Web Chapel

A Virtual Meeting Place

Christ Is Lord

He is Righteous

“The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.” Psalm 145:17

Sometimes even Christians balk at these statements about God’s character because of what seems to be the testimony of the Old Testament. One might ask, “What about the many nations that were conquered by God through Israel?” or, “What about those that God had commanded to be utterly destroyed, including women and children?”

But this is not the only scripture that tells us that God is righteous. Psalm 71:19 says, “Thy righteousness also, O God, is very high, who hast done great things: O God, who is like unto thee!” and Psalm 116:5 says, “Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.”

If we were to start with these scriptures as fact, and then consider the Old Testament, what kind of light do they shed on these questions? How is God’s righteousness and holiness revealed in those situations?

Speaking about Israel, Jeremiah 16:10-13 says, “And it shall come to pass, when thou shalt shew this people all these words, and they shall say unto thee, Wherefore hath the LORD pronounced all this great evil against us? or what is our iniquity? or what is our sin that we have committed against the LORD our God? Then shalt thou say unto them, Because your fathers have forsaken me, saith the LORD, and have walked after other gods, and have served them, and have worshipped them, and have forsaken me, and have not kept my law; and ye have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, ye walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not hearken unto me: therefore will I cast you out of this land into a land that ye know not, neither ye nor your fathers; and there shall ye serve other gods day and night; where I will not shew you favor.”

Here we see that the judgment that God promised to bring was because of their disobedience of Him and His law. God had called them His people. He brought them out of Egypt in a mighty way. He gave to them the Promised Land, and they turned their back on Him. They ignored Him, turned away from Him, and took up idolatry, in violation of the first commandment (Exodus 20:2-6). In fact, within a month of hearing this commandment from God’s lips they were worshipping the golden calf (Exodus 32:1-5). Ezekiel said that they had carried idols out of Egypt when they left (Ezekiel 20:7, 8). It is clear from what Jeremiah said that they were being judged because they followed idols, and ignored God and His ways.

There are multiple prophets in the Old Testament. For hundreds of years, they wrote warning Israel about their idolatry. Time and again God warned them about turning away from Him. Time and again He told them what would happen if they ignored His warnings. God was righteous in giving them warning after warning. But time and again they ignored His warnings. God’s promise to judge was not an empty threat. Lawlessness must be met with justice. Legally speaking, the only righteous thing God could do is to make good on His promises. He certainly was not being unpredictable. He gave hundreds of years of warnings from multiple prophets, some of whom were killed and all of whom were ignored.

Though focused on Israel, the scriptures above can be generalized to all of mankind, for God does not change. He Who had made us, and has given us what we need to live, have we refused and ignored to this day. Romans 1:18-21 says “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” Just like Israel, mankind has ignored God’s clear laws, choosing their own way.

Romans 3:21-26 says, “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” God’s dealings with mankind regarding sin are the whole point of scripture. Sin is the reason for the coming of Jesus to the earth. God has sent His Son to reconcile mankind with Himself. Like the prophets of old, many ignore Him. What more should God to do? The day is coming when He will judge in righteousness because lawlessness must be met with justice.

 1 Peter 1:18-21 says, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.” God has judged Jesus in our place. Refuse that, and we will bear God’s righteous wrath against our sin.

Great God of wonders! all Thy ways

Display Thine attributes divine;

But the bright glories of thy grace

Above Thine other wonders shine:


Who is a pardoning God like Thee?

Or who has grace so rich and free?

Who is a pardoning God like Thee?

Or who has grace so rich and free?

Such deep transgressions to forgive!

Such guilty sinners thus to spare!

This is Thy grand prerogative,

And in this honor none shall share:


Pardon, from an offended God!

Pardon, for sins of deepest dye!

Pardon, bestowed through Jesus’ blood!

Pardon, that brings the rebel nigh!

CHORUS (Samuel Davies)