I put in charge of Jerusalem my brother Hanani, along with Hananiah the commander of the citadel, because he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most men do.
We live in a world of brokenness and inconsistency. When pressure mounts, we need a sure and secure confidence in what God is doing. In Nehemiah 6, we are introduced to a man of integrity who rises above the blame game and takes positive steps to recovery. For example, in Nehemiah 6:8–9, he calmly denies the charges; in verses 10–12, he carefully resists the pressure so that by verses 15–19, he confidently completes the task.
If you were governor of Jerusalem looking for a man to take charge, what abilities would you look for? What qualities would stand out in your thinking, and where would you find such a person?
Nehemiah was very blessed to have a brother with the same deeply rooted convictions and principles as him. Hanani is described as a man of integrity who feared God (Nehemiah 7:2).
The word “integrity” in the Hebrew language means honesty and sincerity coupled with the idea of completeness. There are two aspects to this word integrity. One is “kalos,” meaning honour and honesty. The second colouring of integrity is “adolos,” which means pure or untarnished.
Throughout the Scriptures we see the importance of this virtue, in how much God values it. David said, “I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity . . .”
(1 Chronicles 29:17). Job maintained his integrity, and further stated that his integrity was at stake (Job 6:29). Those seeking to find fault with Jesus said, “We know you are a man of integrity . . .” (Matthew 22:16).
SCRIPTURE TO REFLECT ON: NEHEMIAH 6–7
1. How does the Hebrew definition of “integrity” help formulate your idea of what it means to be a man or a woman of integrity?
2. How is integrity related to justice and compassion? Is it a necessary character trait to do justice and to show compassion?
Ernie Gray is National Chaplains Coordinator for the Association of Alliance Chaplains. Alliance Chaplains minister in communities that are often beyond the reach of the traditional church, such as in hospitals, prisons, and the Armed Forces. They represent Christ in the midst of everyday life and in extraordinary circumstances. Click here to learn more about Alliance chaplains.