Doing What’s Right – Dealing With Depression (5 of 5)
I received a text from my wife about my son (4-years old):
“Noah said he dreamed about Jesus again. He said Jesus helped him from the bad guys.”
My reply back is that Noah just might be the next Filipino Billy Graham.
Parents always want to raise up their children in a home and environment better than they had it.
My wife and I find it a great calling and privilege to accurately represent God to our children.
We desire them to have a true personal walk with the Creator of heaven and earth.
With God’s help, we’ll learn together how to do what’s right and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires “everyone” to be saved. (See 1 Tim 2:1-6)
“No, O people, the Lord has already told you what is good, and this is what he requires: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8, NLT).
If you click on a search engine such as Google.com on the Internet, and type in the word righteous, you find a host of sites for singing groups such as Righteous Babe, a female vocal artist nominated for two Grammy Awards. Then there’s the Righteous Brothers, including the biographies of Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield, but you will come away from that exercise still confused as to what righteousness is all about.
Go to Yad Vashem, the Jerusalem memorial to the Jews killed in the Holocaust of World War II, and you will find a row of trees known as the Avenue of the Nations. Among those you will find an inscription to Gentiles who sacrificed, often giving their very lives, to save the lives of Jews who were destined to die under Hitler.
You will read of heroes such as Corrie ten Boom who with her brother and sister sheltered many Jews in Haarlem outside of Amsterdam, and Oskar Schindler, a Catholic industrialist from Czechoslovakia, whose enamel factory at Krakow was a refuge for hundreds of Jews who otherwise would have died at Auschwitz.
As of January 2004, over 20,000 individuals have been recognized as “Righteous among the Nations” by the Yad Vasham committee in Jerusalem, though if you have seen the movie or read the book, Schlindler’s List, you remember that Oscar was an immoral playboy with a voracious sexual appetite. “And he’s righteous?” you ask, wondering what righteous really means.
There are some words which frankly are difficult to define, and the word righteous is one of them. Can someone be immoral and yet righteous at the same time? The Hebrew word for righteous is tsedek, and that word was used some 120 times in the Old Testament. The New Testament word dikios is used about 60 times. Both words mean essentially the same thing. “Like what?” you may ask. In a biblical context, righteous means upright, just, in conformity with what God requires. The words were used of a scale that had accurate weights and measurements, hence it was just. The same word was also used of individuals who had integrity and were upright and just.
The prophet Micah came as close to defining the word as anyone, saying, “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).
Yet the Old Testament uniformly shows how men failed to live up to that standard, something that was true of Oskar Schindler no matter how much good he did. Isaiah wrote, “All our righteous acts are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). In the New Testament Paul said, “There is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10).
But Paul does not stop there. He says that there was one who was righteous, and He both died and rose again, and that God imputes or extends his righteousness to those who believe on Him.
So does that mean that anybody is righteous today? First, righteous describes the worst sinner in the world whose faith is in Jesus Christ, whose sins have been covered with the blood that was shed at Calvary. Yes, Paul would say that individual is upright and just in God’s sight. He meets the requirements of right living, of honesty, and integrity. Perfect, no. Redeemed, yes.
No, I would not quibble with the Yad Vasham’s definition of who is righteous; however, I choose to go with the one we find in Paul’s letter to the Romans and chosen to be the man whom God would consider to be righteous. Though I would hesitate to call myself righteous, I believe God would, and that’s all that really counts.
Resource reading: Romans 3
- Beautiful You – Trent Monk