Riverside Community Church

Jehovah Tsidkenu (sid^ken nu) God my righteousness

It was a dark, dark time in the land of Israel 600 years before Christ would come. In the northern kingdom of Judah, the Kings had rebelled against the Lord and Israel was no better. Princes, priests and court prophets had gone astray from the way of God, YHWH. Wickedness prevailed; Baal worship had taken strong roots. Baal and Asherah were gods of fertility leading to debauchery.  Injustice existed as the poor were oppressed and the widows were robbed of their possessions.  The great nation of Babylon was at Israel’s doorstep leering upon the land with a conquering eye.


Into this calamity God sent a prophet, Jeremiah, with a prophetic message of ‘judgement to come’ for their wickedness, for their false and insincere worship, for the injustices against their own people and for failing to trust YHWH concerning Babylon.  Jeremiah warned them repeatedly, but his prophetic message fell on deaf ears and cold hearts. Jerusalem fell in 586 BC and captives dispatched to Babylon for 60 years.  

Prior to the fall of Judah’s city, Jerusalem, Jeremiah prophesied of deliverance from all this wickedness and deliverance from the future captivity. And deliverance would come through the lineage of David, a King, through one who would execute judgement and justice. The deliverer would be YHWH Tsidkenu (Sid^ ken nu).  God our Righteousness.

The reference in Jeremiah 23 was to the Messiah, a righteous King and He was the only hope for the remanent left in Judah.

Jeremiah 23:5-6 NKJV

“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:



Righteousness is to be morally correct and just. Righteousness is the noun and righteous is the adjective. God is both.

The righteousness of God is because God is righteous.



Our God is righteous, we are not righteous

-and we know from Scripture that our own righteousness is as filthy rags before God, our best is soiled dirty rags.


Isaiah 64:6 New King James Version

But we (we -meaning all of us) are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses  are like filthy rags.


Romans 3:10-12 New International Version (NIV)

As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, …

Psalm 53 

2 God looks down from heaven upon the children of men,

To see if there are any who understand, who seek God. Every one of them has turned aside; They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one.


It is not that we can’t do good, do righteous acts but that we have sinned and it is our sin the soils our whole life.

        1 bad apple spoils the whole bushel -I dare say in our lives that there plenteous bad apples spoiling our lives.




We are made righteous through faith in Christ

-we know that the righteousness of Christ covers us and when God the Father looks at us, He sees us through the lens of Christ’s righteousness. It is imputed to us, it is given to us, for perfect righteousness is not earned or purchased with money but given to us when we put our faith in Christ.



Marilyn made a lemon meringue pie this week which beaded up on top of the meringue. She tried getting the beads off of the pie and in the end she gave up and put it in the fridge overnight. The next morning, after thinking about it all night, she got up and went to the fridge and pulled out the pie. To her horror the pie meringue looked like the worst case of measles ever. During the night she researched how to make a meringue that wasn’t baked. Off she went to make a stove top meringue which turned out perfectly and she spread it over top of the beaded meringue and our guest didn’t notice a thing except that the meringue was perfect.


-Christ’s righteousness covers over you, your righteous rags and you appear perfect to our God.


Philippians 3:9 NIV

and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.



We are to pursue and practice righteousness.


To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” Proverbs 21:3. To do -action


 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 

2 Timothy 3:16  -we can learn, be guided in righteousness thru Bible


Righteousness is an action that, by faith, should come forth in our day-to-day lives.


“And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.” Romans 6:18.      Pursue righteousness


“… Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God” 1 John 3:10.

-so practice righteousness

Jesus told us to hunger and thirst after righteousness, to crave it..



In the Antarctic summer of 1908, Sir Ernest Shackleton and 3 companions attempted to travel to the south pole from their winter quarters. They set off with 4 ponies to help carry the load. Weeks later, the ponies died and their rations all but exhausted they turned back towards their base. The goal failed, they had travelled some 127 days.  On the return journey Shackleton records in the ‘Heart of the Antarctic’ book he wrote later that the 4 men spent most their time talking about food -elaborate feasts, gourmet delights, sumptuous menus.  As they staggered back, not knowing whether they would make it or not every waking hour was occupied with thoughts of eating.           Hungering after food

In the same manner of Shackleton’s team Jesus said Hunger and thirst after righteousness, crave for it, pursue it and practice it.


Righteousness is something that we can increase in and the more we practice righteousness and pursue it, the greater our righteousness will be. Not saving righteousness but sanctifying righteousness.



God called certain people righteous.


Genesis 7:1

Then the Lord said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation.


Joseph is called a righteous man because he took Mary in faith as instructed.



Then there were 2 brothers who sang that classic ‘Unchained Melody” they were called the righteous brothers. Originally, they were not called that but when someone complemented a song they sang by saying ‘man, that was righteous’, they changed their name to Righteous Brothers. No, they aren’t in the Bible and I don’t think they considered the name ‘Filthy Rags’ once.




The Result of Righteousness

Here are a few Bible verses showing your benefits when you pursue and practice righteousness. Benefits for now and for eternity!

From Proverbs

“Blessings are on the head of the righteous … The memory of the righteous is blessed … The mouth of the righteous is a well of life … But the righteous has an everlasting foundation.” Proverbs 10:6-7,11,25.


Jesus said: But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:31-33.  -God will supply all you need but pursue and practice righteousness 1st.


“Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father….” Matthew 13:43


“The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.” Isaiah 32:17.

        Do you want peace -practice righteousness


“For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Romans 14:17

        Do you want joy- practice righteousness


Paul tells Timothy his spiritual son 2 Timothy 2:22 NIV

Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, …


Ephesians 6:14.

“Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness.” (Guard your heart with spiritual armour)



Here is the $64,000 question?

  1. How do I practice righteousness, how do I pursue righteousness and how do I put on the breastplate of righteousness?

  2. How do I become righteous?


I think the answer is in the definition of righteous /righteousness

Def: To be righteous involves our behaviour being morally right & justifiable (able to show it was right)


Righteous behavior is in your morality (correct morality, God’s standard of morality), in your justice, in your virtuous living and in your upright living. The Bible’s standard of human righteousness is God’s own perfection in every attribute, every attitude, every behavior, and every word. Thus, God’s laws, as given in the Bible, both describe His own character and constitute the plumb line by which He measures human righteousness.

-that is what we must strive to do -be like God in everything, all the time, every time.

        It’s hard work, it’s difficult if not impossible, it takes strenuous pursuit, you need to practice hard and when you fail and fall, and you will  STAND UP, AGAIN AND PURSUE RIGHTEOUSNESS

-here’s that two-sided coin again

        On 1 side is God has made us righteous through Christ.


-God does this through our faith


On the other side is us striving to be righteousness and to keep growing in righteousness.


-We do this with God’s help


Now this is His name by which He will be called:



“And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.” Romans 6:18.      Pursue righteousness


“… Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God” 1 John 3:10.

-so practice righteousness


The God who is               is our Righteousness  YHWH Sid^ Ken nu

Live like God is               so live righteously before God and man daily