If you've ever longed for a happy ending or wanted broken things in your life to be put right, you understand the hunger for righteousness that only God can fill.
Watch! The days are coming when I will raise up a righteous Branch of David—an heir of his royal line—who will rule justly, act wisely and make things right again in the land. …The name he is called will tell the story: The Eternal [One] Is Our Righteousness! Jeremiah 23:5-6, The Voice [brackets added]
Have you ever longed for a happy ending? For an addict you love to be set free or for things to be made right for someone who was wronged? If so, you understand our need for righteousness. We have a hunger for things to go right. It just seems to be hardwired into the human spirit. That’s part of our longing to know God as He truly is, and to live in the world as it was meant to be. Let’s see what righteousness really means, and how God’s plan is better.
If you build a house, the floors are supposed to be level and the walls are supposed to be straight and square. That means it’s built like it was meant to be—rightways, or righteous. Of course, any carpenter will tell you that houses aren’t really like that, because they’re all just a little crooked. It’s true of people as well. We build our lives, and we build a society, but our plumb line is just a little crooked. Sometimes it’s a lot crooked!
Trying to fix your life? Some people try the do-it-yourself approach (self-help) while others call in outside assistance (religion). In either case it’s about like trying to fix your house with a cockeyed plumb line. It doesn’t really work, and you could end up with an even bigger mess.
The One who is truly right is God. Everything about Him is true and right, just and perfect. Self-righteousness is a poisonous, deadly thing that hurts us and wounds those around us. But God’s righteousness is like a breath of fresh air. It brings life.
In Jeremiah, God was talking to a corrupt society that was crying out for justice. (“Righteousness” and “justice” are the same word in Hebrew, Greek or Spanish.) And God answered: “I am your righteousness. I’m coming to do for you what you could never do for yourself. I am the One who will put things right.” That was His promise of Jesus.
Do you long for someone to fix your broken life? To fix your broken family? Or to fix your broken society?
Well, I know a guy. He has this amazing ability to fix things that are broken, so they just work right. And He is, in fact, a carpenter.
His name is Jesus.
Lord, I’m coming to You with an open heart. Would You take all the broken places in my life and set them to rights? Thank You for promising to do within me what I could never do alone!