Ever wonder how King David could use the term “my righteousness” in the Psalms? Job did the same as well.
It’s been a common line of thinking in the church that noone can “own their righteousness”; using the Apostle Paul’s term “apart from God there is no righteousness” which I believe he quotes from King Davids Psalms as well. So what could this Psalms be talking about? And what does Job mean when he claims to have a righteousness of his own?
In my own studies I have found the following which has helped a great deal.
First of all there are two types of righteousness we are given by God.
● The righteousness of salvation; which comes from Yeshua alone by His works and His death and resurrection. This is not earned by us; nothing we do contributes to this righteousness. Even the grace we are given to accept and receive Yeshua comes from Adonai alone. This righteousness is what Paul is referring to; the ownership of this is God alone. We can stand firm in it but even to do that we must be given grace and mercy to do so by God. It is this righteousness alone that will place us before God on Judgement day and separate the goats from the sheep. Everyday our first conscious act is to bring ourselves under the protection and grace of the Salvation Yeshua provides. This enables us to move into the day with the righteousness that follows…
● The righteousness of separateness, holy living, following, obeying, submitting to all God’s instruction and teaching; the living acts of being set apart by His truth manifesting itself from within us causing the fruits of the Spirit to grow on our tree. It is, however, still the act of God that we are given the heart to obey, listen, and heed Him. By giving us access to Himself through Yeshua the Messiah with the power given by His Holy Spirit, our Counselor. So here still the origin of this righteousness still comes from Adonai. But we now become the very righteousness of God in the world we effect and live in; and thus the righteousness King David and Job refers to as their own. These acts of righteousness we get to take with us all the way to eternity! They shall never rot, decay, wither away, the treasures we store up! These will also be rewarded by Yahweh, on Judgement day.
The heart of the individual must be seeking only for God to get the glory. This is the Spirit of the Law – or more accurately defined – the Teachings of God that Yeshua’s coming and His walk lived out here on earth revealed and stood in contrast to expose the religious hypocrisy of what mankind had done with God’s law. Whenever something God designed gets directed to glorify anything other than Himself it becomes wickedness.
Another note that opened wide my perspective was how one defines – good and evil.
In Hebrew the Word – good – means functional. Meaning that whatever is being referred to as good operates under the design and purpose for which it was made by God.
The Word – evil – therefore means dysfuctional. Anything that gets put to use for anything other than the way it was designed and purposed by God according to His original intent.
The word good for as far back as hundreds of years before Yeshua was born and lived as a man; was morphed into this religious hypocritical feeling-based definition. Something that makes one feel good rather than actually being the good God designed it to be. For example: the act of obeying the 10 Commandments being called “good” when the heart of the person doing so was to make themselves feel good not simply because they loved the Instructor and wanted Him to be glorified through them. This is why Yeshua asked the “righteous man” why he called Yeshua good. And thereby explained that noone is good except God the Father.
It makes a huge difference to know how God intends the words He created to be used and perceived. Greek (or gentile) thinking has diluted so much of the exactness of how God expressed Himself, with clarity enough for a child. The more “heady” or intellectual one became in pursuit of knowledge of God rather than desire to know God Himself the less accurate this “knowledge” became.
Given all that is above in reflection and study. Now re-read the Psalms at the top. Light should fairly burst into our souls! Notice why David can ask God to judge him with confidence. The focus of all things in the words he is expressing is God. The trust within David is in God’s righteousness and judgement not his own. Yet he is able to see that the act of obeying and serving God in the designs that God gave with the act of living for Him (the Teachings/Law) gave him a firm ground to stand upon in defeating the enemy (God’s enemy, the devil and his servants). In fact the whole story of Job reflects this same “motif” if you will. It is wisdom to see that the enemies King David refers to in 90% of the Psalms he wrote are not human beings. (Though with study one can figure out which and where he does indeed refer to the human element of enemy). As we read the Psalms we must pay close attention to how the enemy is being referred to as David had also been instructed by God to love his enemies but hate the evil doer. Hence when Yeshua tells us to do the same there is no contradiction between the Word of God at the time Yeshua lived (The Old Testament) and His own Words which were the fulfillment of the old renewed in His person Himself. So much of what Yeshua said cannot be truly understood without having applied (as God intended) and studied the Holy Scriptures that were given by God before Yeshua was sent as a babe, thus fulfilling all God’s Word. The entire Old Testament and most of the New must be viewed via the Hebrew mind. Not the greek. God moved the very Hebrew of Hebrew Paul to translate and begin educating the Greek thinkers (gentiles) but Paul started by explaining the error of Greek thinking and gently showing (teaching) the Hebrew. It is a big debate but needlessly so as to the language God spoke to His people and even to His Creation at the beginning saying “Let there be Light!” Yet the fervent study of God’s Word eliminates this at the tower of Babel. Hebrew was the original language and it was at this point that all other languages emerged. Note also that the reverse “Tower of Babel” happened in Acts when everyone who received the Holy Spirit was able to understand everyone speaking in foreign languages. Hence they were all translated back to the original – Hebrew. God’s language. The evidence is overwhelming. Now see how the church is robbed by the enemy by this whole idea that we need not apply the Old Testament or understand the Hebraic roots for which we are all grafted into. Yeshua was not a Hebrew by happenstance, it is a neon sign as to where God intends to lead His people and how.
The ownership of all Righteousness is indeed Adonai. Yet we become His righteousness and are rewarded for the everyday acts of trust and obedience of living according to Gods design and teachings from the beginning. So we can say “God judge me according to Your grace for my righteousness” just as Job and David did, without misplaced arrogance but instead full righteousness granted us through the saving acts of God to communicate to His people the way they should go. I pray this excited you and stirs you to study deeper the God who is above all gods… and may His person be who we encounter at every turn! Driving deeper the sword of love and desire to please Him with every Word!
Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah