Righteousness is one of those “churchy” words that might seem off-putting if you’re not familiar with the simple beauty. When I see that word, “righteousness,” I immediately translate it in my head to be–“right with God.” But the meaning is so much deeper and richer than that.
For me, I prefer to be on God’s “good side.” I’d be deceiving myself if I thought I was able to do it all on my own. That’s what makes righteousness, in this context, to be such a gift. God gave us Jesus to make us right with God.
The prophet Jeremiah speaks of Jesus, though not by name, in this passage. In our last reading, we saw reference to a “descendant of David.” Matthew and Luke’s gospels in the New Testament connect the dots to show this humble babe, Jesus, has family ties back to King David.
As Jeremiah shares God’s prophetic message, his audience is in turmoil. God’s words are comforting and meant to bring hope. Earlier in the same chapter, God’s message gave this assurance. “The people of the world will see all the good I do for my people, and they will tremble with awe at the peace and prosperity I provide for them.”
God promises good things. Sending his son, Jesus, is the best thing he could have done. When we look at how Jesus lived and the example he gave us, we see goodness. Jesus paid the price so that we could have a relationship with God.
How are you honoring that gift? Are you doing all you can to nurture your relationship with God and grow closer to him? What motivates you? For me, seeing these passages that point to Jesus centuries before his birth are powerful.
The other key to this passage is this simple line, “at that time.” That time is referring to God’s perfect timing. We know that God is working continuously, fighting battles we’ll never know about. Jesus has promised he will return. We need to patiently wait.
God’s perfect timing grows our faith as we are forced to wait and trust in Him. We should focus on making certain God alone gets the glory and praise for pulling us through each day. Psalm 31:15 acknowledges, “My future is in your hands.” That’s a good place for my future to be!
What is your response to Jesus for making your righteousness possible?
Let’s pray. Lord I come to you today yearning to be closer to you. Help me to shut out all the ugliness of the world so I can truly focus on you and your goodness. May your peace and mercy wash over me and give me a new sense of joy. Help me stay truly expectant as I wait for your second coming. Lord, I want my heart to be ready. In Jesus’ name. Amen.