August 10 I Saturday
“There is no one righteous, not even one…”
Jehovah-tsidkenu. What in the world do these words mean? We may know Jehovah is the personal name of God, which is translated as “LORD.” Tsidkenu is likely the word we are not familiar with, which means “our righteousness.” Altogether, Jehovah-tsidkenu means “the LORD our righteousness” in Hebrew.
Tsidkenu, “our righteousness,” is not a familiar phrase we use today, if it is used at all. The man on the street probably associates it with self-righteousness. When someone says, “he’s so righteous,” it is not a compliment but a cynical statement about their self-righteous judgmentalism. But this is not the way this word is used in Scripture. Righteousness is a word used of God to talk about His good character.
Human beings, created to display God’s righteousness, are in a situation far removed from that as Paul tells us, “There is no one righteous, not even one…” (Romans 3:10). When we attempt to be righteous with our rolled-up sleeves and determination we discover that, “all our righteous acts are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6).
There is a legacy within us that recognizes the need to do what is right yet we are in constant internal turmoil. Paul explains, “For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?” (Romans 7:22-24).
Jehovah-tsidkenu––the LORD Our Righteousness––means that we have no claims based on performance, based on history or based outside of Christ. On their own, all these will do is make us self-righteous and a spiritual snob. But the LORD Our Righteousness is about our standing before God. “Our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20) when we recognize that Jesus Christ became sin and died for us. Every sin we ever committed, thought of committing or will commit, He took it and made our standing before God righteous.
Do we know that? Or are we tiptoeing around God hoping that there is enough good in our backpack to impress Him? Because it never will. We need to come to Jesus and acknowledge before Him that our rightful place should have been on that cross, where He acted as our substitute. Jesus bore our sin in His body and because of that, He now offers us His forgiveness and cleansing, so that our status before God is now righteous. Thank You, Jehovah-tsidkenu for giving us tsidkenu.
Prayer: Jehovah-tsidkenu, praise You, for out of Your grace, mercy and love I am made righteous because Jesus bore my sin on the cross. Thank You, Lord.