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Thursday, November 11, 2010

He is Righteous: Psalm 119:137-144

Righteous (as described by means upright, morally right, virtuous.  I'd say to call God righteous is an understatement!  He defines what is upright, morally right, and virtuous.  And his righteousness surpasses anything anyone else could achieve.

That's how the psalmist describes God and his laws in this passage.  Verses 137 and 138 say,
"Righteous are you, O LORD, and your laws are right.  The statutes you have laid down are righteous; they are fully trustworthy."

God's laws are good.  Sometimes they might not seem so: they might seem strict, constricting, intolerant, old-fashioned.  The law causes frustration among those who try to uphold it, because it is so righteous that it is impossible to keep it completely.  However, if we look at the life of the One who did keep the law completely, we can see an example of how good it really is.  Jesus was that One who fulfilled every requirement of the law, and he was completely perfect and lived a sinless life.  Thank God he did: because he did that for us.  You and me.  He did it so that God would count us as righteous.  Paul writes in the book of Romans,

"Therefore no one will be declared righteous in [God's] sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.  But now a perfect righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets [that's the Old Testament] testify.  This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.  There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."  (Romans 4:20-24)

A rather long passage, but Paul explains it so well.  Through faith in Jesus his righteousness is imparted to us!  God's plan of salvation is so marvelous.

I had meant to comment on other verses in the psalm, but this post is getting long enough for today.  I did want to share something, however.  Last night at Praise (the student-led contemporary worship/devotions that we have every week here on campus), the two student speakers were talking about worry.  The passage was from Matthew 6, 25-34, where Jesus talks about not worrying.  Lately I've had a lot of homework, a lot of projects due, other decisions to make, things to figure out, future things to plan for, and I've been very stressed and worried about it.  One of the speakers made a great point.  When we focus on our worries, we lose sight of God and how powerful he is and what he can do for us.  When we focus on God, our worries are still there, but we realize that God is in control and that he is taking care of us.  It really hit me, and God's timing was great with having that message just when I needed it.

One verse from the Matthew passage actually ties in really well with the psalm passage for today:  "But seek first [God's] kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own."  Matthew 6:33-34

Today, I am going to seek God's righteousness, and know that by faith I am covered in the righteousness of Christ.

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