Jehovah Tsidkenu - God our Righteousness
But what does that mean for me? Merriam Webster defines righteousness as acting in accord with divine or moral law : free from guilt or sin. Ok - that is more workable but I'm still not really there. So I'll just review what I know about the righteousness of God (Jehovah Tsidkenu).
I live in a world that says "all things are subjective and there is not clear right or wrong", and thus it is usually the popular opinion of the culture and or my government that sets standards of rightness or wrongness. These are moral laws, and they can shift. Shades of Sin. Shades of right, degrees of wrong. There is a difference between stealing an apple to feed your hungry child and embezzling your companies retirement fund. To abuse an animal is wrong and you will face heavy fines and jail time, but to abort a child is not - it's considered a health care choice. My employer must pay me a fair wage for the time I spend at work; but making a few personal calls, commenting on a few face book posts, updating my fantasy football stats or march madness brackets, scanning Craig's list, amazon, and YouTube - just to clear my mind a bit and refocus - well, that doesn't hurt anybody. I don't call it "cheating" when google or my best friend helps me write a paper or finish my homework - its cooperative learning. And EVERYONE knows it's only speeding if there is a cop with a radar gun on the road I take to work!
Yet, I know that God sets the standard for all of His creation, and His standards are timeless and unfaltering. This is divine law - God's law - the highest and most holy standard. God's righteousness is directly linked to His holiness. Righteousness is the behavior that follows holiness. But more than that it is a result of the way that my relationship with God impacts and alters me from the inside out. I can fake how I act on the outside, but I cannot fake who I am on the inside. Apart from God, my character will never reflect His holiness. Righteousness is a gift extended to me from God. By grace thru faith I am saved - it's a gift from God to me - and it's not at all about me - so there is no room for me to brag. God extends His forgiveness to me - Jesus bridges the gap and covers all that was wrong and broken, all that separated me from God. Everything God has ever done or ever will do is fully and completely right and righteous. God is always faithful to His standard of holiness. He doesn't discriminate. He doesn't excuse "wrong" for the greater "right."
And you God are calling me. You want my heart to be like yours. You want our relationship to be deep and personal. The more people spend time with me, the more I want them to see you God. Continue to do your work in me - from the inside out.