I read the following passage with some interest.
The God of Israel spoke.
The Rock of Israel said to me:
‘The person who rules righteously,
who rules in the fear of God,
he is like the light of the morning,
like the sunrise bursting forth in a cloudless sky,
like the refreshing rains that bring tender grass from the earth.’ – 2 Samuel 23:3-4
As I look at this I realize that this does not just apply to David and the kings of Israel, this applies to anyone in a position of power. So what does it mean to ‘rule righteously’?
The Hebrew word for righteously is “Tsaddiyq”, pronounced “Tsad-deek”. It means to be; just, lawful, correct, vindicated, righteous – in both conduct and character. It is derived from the root word “Tsdaq”, pronounced “Tsa-dawk”. This word means; to be just, to be righteous, to declare righteous, to be justified.
It reminded me of another scripture verse.
We are all infected and impure with sin. When we proudly display our righteous deeds, we find they are but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall. And our sins, like the wind, sweep us away. – Isaiah 64:6
So if Isaiah said that we are all infected, how then can David speak of his righteousness?
It is because the same Isaiah also wrote the following.
“Come now, let us argue this out,” says the LORD. “No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it. I can make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you as white as wool.” – Isaiah 1:18
This came true for me when Jesus’ blood cleansed my sins away.
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. – 2 Corinthians 5:21
Our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also share his new life. – Romans 6:6-8
Just a few sentences later the writer of Romans also wrote the following.
Now you are free from sin, your old master, and you have become slaves to your new master, righteousness. – Romans 6:18
Since that new master is in charge of my life, and the fact that through Christ I am declared just, I am able to rule righteously. It is not my righteousness that makes it possible, it is his. And this brings great power.
We have faithfully preached the truth. God’s power has been working in us. We have righteousness as our weapon, both to attack and to defend ourselves. – 2 Corinthians 6:7
As the scripture says, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Father, thank you for declaring me righteous because of Christ. May I rule with the wisdom that you supply. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Rule Righteously. Jan