Righteousness of God
A while ago I had a perspective change on the virtues. All these concepts of love, righteousness, justice, peace, joy and so on, these are things we only know of because God introduced them to us through the way He created the world and through His Spirit as He made Himself known throughout history. We see them and think we have a grasp on them and even go so far as to think we can be more virtuous than God sometimes.
These virtues were not ever taught to God. They do not exist in their own bubble. They exist because they are who God is. He communicates them to us so we may know Him and live in the blessings of who He is.
Earth was made by Him and is made good because it is made to reflect Him. We are made in His image. We are given dominion over what God made. We are also taught to be what God already is.
This is why it is so ridiculous that people can look at suffering and think that they are more compassionate and just than God. God is those things in essence and we are barely cutting our teeth on their meaning. Their meaning is in God. So when we talk about righteousness, it is not a human concept. It only exists in God. Everything alive is in God and sustained by His powerful hand.
While we’re talking about true meanings, let’s give a dictionary definition quick,
Righteous: “morally right or justifiable; virtuous.”
A righteous person is morally right. God is the standard for morality in concept and essence. Regardless of our perception, everything He does is justifiable and everything He does is just.
The verse in 1st John comes to mind, “God is light, in Him there is no darkness at all.” I think this has many implications, but I also think this refers to being right, pure and good. There is no darkness in Him at all.
All this is to say, when we talk about God’s righteousness, we are talking about true righteousness, as it has existed eternally in who God is.
So what is God’s righteousness?
There are so many verses on His righteousness that I have picked some of my favorites just to give a taste.
You found his heart faithful before You, And made a covenant with him To give the land of the Canaanites, The Hittites, the Amorites, The Perizzites, the Jebusites, And the Girgashites— To give it to his descendants. You have performed Your words, For You are righteous.
You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds, God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas.
Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his faithfulness.
Clouds and thick darkness surround him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.
The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power; in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress.
The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.
But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—
O Lord God of Israel, You are righteous, for we are left as a remnant, as it is this day. Here we are before You, in our guilt, though no one can stand before You because of this!”
Listen to me, you stubborn-hearted, you who are now far from my righteousness. I am bringing my righteousness near, it is not far away; and my salvation will not be delayed. I will grant salvation to Zion, my splendor to Israel.
But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves.
I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion.
First, He is just. As Abraham said to Him when pleading for Lot’s life, after finding out Sodom and Gomorrah would be destroyed, he tells God, “Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?”
This may seem like a strange way to talk to God, but Abraham knew God. He was appealing to what he knew about God’s justice and law. Of course, God was not destroying the righteous with the wicked.
As we see later, Lot alone was righteous out of everyone. Not even his wife could keep from looking back and as far as his daughters were concerned… they were another sort of messed up.
This tells us something about our God. He sustains the righteous.
The true extent of His perfect justice has not been comprehended yet. When He judges all the earth we will see it fully. Perfect fairness, perfect justice. Retribution and a final end to evil in every form. Every evil we have seen, experienced, or heard of, every evil we were unaware of. Everything since the dawn of time. We will see the hearts of men laid bare and we will also see God in His glory. Everything will be set right, to the glory of God the Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ.
I think Misty Edwards says it best, that God is radiating love with every heartbeat. It is in love that He created the earth. Love for His Son and love for His creation. In love He taught us about Himself. In love He taught us how to best live to be joyful and fulfilled on earth.
In love He gave the law and prophets to point forever toward His pinnacle of love, His Son. In love He gave His Son. His Son did only what the Father told Him to do through the Spirit. In love He accepted and taught the lowest and highest. He healed the sick and freed the demon possessed. He broke down religious barriers and taught that God is our Father. In love He became sin for us and gave His life so we may have life in Him. In love our Father gave His Son as a sacrifice, that we may be called His children. In love Jesus intercedes for us in heaven and is preparing a place so we may go and be with Him. In love He sent His Holy Spirit to come and live in us and unite us with Him. In love He will come and rescue Israel and fulfill every promise to them. In love He has included all nations in His salvation and promises. In love He fellowships with us. In love He purifies us. In love and perfect justice He will reign. In love and justice he will cleanse the earth of all evil. In love He will raise us imperishable. In love He will dwell with us for eternity.
God is good. He sends rain on the just and unjust alike and He restores His fallen creation through His Son. He fulfills His promises and is faithful to His word. He blesses and gives gifts, He teaches and disciplines. He knows our hearts and thoughts. He communes with us. He rejoices over us with singing.
God is light, in Him there is no darkness at all.
❤ Kara J