Summary: The Bible reveals many different variations of God’s name to reveal more to us about who He is! Yahweh-Tsidkenu is a name central to our relationship with God.
When we read the Bible, we normally read an English translation of Hebrew from the Old Testament and a similar translation of Greek from the New Testament.
What we don’t realize perhaps is that words from one language do not always translate easily into the other language. I am sure the Bible translators struggle with this. That is why there are so many English versions of the Bible – some to make it easy for people to understand its major focus and others to more accurately show the fine points of what is written.
Most people today think God’s name is “God”. They don’t realize that God’s name is expressed many ways in the Hebrew Scriptures (our Old Testament). What a rich treasure you find when you start looking at these! The Bible reveals many different variations of God’s name to reveal more to us about who He is!
[To complete this introduction, I recommend a chart by Rose Publishing that shows 10 of the many different names used for God. They all reveal something more about Him. I used it briefly to simply introduce this sermon to those who may be unaware of the different names God has used to reveal Himself.]
Now take a look at the handout [showing “Yahweh-Tsidkenu: The Lord Our Righteousness”, with Jeremiah 23:5-6 written out in Modern English Version and Names-Of-God Bible version]. Here we have a couple sets of verses, one of which is translated fully into modern English, but the second retains the Hebrew versions of the names for God. The name that is emphasized here is a very important name, because it tells us what God had in mind in terms of our relationship with Him since “all have sinned and are far away from God’s saving presence.” (Romans 3:23)
We are not naturally “right with God” any more. When God created the first man and woman, they were able to enjoy God to the fullest every day. Just like the old song says, they walked with Him, and they talked with Him and, yes, He told them they were his own. But that didn’t last for long. Our ancestors in the Garden of Eden disobeyed God the first time.
We were not designed to be able to deal with sin on our own – so God had forbidden Adam and Eve from eating from the one tree that would reveal both good and evil to them.
But Adam and Eve distrusted God that He was being honest with them. Instead, they were led to trust in themselves as knowing better than God what was good for them to experience. Because they disobeyed, we now just don‘t naturally have that great relationship with God anymore. Instead, still have a tendency toward sin, with no way in ourselves to really deal with it.
But God has a way to deal with it.
This is where God as Yahweh-Tsidkenu, “The Lord Our Righteousness”, comes in. To be more specific, God said He would raise up a righteous Branch for David, actually out of David’s family. You all know who that is – that’s Jesus!
Jesus is Jehovah-Tsidkenu, “The Lord Our Righteousness”.
If you want to be right with God, you cannot do it on your own. It takes God giving us His own righteousness in order for us to be righteous ourselves. That righteousness can only come from Jesus.
The only thing God requires of us is admit our need because of our sin, and to trust Him to give us His righteousness so that we can be right with Him. This is the choice we need to make, rather than continuing to trust in ourselves. Turning our trust over to Jesus makes all the difference. He completely forgives us, and from that point on, in His eyes, it is like we never sinned.
When we decide to trust Jesus to make us right, God gives us His righteousness. Then, anytime He looks at us, Jesus’ righteousness and sinlessness. We still have imperfections – but God sees Jesus giving us His perfection. Essentially, God sees Jesus and His righteousness when He looks at us, and that righteousness makes us more than acceptable to Him. It actually makes us someone He can use via the Holy Spirit to make a difference!
Getting right with God gives us an opportunity to get to know Him more and more. And God wants to have that happen. He wants to walk with us, and talk with us, and reassure us daily. He wants to give us that peace that passes understanding when there is no peace around us. He wants us to overcome everything that comes against us in our lives – not by being tough or wise or spiritual in ourselves -- but by continuing to trust in Him, overcoming these things by the blood of Yahweh-Tsidkenu (aka Jesus) and word of God that we speak and live in faith.