Artwork by Up and Coming Artist Lindsey Keith
Righteous – an adjective referring to a person or conduct; meaning morally right, justifiable or virtuous. The informal definition of righteous is very good, or excellent.
The base word of righteous is right. Adding eous to the end of the base word enables the word to mean from that which is right.
The word righteous is found in the Bible many times. We see righteous both in the Old Testament, Hebrew/Aramaic as (tsad·dēk’ or
mā·shär’) and also in the New Testament, Greek as (dē’-kī-os).
The number of times the word righteous appears in the Bible depends upon the selected version of the Bible. The English Standard Version has righteous listed 267 times.
Now that we have defined the word righteous, it is only fitting to establish up front WHO is righteous? Psalm 145:17 (ESV) says “The Lord is righteous in all His ways, gracious in all His words.”
Ezra the High Priest wrote “O Lord God of Israel, thou art righteous” Ezra 9:15a (KJV).
The Psalmist declared “Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.” Psalm 116:5 (KJV).
The prophet Daniel acknowledged the Lord as righteous. He said “Righteousness is on your side, O Lord,… So the Lord kept watch over this calamity until He brought it upon us. Indeed, the Lord our God is right in all that He has done; for we have disobeyed His voice.” Daniel 9:7,14 (KJV)
On their website, Blue Letter Bible has a list of the attributes of God. The list says the following “Righteousness is similar to goodness and holiness, but differs in that it requires works to establish it. Something (like Adam) can be holy, but not righteous if good works do not accompany it. God is good, but He refers to Himself as righteous because He works the good as well. Christians are called righteous, not because they have any ability to accomplish good works, but because they reside in the good works (or righteousness) of Christ. Christ’s obedience is transferred to us and God grants us eternal life as a result!” Aren’t you thankful that Christ’s righteous ways are transferred to those who put their faith in Him? We become righteous because of Christ’s righteousness. His righteousness is one of the attributes that set Him apart from everything else.
The gospel reveals that the good news of Jesus Christ supports God’s righteousness. Reading through the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are enough evidence to see and establish the righteousness of Yahweh.
Not only is God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ righteous, but they always do what is right. We can fully rely on them because of their righteousness. They are trustworthy to exhibit true righteousness in all manners and in every circumstance. I am not sure about you, but knowing this full well and upfront causes me to continuously put my faith and trust in them.
Further, God always deals with humanity in a righteous manner and rules in righteousness. We don’t have to worry for one moment that when He judges our actions, they will not be considered fairly or with the utmost righteousness. Genesis 18:25 (ESV) says “Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?”
So far we see and have established that God is righteous, He deals in righteousness and He is reliable because of His righteousness. Now, we must consider the opposite of righteous in order to get a fuller picture of what righteousness entails.
As we continue in considering the word righteous, we must also take into consideration its opposite. Righteous is often contrasted with wicked or evil in the Bible. God’s righteousness is contrasted with humanity’s unrighteousness. Daniel 9:7 (ESV) says “To you, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame, as at this day, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, those who are near and those who are far away, in all the lands to which you have driven them, because of the treachery that they have committed against you.”
God rewards righteousness by exposing that which is evil. In short, He loves the things that are good and hates the things that are evil. He calls all that follow Him to do the same. We as believers are called to love and cling to what is good and shun that which is evil.
Don Stewart, the Bible explorer says “God’s righteousness, or justice, is an attribute that leads Him to do only those things that are right. Because God is righteous, He must judge evil. God’s justice allows Him to reward those who have been faithful to Him. Someday He will rule in absolute righteousness.” 2 Timothy 4:8 (ESV) says “Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” The acts of the wicked will be shown for what they are.
Finish reading on righteousness for #WORDNerdWednesday at
The artwork at the top of this post was created by Lindsey Keith. Lindsey has shared her time and God-given talent at beYOUtiful mom before. Read more on Lindsey
About the Artist: Lindsey Keith is a 17 year old Junior who LOVES God, her family, dance, Art and horses. Lindsey can be found doing the typical teenage stuff like volunteering or babysitting when she is not creating beautiful Art. She volunteers at church and a therapeutic horse ranch. She is honored to have achieved being on the California Scholarship Federation each semester of her high school career and has received straight A’s during her schooling adventures. Lindsey’s goal at this point in her life is to receive scholarships to be able to attend a Christian University after graduating High School. Her talent on loan from God is exuberant in extraordinary ways. I absolutely love that she finds time to create beauty right where she is. Way to go Lindsey!
Blessed to See People Using Their God-Given Gifts and Talents,
Because of Him,