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The Scriptorium

Everlasting Righteousness

Unchanged, unchanging, unchangeable. Psalm 119.137-144

Psalm 119.137-144

Pray Psalm 119.142.

Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness,
And Your law is truth.

Sing Psalm 119.142, 143.
(Divinum Mysterium: Of the Father’s Love Begotten)
For Your righteousness, O God my Lord, ever after will endure;
and Your Law is truth, like all Your Word – righteous, holy, just, and pure!
Trouble overtakes me for Your Name, O Lord,
yet Your Word is ever sure
and Your grace my soul will cure.

Read Psalm 119.137-144; meditate on verses 142.

1. How durable is the righteousness of God?

2. Where can you expect to find truth?

The righteousness of God is unaffected by changing moral fashion. It cannot be controlled for political purposes or corporate advantage. Armies cannot vanquish it. It carries no “best by” date, nor does it have an atomic half-life. It cannot be voted out. The righteousness of God is everlasting because God is everlasting, and He is righteous.

Righteousness entails spiritual purity and moral perfection. Where righteousness obtains truth abounds, love flows, justice prevails, and life flourishes. Psalm 119.137-144 appropriately celebrates the righteousness of God in its opening, middle, and closing verses because righteousness is what everyone needs, and righteousness is what comes from submitting to the Law of God and all His Word.

When Jesus instructed us to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, He meant for us to turn to the Law of God (Matt. 6.33; cf. Matt. 5.17-19). The Law of God is truth and, faithfully learned and lived, it has power to sanctify us for righteousness (Jn. 17.17). God’s Word is pure; it will never fail (Ps. 119.140, 138). The world may scorn and deride us for our commitment to righteousness, causing us trouble and anguish (vv. 141, 143). But if we delight in God’s Word (v. 143), love it sincerely (v. 140), remember and obey it always (v. 141), and seek ever-deeper levels of understanding in it (v. 144), then we will know full and abundant life as God intends (v. 144).

And that will look like righteousness. It will look like Jesus. And it will look like peace, joy, and hope in the Holy Spirit of God. Because the righteousness of God is everlasting, and His Word is truth.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
The antithesis of righteousness and truth falls into the category of things that anger God, as Paul explains: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributesare clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Rom. 1.18-21). This is an all-inclusive wrath. We’ve all known it.

What then?
“Who is wise? Let him understand these things.
Who is prudent? Let him know them.
For the ways of the LORD are right;
the righteous walk in them,
but transgressors stumble in them” (Hos. 14.9).

If we diligently walk in the Law of God, we know the gift of the Holy Spirit and His work of imparting truth to those who are filled with Him. Jesus said, “…when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you” (Jn. 16.13, 14). He takes the truth of God’s Word and forms us into the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

We have God’s promise, explained by Paul, that if we embrace the truth and righteousness of Jesus, we can be used in our Personal Mission Field, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to help others go from misunderstanding to understanding; from darkened hearts to enlightened ones, and to experience the love of God rather than His wrath. Here’s how: “in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will” (2 Tim. 2.25, 26).

Lord, use us by the power of the Holy Spirit, to tell of Your righteousness and truth, that “Jesus Christ,” everlasting Righteousness and Truth, “is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb. 13.8). 

For reflection
1. Why is it important to understand that God’s righteousness is everlasting?

2. How would you explain the relationship between Jesus, righteousness, God’s Word, and our own calling as followers of Christ?

3. Why is the Holy Spirit necessary for us to know the righteousness of Jesus?

Here the law of God is honored by the additional encomium, that it is everlasting righteousness and truth; as if it had been said, that all other rules of life, with whatever attractions they may appear to be recommended, are but a shadow, which quickly vanishes away. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Psalm 119.142

Pray Psalm 119.137-141, 143, 144.
Commit your day to the Lord, to walk the path of His righteousness. What will that look like? Pray about each activity of your day and all the people you’ll encounter. Prepare for your day so that Jesus will come through in all you do.

Sing Psalm 119.137-141, 143, 144.
(Divinum Mysterium: Of the Father’s Love Begotten)
Righteous are You, O my Lord! Upright are Your judgments, too!
All the words You have commanded us we will surely keep and do!
For Your testimonies all are righteous, Lord;
all Your faithful Word is true:
We rejoice, O Lord, in You!

Zeal consumes me for Your Word, O Lord, for my foes forsake Your ways.
Yet Your Word is very, very pure, and I keep it all my days.
I am small and I am much despised, O Lord,
yet Your holy Name I praise,
and Your precepts guide my ways.

All Your statutes, all Your judgments, Lord, have become my great delight,
and Your testimonies, ever sure, ever true, and ever right!
Help me understand that I may live, O Lord,
in Your strength and by Your sight,
for Your Word is my delight.

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can learn to read the Bible to see and delight in Jesus more completely. Our book, The Joy and Rejoicing of My Heart, can show you how. Learn more about this book and order your free copy by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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