“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.’” ~Jeremiah 23:5-6
Jeremiah speaks of Jesus and it is good that God will make him king because we would never elect him. Not with that slogan. Browse our bumper stickers and web banners and you will find words such as hope and peace and love and justice, but never righteousness. We do not place value in righteousness.
We bought our first home and it needed a retaining wall in the backyard, so I headed to Home Depot with the measurements. I gave the clerk the height and length of the wall and he sold me the blocks. Too many blocks, I thought, and I questioned him and discovered an additional row of blocks called the footer must be buried underground. I did not like to pay for a row of blocks that would never be seen, but the wall would never stand without them.
This is righteousness. It is not for show (Matthew 6:1, “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them”) and comes with a cost (Matthew 5:10, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake”), righteousness is buried beneath the surface, but hope and peace and love and justice will not stand without it.
My Heavenly Father, Your Word is good, it fills me and keeps me going. It is what I live on. That’s what Jesus said, more than bread, every word from Your mouth gives me a life that is full and vibrant.
May I feast on what the right food, what brings light and life into my world, rather than the dark and empty words that waste to nothing. May I fill myself with words of hope and faith and love, grace and truth, justice and righteousness.