Saturday, January 7, 2017

Psalm 7 - Whose Righteousness?

So it's OK to point out your righteousness.
Hmmmmm. I'm not sure I've thought about righteousness in this way.

Oh.... I've started in the middle. Cheryl says I do that sometimes. I've been thinking about something, maybe even working through supporting arguments for a position I'm about to take, then I start telling Cheryl what I'm thinking and she says, "Wait! You started in the middle of this conversation."

Let me back up.

Without doing a lengthy treatise on Romans 3 and 4, any good student of Romans or the writings of the Apostle Paul knows that any righteousness we have comes because of what Jesus has done for us.
And haven't we all heard a preacher use Isaiah 64:6 to tell us that our own righteousness is as filthy rags?

So how do we reconcile what we've always been taught about our lack of righteousness with David's words in Psalm 7?
v.8 Vindicate me, LORD, according to my righteousness, according to my integrity, O Most High.  (emphasis mine)
v.9 make the righteous secure
v.10 My shield is God Most High, who saves the upright in heart.

Keep in mind that I don't work for a perfectly polished sermon with three points and a poem for these blog posts. I'm just asking God to show me something new or important or useful that will change my heart or bring me closer to Him or direct me in how I should live.... and maybe be a help to any who might read.

Yes. The only righteousness we have that counts for salvation is what is given to us by the blood of Jesus when we believe and choose to follow Him and He makes us new creations.

But those who have received the righteousness of God in their lives try to live righteous lives.
Paul said it like this, 
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them."  Ephesians 2:10 

David lived his life trying to live righteously, not for his salvation, but because he had a relationship with God and wanted to please Him. David could honestly say that he wasn't guilty of the things other accused him of. 

3 LORD my God, if I have done this and there is guilt on my hands—
4 if I have repaid my ally with evil or without cause have robbed my foe— 

5 then let my enemy pursue and overtake me; let him trample my life to the ground and make me sleep in the dust.

So in this Psalm David isn't really bragging about his righteousness, he's just saying that he doesn't deserve the attacks from Cush, a Benjamite. 

I'm not sure where I'm trying to go with these thoughts where I can make a nice transition sentence, so I'll just jump into some ideas of what I think this Psalm might show us.

We should try to live righteous lives so when we are attacked it isn't deserved. 
It's OK to point out to God that you are living righteously - and that you want Him to take up for you.

Bottom line:
I'm afraid too many of us live sloppy lives, not really caring if we treat people well, do good works, or live up to our calling as a kingdom of priests, because we have been told so many times that the only righteousness that counts is what Christ has done for us. for our salvation that is true, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't live holy lives. Read Galatians 3 again. We were saved FOR GOOD WORKS.  Having the righteousness of Christ is actually all the more reason to live godly, righteous lives. 

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