The upright man
On one occasion David in Psalm 19 prayed, "Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression."
Over the years, certain words and phrases have all but disappeared from the vocabulary of the average person.
For example, when, if ever have you heard someone referred to as a God fearing man?
Why is that de scri ptive phrase no longer used even among professed believers?
Is it because the Biblical truth concerning the fear of God is no longer taught in our churches?
Is it because God is no longer viewed as a God who ought to be feared.
Perhaps we no longer take seriously the words of Christ, "But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who after He has killed has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!" Luke 12:5
Another word that is seldom used in our day is the word "upright."
This is a word that is used to describe the moral character of an individual.
In that sense, the Dictionary tells us that the word refers to a person who is righteous, honest and just.
Some of the synonyms that have been suggested are, upstanding, ethical, moral, principled, virtuous, reputable, creditable and noble.
Even some of those words sound a bit strange in our day!!
When the word "upright" is used in the Bible to refer to man, it carries with it the idea of being blameless.
The underlying thought has to do with being ethically sound, or what we might refer to as sincerity of heart.
In this sense, it is the very opposite of hypocrisy.
Hypocrisy concerns itself merely with the exterior, while uprightness is concerned with the heart, or the inner man.
Uprightness is not a matter of the mere performance of a single duty.
The hypocrite may be motivated by any number of selfish interests to fulfill some noble act.
True uprightness is not the fit of the moment, but rather it is that which permeates every faculty of life, whether seen or unseen. We are not talking about perfection which no man will achieve this side of heaven.
What we are describing is a person who is never satisfied with anything less than striving for perfection.
The hypocrite has no interest in striving for perfection. He is quite content as long as others think well of him.
As king over the nation of Israel, David knew the importance of being upright.
Regardless of what the so-called polls may indicate, it is important for those who are in places of leadership to be upright, to be upstanding, ethical, moral, principled, virtuous, reputable, creditable and noble.
It is very true, that a nation very seldom rises higher than its leadership. May the words "upright man" be found once again in our vocabulary and in places of leadership in all levels of authority.