Names of God – part 47:
The LORD is our righteousness
YHWH is God’s actual name which he revealed to Moses from the burning bush, it implies the personal nature of God.
The second part of the name here is how God relates to us:
What we have here is one of the most common words used to describe God, one of the most common concepts in the Bible and one of the most common themes of liturgy and Christian song, which is also one of the most misunderstood. Righteousness is not something that is spoken about in today’s society, I don’t know if it was ever common, so to understand God being out righteousness we have to understand what the word translated righteousness, tsidqenuw, means.
You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbour. Lev:19:15.
You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. Lev 19:36 both ESVUK
The words I have put in red above are tsidqenuw, righteousness or tsedeq, just, taken from the core word. I have deliberately chosen this verse as it shows tsidqenuw and tsiddeq are about fairness. Being fair in justice to both the poor and the rich and being fair in your commercial dealings. Righteousness is about being fair. No one who is unfair to people can claim to be righteous. I also chose those two verses because they come either side of a verse quoted by both Jesus and Paul in the New Testament, That verse, Leviticus 19:18 where it says you shall love your neighbour as yourself. Righteousness is about fairness and love.
Jeremiah said this, linking our righteousness with the coming of the Messiah, the Christ.
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’” Jeremiah 23:5-6
Our righteousness, our loving, fair treatment by God and our loving fair treatment of others, is in the Messiah, the Christ, in Jesus our Lord who we are told by Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:21 has become our righteousness. We are to pass that on to others, we are to love our neighbours as ourselves. In the end righteousness all comes down to love.