Scripture: Jeremiah 33:14-16
Over and over Jeremiah had to prophesy about God’s wrath due to the idolatry and sin of the people of Judah. His message was clear that the people would go into captivity and Jerusalem would be overthrown. But in the midst of this message, Jeremiah was also privileged to proclaim that God would save His people – not just from captivity, but from their sin. He would provide an eternal king who would be the righteousness of the people. This passage points us forward to Jesus and reminds us that while our deeds of righteousness are insufficient and tainted with sin, the Lord has provided His own righteousness to us.
Israel never had a perfect king. Every monarch’s rule was marred by his sin. Saul became faithless. David became an adulterer and murderer. Solomon was ruled by lust and turned to other gods. And the following kings did no better. Some lived by faith and were good kings, but none was perfect, and God was going to bring this line of kings to an end. The problem was that God had promised David that there would be a king on his throne forever. However, He was not necessarily speaking of a king who would govern from a palace in Jerusalem, but of an eternal king who would rule from heaven.
God raised up a righteous Branch from David by having His Son be conceived of David’s descendant, a girl named Mary. He is a different kind of king. Not one who raises taxes or conscripts armies, but one who saves His people from sin and becomes their righteousness before God.
Have you ever had the feeling that you just weren’t good enough? Perhaps you tried out for a sport and got cut from the team. Maybe it was the cutting comment of a teacher, spouse, or parent that raised that doubt in you. Jeremiah’s message of judgement is one all God’s people should take to heart. The truth of the matter is that we are sinners and we are not good enough. We are not righteous in our thoughts, words, or actions. But God loves us so much that He refuses to leave us in such a state. He raised up a righteous Branch for His people – a person who would be righteous on our behalf. This is Jesus. He is, “The Lord our righteousness.” He bore our sin, and gives us His perfect righteousness.
Lord, You tell us that the days are coming when You will fulfill the promise You made to Israel. Indeed You have kept Your promise by raising up Jesus to be the righteous Branch. He is the Lord our Righteousness.
Thank You, O God, for keeping Your promises. Thank You for giving us Your righteousness and for allowing us to dwell securely with You as Your people who have been declared righteous.
Forgive us for the times we have taken the gift of righteousness for granted. Forgive us for the times that we have wandered from You and sought things that we considered to be more satisfying at the time, but found they were to our loss.
Grant us to live fully in the righteousness Jesus won for us, and help us share that righteousness with others so they too may dwell securely with You in glory. Amen.