“The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteous Savior.” Jeremiah 23:5-6
George Whitfield, the famous eighteenth century preacher said, “Self-righteousness is the last idol rooted out of our heart.” What a profound connection! Righteousness indicates the source of our standard for virtue, morality and decency. When that standard rests upon anyone other than God we run the risk of perverting our trust and compromising our worship. I think that’s why Whitfield could so clearly call self-righteousness out as idolatry.
One of the names for God in the Old Testament is Jehovah Tsidkenu (Jeremiah 23:6). It means “the Lord, Our Righteousness.” God revealed this name to Jeremiah when the source of Israel’s standard had slipped from God to themselves. Evidently, they were replacing Jehovah with their own names. It resulted in chaos as well as apostasy because the standard just wasn’t high enough. With the name Jehovah Tsidkenu, God promised to send One who would restore a righteousness based on His name alone. A “Righteous Savior” who could rescue his people from the folly of self-adulation.
Unless God Himself is our standard, we have no foundation. So it’s time to abandon all notions of self-righteousness. Stop calling upon Becky (insert your own name) Tsidkenu to determine the right way. Don’t pollute your worship of God with idols of self. Rest on the only standard big enough, wise enough, complete enough to bear the weight of every decision you make….Jehovah Tsidkenu.
Father we thank you for providing a standard for what is right. Convict us when we look to ourselves more than you and forgive our sin.
Examine yourself today to see if there are any idols that need to be destroyed, then intentionally turn to the Lord our righteousness.