The Name of the King
‘A King shall reign. And this is His name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.’ —Jer. xxiii. 5, 6.
cannot do without this most wonderful
V Y name. It can never be an old story to us. It is always a ‘ new name ‘1 in freshness and beauty and power. It is our daily need and our daily joy. For strength it is indeed ‘a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. ‘2 For sweetness it is ‘as ointment poured forth.’3 In it we see at once the highest height and the deepest depth; Jehovah, God of God, Light of Light, and our need of a righteousness which is not our own at all, because we have none. We stand as upon an Alpine slope, face to face with the highest, grandest, purest summit above, and the darkest, deepest valley below, seeing more of the height because of the depth, and more of the depth because of the height.
Jesus our King ‘hath by inheritance obtained a
l Rev. iii. 12. 2 Prov. xviii. 10. 8 Cant. i. 3.
more excellent name” than angels, for His Father has given Him his own name,—’ He shall be called Jehovah.” But this alone would be too great, too far off for us; it might find echoes among the harpings of sinless angels, but not among the sighings of sinful souls. And so the name was completed for us, by the very word that expresses our truest, deepest, widest, most perpetual need, and the Holy Ghost revealed the Son of God to as ‘Jehovah our Righteousness.’
Do not let us be content with theoretically understanding and correctly holding the doctrine of justification by faith. Turn from the words to the reality, from the theory to the Person, and as a little, glad, wondering child, look at the simple, wonderful truth. That ‘ the Righteousness of God’ (how magnificent!) is ‘unto all and upon all them that believe; ‘3 therefore, at this very moment, unto and upon you and me, instead of our own filthy rags,* so that we stand clothed and beautiful6 in the very sight of God, now; and Jesus can say, ‘Thou art all fair, my love,’6 now! That it is not any finite righteousness, which might not quite cover the whole,—might not be quite enough to satisfy God’s all-searching eye; not a righteousness, but The Righteousness of God;7 and this no abstract attribute, but a Person, real, living, loving,—covering us with His own glorious apparel,8 representing us before His Father, Christ Jesus Himself ‘ made unto us Righteousness ! n This to-day and this for ever, for ‘ His name shall endure for ever.”
1 Heb. i. 4. 2 Jer. xxiii. 6, marg. 3 Rom. iii. 22.
4 Isa. Ixiv. 6. 5 Zech. iii. 4, 5. * Cant. iv. 7.
^ Phil. iii. Q. 8 Isa. Ixiii. i.
It is in His kingly capacity that this glorious name is given to Him. For only by ‘submitting ourselves to the Righteousness of God,’3 can we have ‘ the blessedness of the man unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works.’* There can be no compromise,—it must be His only or ours only. He must be our King, or He will not be our Righteousness.