Proverbs 13:4 “Righteousness guards the man of integrity”
He tells us to be Righteous.
Our current English translation for righteousness is "
uprightness"; but righteousness, in biblical usage, is about
the relationship between God and man. Holman Bible
Dictionary defines "righteousness" as absolute faith in and
the commitment to God. The standard is raised.
Proverbs has many verses on the righteous man and the
wicked man. If one is not righteous by having that special
relationship with God, then one can only be wicked. One
cannot be half righteous - yet that is what Satan wants.
"Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath,
but righteousness delivers from death." Proverbs 11:4
Righteousness is superior to riches; yet, we as a society
pursue riches. We encourage our children to go to college
and get a good paying job - not to glorify God - but to
gain material wealth. Should we not spend more time
helping them to develop a relationship with God?.
Guttenberg created the printing press knowing that it would
glorify God; God gave him the skills and ability to invent.
Johan Sebastian Bach signed his work SDG - Soli De Glori
meaning "For God's glory alone". Think about the great men
of the past - Isaac Newton, Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler,
Blaise Pascal - these men of science believed in God and
wanted to study the order of Creation.
The Puritans wrote the Mayflower Compact which starts with:
"In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are
underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread
Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God,
of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King,
defender of the Faith, etc.
Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and
advancements of the Christian faith, and the honor of
our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony
in the Northern parts of Virginia; "
Proverbs 28 states "the righteous are as bold as a lion"
The first winter at Plymouth 47 of the 100 settlers died.
The captain of the ship offered to take them back because
conditions were so bad. Yet they all refused - because their
commitment was for the glory of God. That is righteousness!
For me, righteousness is simply - "Wanting to please God
instead of myself" - this increases my faith and my commitment.
Often we have to make a choice. When someone says
something that offends us or attacks us. When someone sues
us. How do we respond? Our worldly desire is to attack,
but that is not God's will. It will not please God? Jesus said
we must pray for our enemies. As Ambassadors for Christ,
we must faithfully represent God's love and grace.
What if the next time we started to disagree with someone -
like a teenage son, we said let's pray together before we
Matthew 5 says "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for
righteousness, for they will be filled." Our pastor spoke
about Zacchaeus, the chief tax collector, who gave up his
dignity to climb a tree seeking Jesus Christ. And he was filled.
That is the thirst, the hunger that we should have for
righteousness - willing to do whatever is required to develop
that personal relationship with God! And Jesus said to
Zacchaeus “Today salvation has come to this house”.
Wisdom can only be learned in a personal relationship with God;
therefore, we must seek righteousness.