Day 144: Yahweh Our Righteousness Once Again

Jeremiah 33:14-16

“Behold, the days come,” says Yahweh, “that I will perform that good word which I have spoken concerning the house of Israel and concerning the house of Judah.
“In those days and at that time,
I will cause a Branch of righteousness to grow up to David.
He will execute justice and righteousness in the land.
In those days Judah will be saved,
and Jerusalem will dwell safely.
This is the name by which she will be called:
Yahweh our righteousness.”

If this passage seems familiar, it’s because God already said something very similar back in Jeremiah 23:5-6. Although they are similar, they are actually different. It would appear that God is reminding Jeremiah, and us that He still intends for there to be a day when a Son of David will reign on earth in Jerusalem. At that time, He will “execute justice and righteousness in the land.” To Jeremiah, all hell was breaking loose as the current leadership in Israel was acting unrighteously and a foreign king was being allowed to destroy God’s city. I believe that it was very encouraging for Jeremiah to hear this. Isn’t it good to see how much God cares about our mental state when we are enduring persecution? Notice that He has no trouble repeating things if necessary.

I’d like to discuss one of the big differences between what is said here and what is said in Jeremiah 23. In the Jeremiah 23 passage, it says that there will be a King and He will be called “Yahweh our righteousness.” In this passage, it says that Jerusalem will be called “Yahweh our righteousness.” That’s one of those things that could seem like a contradiction, but it doesn’t have to be seen that way at all. When we assume that there were no mistakes here, all it means is that both Jesus and Jerusalem will be called the same thing. That is an amazing blessing don’t you think? It’s actually just a repeat of what God already said long before. Let’s look at that again.

Deuteronomy 12:11

…then it shall happen that to the place which Yahweh your God shall choose, to cause his name to dwell there, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the wave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which you vow to Yahweh.

So here we read that God told Moses that there would be a place that God would cause His name to dwell. So it makes sense the Jerusalem would be called by the Messiah’s name. This isn’t a hard thing for most of us to understand today either. What happens to a woman’s name when she marries a man? Traditionally, she is then called by his name. This is pretty neat because Jeremiah is reminded, by God, that when this future king takes over, Jerusalem will be called by God’s name and that must mean that, somehow, Jerusalem is made righteous again.

That brings up the biggest point of all about this name. How can we be righteous when we have already spoiled our lives by sinning? This passage reminds us to look at Jerusalem. Jesus is our righteousness, just as Jesus is theirs. They didn’t deserve it and they were better than most of us to start out with. The Messiah’s name reminds us that we are righteous because His righteousness is given to us. If it weren’t for Israel’s Messiah, there would be no hope for anyone because He is our righteousness.

Day 39: Clash of Worldviews

John 5:10-14 : So the Jews said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath. It is not lawful for you to carry the mat.” He answered them, “He who made me well, the same said to me, ‘Take up your mat, and walk.'” Then they asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your mat, and walk’?” But he who was healed didn’t know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a crowd being in the place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “Behold, you are made well. Sin no more, so that nothing worse happens to you.”

Here’s another interesting exchange. The Jewish leadership caught the man who was healed walking around carrying his mat. Instead of asking how he was able to walk around, all they could see was that he was breaking their rules. It is amazing how blinding self-righteousness is. A miracle can happen and it can be ignored entirely. Later, in this book, we will see the Jewish leadership not only ignore a huge miracle, but attempt to destroy all the evidence. I have a hard time understanding this behavior. It is a reminder to me that some are so wicked in leadership that they will stop at nothing to maintain power.

Jesus found the man again and warned him not to sin anymore. This may be a case in which the man was sick because of sin in his life. Here way can see that Jesus was willing to heals sinners. He told this man to stop sinning so that nothing worse happens to him. You might be asking, “What could be worse?” Well, there is death, but there is also eternal punishment. Jesus maintained his focus on the eternal. If this man were to continue in his sin, he very well could end up on his way to Hell. Merely being sick would be fun compared to that. How good it is for us to follow Jesus’ example and see things from an eternal perspective.

I also want to mention that, at the time of Jesus’ ministry, the Jews were responsible under God to keep the Law of Moses as described in the Old Testament. Sacrifices were also required as a payment for sins. Things changed after Jesus’ death as we shall read more about later. This man was responsible under the Law, to be righteous, or face the penalties. Jesus knew the law well enough that He held this man responsible for his sins and also knew that it was not unlawful to heal or carry mats on the Sabbath.