The Lord Our Righteousness; November 14, 2022

Jeremiah 33:16 In those days Judah will be saved
and Jerusalem will live in safety.
This is the name by which it will be called:
The Lord Our Righteousness.

This is the climax of what the Lord promised Jeremiah in verse three: “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” This is a very clear prophecy of the Christ, the One who would take our sins on Himself and give us His righteousness in return. Paul put it this way: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) The idea that God would do such a thing indeed “trips all the breakers” in the human mind. We actually still have trouble grasping what it all means, thousands of years after the fact. It’s not at all that we are “free to sin.” Paul spent a good bit of time debunking that idea in Romans, particularly chapter 6. However, the fact remains that we can never be “good enough” in our own strength, so apart from the sovereign grace of God, we are hopeless. The good news is that God indeed loved us so much that He sent His Son to be our Righteousness, our Savior, as it so famously says in John 3:16. The thing is, if we really believe that, then gratitude will drive us to be as obedient, as righteous, as we possibly can be. Dennis Prager is a devout Jew whom I respect very much, but he says that he doesn’t relate to God on the basis of love, but obedience, and that he doesn’t believe in unconditional love. I find that very sad. Some Christians talk about love so much that they ditch the idea of obedience, but Jesus said very clearly, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15) There are no qualifiers in that statement. However, our follow-through will be imperfect until we stand before His throne in heaven, so we are totally dependent on His grace, accepting His righteousness that He provided for us on the cross.

I am as much in this struggle as anyone, even though people view me as “saintly” because I am a missionary pastor and haven’t done anything drastic. God knows the thoughts of my heart, and how they are not always in line with Him. Psalm 19:14 is a frequent prayer: “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” I too am totally dependent on Yahweh Tsidkenu, the Lord my Righteousness, and I am totally grateful.

Father, thank You for this reminder. This week promises to be very busy, and it can be difficult to rest, relax, and rejoice as You have told me to do. Help me understand clearly what You want me to do each moment so that I may do it in Your strength, on Your schedule, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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