Yahweh Tsidkenu: "The Lord Our Righteousness"
Scripture Reading — Jeremiah 33:14-18
“Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: The LORD Our Righteous Savior.”
—Jeremiah 33:16 —
Do you ever find the book of Jeremiah difficult to read? It has many bleak passages about judgment and exile for God’s people, who relentlessly disregarded their covenant Lord. The people were constantly unfaithful to their faithful God, Yahweh. Today’s reading is set within that dreary context, but the content of the chapter is anything but depressing.
Though confined in the court of the king’s guard (see 32:2; 33:1), Jeremiah proclaims a bright future for the people of Ju-dah. God promises healing and health, forgiveness of sins, and the rebuilding of Jerusalem. The city will be restored for all nations to see, and it will be called Yahweh Tsidkenu, “The LORD Our Righteousness.”
Tsidkenu stems from the Hebrew word tsedek, meaning “stiff,” “straight,” or “righteousness.” It occurs more than a thousand times in the Old Testament, translated variously as “right,” “righteous,” “righteousness,” “just,” “justify,” and “declared innocent.” It appears here as Yahweh Tsidkenu, “The LORD Our Righteousness,” or “The LORD Our Righteous Savior.” In this prophecy of restoration, we catch a glimpse of “a righteous Branch … from David’s line,” the one through whom we are justified, declared innocent, made right with God.
Knowing that Jesus is your righteousness, live righteously today and always.
Righteous God, thank you for making us righteous through Jesus. Help us to live righteously for you. Amen.