READ: Jeremiah 21-23
THINK: There are so many incredible names for God in the Bible, so many names that give us a bigger picture of who he is and what that means for us. Sadly, we miss out on some of them in translation – not because the translations are anything less than excellent but because the words are so familiar to us that we miss out on their significance. One of my favorites is found in Jeremiah 23:6: Yahweh Tsidkenu.
In these chapters, God is talking to a nation that has forsaken him and pursued foreign gods. He is talking to a nation that has disobeyed and turned its back on him. He is talking to a nation facing his wrath and punishment in the form of Nebuchadnezzar and his Babylonian army. The people are facing destruction and exile, and they have no one to blame but themselves.
And yet, even in the midst of this – despite the brokenness and the despair of the situation – God stops and declares something powerful and profound. Even though the people have brought destruction upon themselves he says, “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 Righteousness.”
The LORD Our Righteousness = Yahweh Tsidkenu. But why is that so significant? And what does it mean for us?
For starters, it means that God is our source of righteousness. Just like the ancient people of Judah, we have turned our backs on him, pursued false idols, and earned nothing but our own destruction. We don’t have a righteousness of our own. And because of that there is nothing we can do – nothing within ourselves or our abilities – that can earn us his favor or his salvation. We are destined for complete, total, and eternal destruction…but there’s a catch. We can be saved because of his righteousness. He imparts it to us. He is our righteousness – Yahweh Tsidkenu!
And that righteousness is made perfect and exemplified in the person of Jesus. “The days are coming when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch…” Care to venture a guess as to what or whom this is talking about? This is a Messianic prophecy! God is effectively saying, “Yes, you’ve sinned and earned destruction. But in my great love I am going to send a Savior whose righteousness will be enough to cover you. And you not having a righteousness of your own will be restored to right relationship with me through His righteousness. Because He is The LORD Your Righteousness – Yahweh Tsidkenu.” That’s why this passage is infinitely significant for us. Because Christ is our righteousness. He’s the branch from David. He’s the only chance we have for salvation.
PRAY: Worship Yahweh Tsidkenu today for the righteousness that has been imparted to you through Jesus, for the salvation you have undeservedly received.