Smeagol is Free!
A hermitudinal view of...stuff...


This Name is No Game

Jeremiah 33 tells us that God has a special name for those whom He loves: the LORD is our righteousness. That name, without a doubt, seems at the very least to be cumbersome and lacking imagination. What I mean to say is that there seems to be an obtuse and overly-obvious naming practice being employed here, one that smacks of outright oddity, even for biblical standards.

I think that's the point.

Our care group met this past Sunday evening. As I told Boss and Mikami later on, the Lord had been graciously showing me throughout the week that I had been and was in the midst of still fighting against unbelief and legalism. Those are terms that are pretty common in the bible college and seminary vernacular, terms that have a tendency to applied to other people. The example I gave the care group, however, made me realize that I, without a doubt, qualified as one of those other persons. Say someone asks me how I'm doing. In answering honestly, I'll generally take a second or three to quickly do a mental check of my, prayer, small sins, big sins...I'll then give a response based upon how I feel I'm doing. Sounds fine, right? I mean, I'm answering honestly, aren't I?

Not really.

What I'm leaving out is what God sees in my day: His Son. You see, I tend to evaluate how I'm doing based upon what I've done. This may sound well and good and obviously what the Christian life is based upon, but that's precisely the point of God's word to us: it's not.

The word of the LORD through Jeremiah gives a ridiculously clear insight into the difficulties God's people are plagued by in understanding just what it means to be God's chosen people. The verses surrounding the nomenclatural declaration in Jeremiah 33 are filled with God's promises to restore and bless a people, His people, that have sinned greatly and have no hope of changing themselves. Just in case they don't get this, and they don't, He skips the giving of a name and goes straight for the significance and meaning: "I am your righteousness, not you!"

Don't overlook this as I tend to. If the general populace of Kentucky started calling me Brown-Skinned and Slanty-Eyed One, I wouldn't be offended, but I do think there would be no way I'd forget what made me different from most of the people around me. If anything, even though I'm already well-aware of those outward differences, those differences would become sharpened toward a painfully obvious point.

I told my care group that I forget the cross. In giving His people such a strange name, God is giving us yet one more way to remind us who we are in Christ. That name, after all, shines forth quite bluntly that we are righteous in Christ and not ourselves; the practical implications for this are many. As I told my care group that evening and Boss and Mikami later that night, I really want to see Jesus, and I really want to see my life in light of Jesus' cross. I'm tired of feeling like I have to earn God's love, and I long to embrace that which He longs to make obviously clear: He is my righteousness.

posted by Bolo | 7:42 AM
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