Previously we had already learned about integrity. As a reminder, the definition of Integrity is a determination to always make decisions based on the truth that we have received from the Lord at any cost. We must have integrity in all areas of our lives. This time we will learn about integrity in finance through Genesis 14:17-15:1.
1. Integrity in giving tithes.
Tithe is an expression of respect.
Tithe is not a law, because Abram was there before the law existed. Abram gave tithe because he met the person who channeled God’s grace to him by giving him revelation that later made him had the ability to reject the offer from the king of Sodom. As an expression of his respect, he brought tithe from all that he possessed to Melchizedek. Tithe should be given with respect.
Tithe is God’s exchange system.
Abram received revelation of the Word from Melchizedek, that God is the creator of heavens and earth, He is the One who blessed Abram so that Abram became rich. Abram received a spiritual wealth that enabled him to acquire material possessions, so he took one-tenth of the wealth he obtained to be given to Melchizedek, who had given him a spiritual wealth. There was an exchange there.
Melchizedek gave to Abram spiritual wealth, which made him able to obtain material possessions, and Abram brought the material possessions to Melchizedek who made Melchizedek able to focus on obtaining spiritual wealth. That is the exchange system of God. That is why the law of tithe continues until today (cf.: Num. 18:21; Mal. 3:10; Gal. 6:6). In tithing, there must be an exchange that occurs.
2. Integrity in rejecting the offer of the king of Sodom.
Next in verse 21, Abram met the king of Sodom. King of Sodom was a picture of an evil world ruler. King of Sodom gave Abram an offer to exchange with him (This imitated God’s exchange system), but Abram refused, and watch what he said in verses 22-23, he answered the king of Sodom with the revelation that he received from Melchizedek, that God is the creator of heavens and earth; He was the One who blessed Abram so he became rich. He did not want that later king of Sodom said that it was he who made Abram rich.
3. Integrity in using money.
We must have the integrity in using money. Never use money that does not belong to us. Do not use money lavishly, so that our money is spent on things that are mortal.
In order for integrity in finance to be established we must know and trust God as:
1. The Creator of heavens and earth and all its contents. He is the owner of everything.
2. The Shield that protects us from all enemies (Genesis 15:1).
3. The Giver of a fair wage, which will be the compensation for any loss that we have received for holding integrity (Genesis 15:1).
Read also: Integrity: A Key to Experience Significant Leap.