Day 57: Yahweh Tsidkenu

“For the time is coming,”

    says the Lord,

“when I will raise up a righteous descendant[a]

    from King David’s line.

He will be a King who rules with wisdom.

    He will do what is just and right throughout the land.

And this will be his name:

    “[Yahweh Tsidkenu].”[b]

In that day Judah will be saved,

    and Israel will live in safety.”

Jeremiah 23:5-6

 But you are of Hashem in Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach Yehoshua who became to us chochmah (wisdom) from Hashem, our Tzidkanut (Righteousness) and our Kedushah (Holiness) and our Geulah LaOlam (Redemption to the world), [Jer 23:5,633:16]”

1 Corinthians 1:30, Orthodox Jewish Bible, emphasis added

Yahweh Tsidkenu: The LORD Our Righteousness

It’s funny how the connotations of words change over time. In the NIV version of the Bible published something like 30+ years ago now, the word righteousness is all over the place, but in the New Living Translation (NLT) publishes just a decade letter, that word has nearly disappeared. It has been replaced with “right with God” in almost all appearances in the New Testament, including in the 1 Corinthians reference above. It means the same thing, right? Except that righteousness is a more concise and expedient way to say what we mean. So what about this word – “righteousness” – has grown so distasteful that we sought a way to speak around it?

The problem is how many have confused the source – how many Christians began to call themselves “righteous” to distinguish themselves from “sinners” and forgot which name their own actions had earned them. Where self-righteousness tries to claim the name of true righteousness – Christ-righteousness – it smears the name and confuses the Message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Those who fear God do not dare take credit for His actions as the self-righteous do. So language changes to provide distinction (we are not the same as they), and innocent and accurate words are lost to misuse.

I would by lying if I said the snares of self-righteousness had never trapped me, and that is why this name of God frees and settles my tumultuous heart. See, self-righteousness is death on my own sword; I may claim the credit for God’s actions once, but as I cannot reproduce them, I become ever more frantic and desperate in my attempts to maintain the reputation I stole, like a lip-syncer asked to perform a cappella with no sound equipment. The pressure will break me, my lies will be exposed, and I will lose control and fall on top of the sword I stole because it is too big for me to wield alone. By calling God by His Own Name, by giving it to the One to Whom it Belongs – Yahweh Tsidkenu, The LORD is my righteousness – I lift the pressure to perform beyond my abilities, and rest on His great ability instead. There is such freedom in giving credit where it is due!

This, then, is the pure, whole truth: The time that was coming is come. God has done what He promised; He has given us the king who rules with wisdom and does what is just and right in all the land. His name is Yehoshua, Jesus, and He is my righteousness, the One who makes me right with God. I am a sinner; He is my righteousness. He is my Tsidkenu – Yahweh Tsidkenu.

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