Keeping His Name Holy – Yahweh-tsidkenu

Keeping His Name Holy – Yahweh-tsidkenu

Keeping His Name Holy – Yahweh-tsidkenu.

“Behold, the days are coming, says Yahweh, when I will raise up from David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days, Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the Name by which he will be called: Yahweh-tsidkenu, LORD-our-righteousness.”  (Jeremiah 23:5-6).

Tsidkenu: righteousness; saving justice; upright; someone who is perfectly what he ought to be; full of truth, integrity and wisdom; unswerving adherence to righteous standards of fairness; blamelessly put things right.

Jeremiah’s prophecy came to the Israelites when they were under an ominous cloud of judgment. God would send His chosen people into exile for idolatry, immorality, and for judging the people falsely. There was no justice for the innocent. But in the midst of the gloom and doom, Jeremiah speaks the Lord’s words of hope and restoration that will follow on the heels of the difficult judgment. God promised to restore justice through a righteous king who will rule with wisdom and fairness. There will be saving justice in the land. This will be a time when the people will not have to depend on the tainted goodness of other people. The time will come when God Himself will be the people’s righteousness. The Messiah, the righteous Branch from David’s line, will restore the earth. There is reason to hope in the midst of judgment, says the LORD.

In many ways Jeremiah’s prophecy remains unfulfilled. These prophetic words are referring to the Lord’s return in glory to execute justice and righteousness over the earth. These are not words spoken about the Messiah Jesus when He became incarnate and suffered death on the earth. Messiah did indeed bring a foretaste of the full restoration. But Jeremiah is mostly speaking about when Jesus comes in glory as the the righteous king and will restore all things unto Himself. God the Father is going to call Jesus by this glorious Name, LORD-our-righteousness, and Jesus will finally be the world’s righteousness for eternity.

“And this is the name by which He will be called, Yahweh-tsidkenu, LORD-is-our-righteousness.” 

Do we, in our heart of hearts, really believe that this part of the prophecy is true now, that the LORD is our righteousness? Do we live this way? Or do we savor our own righteousness? Often enough we are tempted to allow our righteousness to compete with God’s. But one aspect of the Faith is that we believe God to be literally our righteousness, and that any evidence of our being upright is not due to our efforts in our better moments. Instead of expecting applause and feeling a little pride when we do the right thing, the truth is that we should applaud the Lord for being the Source of all righteousness. To applaud God for His character is in fact what glorify means. The LORD is our righteousness. To Him be the glory. It’s not about us.

“I will greatly rejoice in Yahweh, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation. He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garment, and a s bride adorns herself with jewels. For as the earth brings forth its bud, as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so Yahweh Elohim will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” (Isaiah 61:10-11).

Righteousness appears to be something we should take off and put on. We take off the filthy rags of our righteousness, and we put on God’s righteousness like an elegant robe. And thus our battle over wardrobes ends. We might be tempted to take off God’s robe and out on the old rags again. But in Christ it’s no contest. Believing in Him means we trust His taste in clothing, and we wear God’s robe of righteousness like a heavenly uniform. While we’re at it, we could put on Christ’s breastplate of righteousness as a permanent accessory (Ephesians 6:14).The robe is for moral beauty, the breastplate is for spiritual battle. Both articles of clothing reflect our new standing before God. He has declared us righteous because we are wearing Christ. We are hid in Christ, because we have put on Christ. Wearing His robe and His breastplate, we have found our hiding place. Through Jesus, we put on our new self, our God-righteous self. Our self-righteousness, tattered and dirty, is no longer good enough.

“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world caused by human desires.” (2 Peter 1:2-4).

Yahweh is the only One who is naturally and completely righteous. The LORD is the truly Righteous One. When we put on Christ, when we wear God’s righteousness, we become partakers of His divine nature. We share in His holiness. We are members of His priesthood. We participate in His character. When we put on His robe, He declares us righteous. We haven’t all of a sudden become good. We are good through God’s goodness. Because of our union with Jesus, when God looks at us, He sees Jesus and His righteousness. It is our new position before God. After we put on the robe and the breastplate, they are sized a little too big, so we grow into them. We are expected to mature in His righteousness. We are called to live into His holiness as we participate in His nature. We don’t become gods, we become like God as we share in His righteousness.

A Prayer to Yahweh-tsidkenu (ya’-way sid-ken’-oo).

We are in awe of you, Yahweh-tsidkenu, LORD-our-righteousness. For there is no one to compare with you, the perfectly Righteous One. We know that without you, God, there is no one righteous, not even one. You are the righteous Rock, whose works are true, whose ways are just. Righteousness and justice are the very foundations of your throne. In you, LORD, love and faithfulness meet together, and righteousness and peace kiss each other. We rejoice in you, for you are protecting us with the breastplate of righteousness, and are covering us with your robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garment, and bride adorns herself with jewels. We are thankful that your Son became sin for us, so that we could become the righteousness of God. And we accept that this righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ. Longing for purity of heart, and waiting for the restoration of all things, we bow before you, Yahweh-tsidkenu, and delight in your righteous Name. Amen.