We’ve been looking at the names of God and how his names help us understand him better. This week I want to look at the name, ‘The LORD Our Righteousness’.
Jeremiah, the prophet, gave this prophecy from God to his people: ‘Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD. Therefore this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the LORD. “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the LORD. “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness’ (Jeremiah 23:1-6)
The name is clearly to be applied to Jesus, the Son of God, as he is the descendant of David who takes the royal throne.
But what does it mean that Jesus is ‘our righteousness’? The context of the name tells us. Jesus will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. The perfect fulfilment of this prophecy will be at the last judgement. The Apostle Paul warns everyone about that day of righteous judgement: ‘You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance? But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God “will give to each person according to what he has done.” To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile’ (Romans 2:1-10).
That day will be a day of horror for those who have not sought God through Jesus. But for those who have trusted in Christ, it will be a day where we declare again that Jesus is ‘The LORD Our Righteousness’!
Is Jesus your righteousness?