“Faithful love and truth have met; righteousness and peace have kissed. Truth springs up from the ground; righteousness gazes down from heaven. Yes, the Lord gives what is good, and our land yields its produce. Righteousness walks before God, making a road for his steps.”
— PSALM 85:10–13 (COMMON ENGLISH BIBLE)
Before Genesis 3, creation was as it was meant to be. After sin entered the scene, creation became distorted. Where there was once shalom, there is now disunity and brokenness.
Where human intimacy with each other and the Father once created a picture of compassion, love, and togetherness, there is now the marginalizing of people and injustice. Things are out of sorts.
Spending time in a church, you quickly notice the word “righteousness” popping up with regularity. Throughout Scripture the word is commonplace. God is righteous. Unfortunately, the word “righteousness” is often understood as a state of being. This isn’t entirely wrong, but it’s certainly incomplete.
When the Scriptures speak of God’s righteousness, it’s more like an invasion of his goodness, or an active righting of wrongs. It is justice in the face of injustice. It is shalom in the face of disunity. This is essential to understanding our being transformed into righteous people through the Spirit’s work in us. As we become righteous as God is righteous, we are drawn into his movement of righting wrong, of removing the distorted view of creation.
Psalm 85 poetically puts this movement of God into perspective. As Christians who are being shaped into the image of the Son, we walk as righteous people, playing our part in seeing that justice and peace walk together hand-in-hand in God’s creation restoration project. We’re not just being made right, we’re doing right.
SCRIPTURE TO REFLECT ON: PSALM 85:10
1. Can you think of examples in the Bible where God invaded with his goodness, when he actively righted wrongs? Can you think of examples of his righteousness in action today?
2. Is righteousness encouraged and promoted in your church? If so, what is your church’s definition of righteousness? How does this line up with God’s definition?
Aaron D. Gerrard is Lead Facilitator at Ancaster Village Church, a new church community that began in fall 2011. Visit www.ancastervillagechurch.ca.
What kind of people would we be if our community were able to say -“see how they demonstrate love! Even spending themselves on behalf of those who are different from them!”
What kind of impact would we be able to have if there was a constant, consistent movement in (and from) our church where wrongs were made right – toward newcomers to Canada, toward our Aboriginal brothers and sisters, toward the vulnerable and exploited? Would that not demonstrate the “Son of Righteousness” the “Prince of Peace”? O God, may it be true of us!
Thanks Ty, these are great additional insights.