of the Upright are:

 

A. The Payment of God

SEE Text: 1 Samuel 22

  • 21 The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness: according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.

  • 22 For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God.

  • 23 For all his judgments were before me: and as for his statutes, I did not depart from them.

  • 24 I was also upright before him, and have kept myself from mine iniquity.

  • 25 Therefore the LORD hath recompensed me according to my righteousness; according to my cleanness in his eye sight.

·        26 With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful, and with the upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright.

 

Psalm 112

·        1 Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.

·        2 His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.

·        3 Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever.

·        4 Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.

 

B. The Protection of God

·        Psalms 7:10 My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart.

 

C. The Perception of God

·        Psalms 11:7 For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.

 

D. The Peace of God

·        Psalms 37:37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.

 

E. The Presence of God

·        Psalms 140:13 Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence.

              

F. The Preservation of God

·        Psalms 25:21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.

 

G. The Provision of God

·        Proverbs 28:6 Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich.

 

Conclusion: The next time your flesh tries to tell you that it doesn’t pay to live upright, remind it of The Upsides of the Upright.

The next time the Devil tries to talk you into abandoning the way of the upright, remind him of The Upsides of the Upright.

The next time the world looks at you as an Abomination, and an Amusement, and an Adversary, remind them of The Upsides of the Upright.

Remind them where David said:

  • 21 The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness: according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.

  • 24 I was also upright before him, and have kept myself from mine iniquity.

  • 25 Therefore the LORD hath recompensed me according to my righteousness…

  • 26 …and with the upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright.

 

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