Jehovah Tsidqenu

Jehovah-Tsidqenu (The Lord our Righteousness)

The Lord our righteousness

(Jer 23:6 NIV)  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 Hebrew word for “righteousness” in the verse above is “tsidquenu” (also spelled “tsedeq”).

The word means righteousness, justification. The verb form of the word “tsadaq” means to be righteous, to be right, be justified, be just.

We do not rely on our own righteousness

We do not have righteousness of our own. The Lord is our righteousness.

Salvation by faith was not taught only when Jesus came on earth. It was taught as early as the first book in the Old Testament.

(Gen 15:6 NIV)  Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

The New Testament would later echo the very same message.

(Rom 4:5 NIV)  However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.

Do we rely on our own righteousness to reach God or do we trust entirely in the finished work of Jesus to cleanse us from all sins? Do we try to attain righteousness through faith in Jesus or through our own effort?

We have no room for self-righteousness

The Lord is our righteousness. We have no righteousness of our own.

(Isa 64:6 NIV)  All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

Because the Lord is our righteousness, we have no room for self-righteousness.

(Eph 2:8-9 NIV)  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– {9} not by works, so that no one can boast.

We have no reason to boast because all are saved through grace and not by our good works.

That is why God condemns the attitude of self-righteousness.

(John 8:3-11 NIV)  The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group {4} and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. {5} In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” {6} They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. {7} When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” {8} Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. {9} At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. {10} Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” {11} “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

When we judge others, we are assuming the position of no sin, the position of God. God will judge us with the measure that we use to judge others.

(Mat 7:1-5 NIV)  “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. {2} For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. {3} “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? {4} How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? {5} You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Exhibit the justice of God

The Lord is our righteousness. The Lord is our justification. This name of God also speaks of His justice. We are righteous not because God overlooks sin. We are righteous because He has dealt with sin in a just way in the person of Jesus Christ.

Just as the Lord is just, we too have to be just.

The first usage of “tsedeq” is in the following verse.

(Lev 19:15 NIV)  “‘Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.

Do we treat all people fairly or are we nicer to some people because they are richer, more educated, more physically attractive?

Do we treat our subordinates equally and fairly?