One of my favorite titles for our Savior and for our God is “Yehovah (or YHVH if you prefer), OUR righteousness.” In Hebrew it is “YHVH Tsidkenu”.
"Behold, the days are coming," says the Lord,
"That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness;
A King shall reign and prosper,
And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.
6 In His days Judah will be saved,
And Israel will dwell safely;
Now this is His name by which He will be called:
THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” (YHVH Tsidkenu)
Many read right over this title. Or so many don’t believe it. God – OUR righteousness? But it’s so full of meaning. I’ve spoken and written several times on this important topic: that in the end, it won’t be your goodness or measure of how well YOU did through your life, as it is God seeing you covered with the robes of God’s own righteousness.
Isaiah 61:10 says, “For HE has clothed me with the garments of salvation, HE has covered me with the robe of righteousness.”
Now combine that with the title in Jeremiah 23:6 and 33:16 – “YHVH (the LORD) OUR Righteousness” and we begin to see what the robe of righteousness and garments of salvation is all about!
Do you remember the story of the wedding feast in Matthew 22? A king (God the Father) put on a wedding for his Son (Yeshua/Jesus). In those days, wealthy hosts wanted their guests to be properly dressed for the occasion – no ripped jeans in these weddings – so they provided the robes and garments. Everyone felt honored to wear the latest high couture. But one man slipped in thinking he felt more comfortable in his own faded blue jeans and T-shirt and must have rejected the garments provided for the occasion.
The king came in, saw him improperly dressed, and threw him out (Matthew 22:11-12). The man’s own garments were as filthy rags by comparison.
But did you get the point? The King – picturing God the Father – provided the robes, their covering. No one had to buy these garments or work for them. But someone trying to come in his own clothes, his own goodness, was rejected.
Neither you nor I will be at THE Wedding Supper of the Lamb of God and His Bride –IF we’re dressed in anything but the righteousness of God. We need HIS garments of salvation, his robes of righteousness, as Isaiah puts it.
When the prodigal son returned home repentantly, the Father says in Luke 15:22 – “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the BEST robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.” Again, it was provided for him upon his repentance. Please click on “continue reading” to finish the rest of this thought-provoking blog.
Scripture uses garments, our covering, as a picture of righteousness. We can either be clothed in the best of the best from the King – HIS righteousness – or we can come and stay as we are in our filthy garments. But unless we change, and put on Yeshua’s life as our covering, we won’t be there. HE is our covering. He not only died for our past sins but now lives in us, for us, covering us in his righteousness.
Our old self must die and we now exhibit the risen Christ living in us and covering us. “For YOU died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ OUR LIFE appears, then you will appear with him in glory” (Colossians 3:3-4).
You see, “For He made him who knew no sin (that is Christ) to be sin for us, that we (who knew no real flawless righteousness) might become the righteousness of GOD, in HIM (Christ)” 2 Cor. 5:21.
You and I MUST be clothed with God’s own free gift of his righteousness bestowed upon us – if we’re smart enough, grateful enough, humble enough and astute enough -- to accept it. It’s the gift of God that we just don’t talk about very much (Romans 5:15-19, especially v 17, and many, many more verses).
The best we can do, our own righteousness falls so far short, and is called filthy rags, actually menstrual rags, in comparison (Isaiah 64:6). Some, who don’t understand that compared to God’s perfect goodness, our best is indeed – menstrual rags (that’s the original Hebrew meaning), try to soften this and say we can attain perfect righteousness without being covered by God’s own righteousness given freely to us by faith. Faith is hard at times, remember. We rather go before God with our own works and righteousness we can see we developed. But ours will never attain the perfection required for the kingdom.
So to try to explain away that the clear scripture that even our own righteousness is as menstrual rags to God really means something else – is just pure nonsense. That’s just not scriptural.
Paul said in Philippians 3:9-11 that he did NOT want his own goodness from the law, but that which was a gift from God, the righteousness of God himself. Read it. It requires faith, and this whole life as a believer is from faith to faith. It takes looking to Jesus as our righteousness and accepting not just his forgiveness for our past sins but also his ongoing righteousness bestowed on us, after he forgives us.
Some of you have a hard time accepting this gift from God – the gift of righteousness (Romans 5:17). Be sure you come to terms with it. Don’t insult the spirit of grace or the gift of God that he wants to give you.
This is what the prophets of old foretold. It’s one of God’s fabulous titles – YHVH Tsidkenu in Hebrew – “YHVH OUR righteousness.”
The more we understand his loving grace the more we actually fall deeper in love with our Savior, the more we actually will find ourselves wanting to live life in a way pleasing to Him; the more we are turning our sins over to him for HIM to wash clean in his blood. HE is the one who takes away our sins (John 1:29). He is our life. He is our new “bread of life”.
For more on this, check out the recent sermons (March 2019) I gave on God’s righteousness. When you really, really grasp this, you will finally start rejoicing in the joy of HIS salvation.
We praise you, our great Living God, and you ARE our righteousness. Yehovah Tsidkenu. Thank you, dear Abba.