Not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart are you going in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations the LORD your God is driving them out from before you, and that he may confirm the word that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. Deuteronomy 9:5 ESV
The first chapters of Deuteronomy consist of Moses speaking to the people of Israel before they prepare to cross into the land that God had promised them from the days of Abraham. While Moses gave many instructions to the people, he also gave a fair amount of warnings to the people about obeying the LORD and His laws. This specific statement stood out to me as I read as it addresses a crucial issue that is still relevant today, self-righteousness. It is so easy for me to look down at others and their sin while failing to realize that I am just as unrighteous in God’s eyes. Even though I am saved by grace through Christ, I still am very far from perfect and need God’s forgiveness for sins I commit, whether intentionally or unintentionally every day. This passage also shows the faithfulness of God, as He clearly dedicates Himself to fulfilling the promise He made to the forefathers of Israel despite their many failings.
The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the LORD; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, to declare that the LORD is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him. Psalm 92:12-15 ESV
In contrast to my unrighteousness and self-righteous is God Himself, who alone is perfect in all that He does. This psalm declares both the faithfulness of God towards those who trust and follow Him and how the LORD is not only righteous, but able to declare those who follow Him to be righteous as well. It is so important for me to realize that God not only strengthens me to act in a righteous manner but is my source of righteousness through Christ because none of my works could ever come close to fulfilling what is required of me to be blameless.
“Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city or shoot an arrow there or come before it with a shield or cast up a siege mound against it. By the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come into this city, declares the LORD. For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.” Isaiah 37:33-35 ESV
In yet another passage, the righteousness and faithfulness of God is put on full display, this time to King Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem who were facing a siege by the Assyrians. Though the Assyrians threatened the people and belittled God, God’s deliverance of Israel serves as yet another example of His faithfulness and as a defense of His righteousness against the scorn of Israel’s enemies. In times of trouble and doubt, it is crucial that I turn to God and ask for His deliverance instead of trying to use my own strength to find a way to solve a problem.
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, form every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” Revelation 7:9-12 ESV
I feel like this is one of the most powerful scenes in the entire book of Revelations. All of God’s saints, who have been sanctified through His blood and have taken on His righteousness are able to give Him the praise He truly deserves, and they worship before His throne. This multitude is without count and from all over the globe, truly showing the unity of the church as the living body of Christ in the world. Only God can wash me white as snow and cloth me in righteousness so I too can stand before His throne and worship.
Dear God, thank You for Your faithfulness despite my many failings. Please continue to sanctify me and draw me closer to You throughout my life. Thank You for Your sacrifice so that I can even draw near to You. Please continue to strengthen my faith and my trust in You Lord. In Your Holy Name, Amen.