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We’re now at the midway point of this journey through the 7 redemptive names of God with Jehovah Tsidkenu.
The backstory of this name is different from the three we looked at previously. It’s ushered into the biblical narrative at a time when the children of ancient Israel were again in captivity and the promise of redemption came through a prophecy given to Jeremiah. And therein lies the name.
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper … and this is his name whereby he shall be called, the Lord Our Righteousness.Jeremiah 23:5-6
Let’s start by considering the Hebraic root from which Jehovah-Tsidkenu draws its meaning—“tsedek.” From “tsedek” comes words such as “right”, “righteous”, “just”, “justify”, and “declare innocent”.
When coupled with the name “Jehovah,” it means that all God does is ever and only righteous and that He is the sole source of all that is righteous and good. And because His names are about the revelation of Himself to us, this name—Jehovah Tsidkenu—is to help us understand why He is our righteousness and why our own righteousness won’t do.
So, first, what is righteousness?
From human standards, righteousness is the quality of being morally true or justifiable. And it’s justification is aligned to the conformity of behavior regulated by laws or statues which, as we’ve seen in recent times, can be countermanded and superseded by “alternative truths”.
Whereas from a spiritual perspective, there’s a deeper meaning of righteousness that shifts the focus from human to be God-centric. That is, to be right in the eyes of God in our conscience (attitude), character (nature), and conduct (actions) based on God’s law. And most importantly, righteousness is the God-given quality imputed to us when we believe in Jesus.
Imputed! What does this mean?
When we believe in Christ, an amazing thing happens. The merit and worthiness of Christ’s blood takes away our sin and condemnation, and the merit and worthiness of His obedience is imputed to us for righteousness.
This means, when God looks at us it’s just as He sees Christ—as though Christ’s life is ours. And we are accepted, blessed, and rewarded as though all that Christ did was done by us—that is, those who believe in Him and accept His grace gift. This goes back to the principles of free will and “if-then. In this case, God initiates, offering His righteousness, IF we chose to accept and obey His commandments, statutes, and laws, THEN He fulfills.
This week, my brother shared this meme in our group chat that is quite fitting. It reads:
It made me chuckle but more so it caused me to think more about the specificity of imputation.
Adam represented all humanity; therefore when he sinned, we sinned representatively in him, and what he did was imputed to us.
Like the meme you may say I never agreed to the imputation. Indeed you didn’t. But, have you ever tried to do good and despite your best efforts evil some how shows up? You didn’t choose but by virtue of representation the evil that started in Adam shows up in the midst of your trying to do good.
And, we’re not the only ones to struggle with this. Paul, to whom a significant portion of the Bible is attributed, cried out in desperation “oh wretched man that I am” in realizing that sin dwells in him, thwarting his every effort to do good. “Who will deliver me”, he furthered beseeched. Then in gratitude acknowledged that in Jesus Christ is the antidote—the Lord our Righteousness. He said:
… not having mine own righteousness, … but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:”Philippians 3:9 KJV
The STANDOUT POINT is this: It is by representation that we fell, and it is by the representative system that we rise.
This was the “it” that Abraham saw and it’s no wonder he rejoiced (we spoke on this in the last post👈).
Through Adam’s sin we were condemned to eternal death. However, through Jesus’ sacrifice the amazing and mysterious transfer took place: Jesus was made to be the sin offering for humanity in order that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21) and have access to eternal life. But, because we are created with free will, we have to choose this gift of righteousness.
That was a humongous gamble to take wouldn’t you say? God knew our beginning, our in-between and our end yet Jesus became sin for us on the off-chance that we would accept the sacrifice and become God’s righteousness.
May you choose God and come to know Him as the God of our righteousness. As we journey to know Him, we may miss the mark from time to time. But, if we remain faithful in seeking after Him, in time our hearts will line up to His. And without even realizing the process, one day we’ll look at ourselves and ask: “When did I stop doing this thing and that thing?” That is when we’ll know and fully understand that we are now established in the righteousness of God.
This is part of a series of posts, “What in God’s Name”, exploring the 7 redemptive names of God. See you next week for Jehovah Nissi—the God who is our Banner.
But before we go I’d like to share another of my favorite songs—this one sung by Chris Brown about the power of the blood of Jesus to make him/us free to overcome sin. I leave you with his testimony song, “Mercy”.
You’d also like Shabbat Shalom: What In God’s Name👈 that’s where it all started!
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