Good Morning, Brothers and Sister!
Today we will remember God’s past faithfulness as a reminder that God is still faithful to us and always will be!
We have considered several names of God already, and today we are going to consider another one, Jehovah Tsidkenu (yeh-ho-vaw’ tsid-kay’-noo), ‘the Lord Our Righteousness’. We find this wonderful name of God only Jeremiah 23:6 and 33:16. Today we will be looking at Jeremiah 23:1-6:
“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: “You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the Lord. Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply.I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the Lord.“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for 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: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’
Let us pray…
In this day, the rulers and leaders of Israel were not faithful to the Lord. Rather than gather God’s flock together to worship and serve the Lord, they scattered and destroyed God’s flock. They probably cared more about their pocketbooks and their egos than they did about the holiness of God or about the relationship of the people with God. They failed to reach out to the people and lead them to God. God declared their deeds evil, and he promised to attend to them.
But then God gave a wonderful promise to Israel. God Himself would gather His people together. He would bring them together to worship and know Him. He would make them fruitful and multiply them. And He would set over them shepherds who would care for them. The promise is that the sheep would have no more fear. They would enjoy God’s peace. And none of them would be missing!
Oh what a great comfort these promises are to me! As a sheep in God’s flock, I want to know that I can trust those who are responsible to care for me. And I know that God is the one who fights for and protects His people! He is the one responsible for gathering the sheep, and for appointing over them under-shepherds who will care for them and lead them in God’s ways.
And there still is more hope in this passage! God promised His people in this Old Testament passage that He would raise up a new King in the line of David. They were suffering exile, the kingdom had been broken. They were under the harsh judgment of God. But God promised to give them a new King, a greater king, the promised child of David who would be greater than David Himself! This coming king would deal in wisdom, greater wisdom than King Solomon, and he would bring greater peace to his people that Solomon, the wisest king in all of history! This promised coming King would execute justice and righteousness in the land. And in him all of Judah and Israel, that is, all who are descended from Abraham by faith (hint, that’s you and me if we follow Jesus!) In Him we would dwell secure!
Beloved, there is a problem which God is addressing in this text. You see, God’s people were in exile when they received this promise because they had abandoned him for idolatrous worship. They left the faith and mixed God’s Word with other religious beliefs and practices. They abandoned God’s Word and God’s ways, and they endured the discipline of their loving God as a result. God disciplined them to train them to come back to him!
Well, God’s promise of salvation for Judah went beyond their living in peace, it went beyond executing justice, it was a salvation of their very souls. It was a salvation of God’s people from the wrath and judgement of God, and more than that, it was salvation from God’s hand of discipline! For the text tells us in verse 6 that this coming King, this Messiah who we now know is Jesus Christ, would be known as “Jehovah Tsidkenu”, “the Lord our Righteousness”!
What does this mean? Well, it means that God’s people no longer have to live perfect lives to enjoy God’s presence, peace, and abundant provisions! It means that we do not have to come up with our own righteousness, which we could never do anyway! It means that Jesus Christ is our righteousness! This is the heart of the gospel, beloved, preached to the Israelites long before Jesus arrived on this earth! In their day, all who looked forward to their coming Messiah, the one who would be their righteousness, would be saved!
Today we live on the other side of Jesus’ coming! Hallelujah, he came, and he is our righteousness! In Jesus Christ I am totally and completely righteous! And so are you if you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior! We are totally clean, totally washed, completely righteous in the sight of God! Because Jesus is “Jehovah Tsidkenu”, the Lord our Righteousness! Let us praise and thank God for this great salvation we enjoy in Jesus Christ!
Let us pray…