Has it occurred to you righteousness is a path? Righteousness is a street. It leads somewhere special. Righteousness is a direction only the shepherd can point you toward. He leads me in the path of righteousness, he leads me in the course of “conduct” and “action”. If we follow his lead, then we can stay-on in the path of righteousness. A Shepherd knows exactly where the best feeding grounds are and leads his sheep to those places.
In this verse David tells the same about God because God directed him down paths of uprightness during his kingship and enabled him to win great battles in his commission to possess the lands promised the Israelites. He guides us in paths of righteousness for his own glory and reputation, (Matthew 5:15). As selfish as this may sound, our interpretation should be done within the context of shepherding.
What honour would David have earned if he allowed the flock to go in search of food on their own and thereby walk into their death. Likewise how can we win the lost for God if they are not convinced of his goodness expressed towards his own children? I pray for you dearly beloved; may your life be a testimony of God’s goodness. May you be a reference point for God’s blessing. Amen. In guiding us God shows the world that he is one hundred percent dependable and faithful.
In the letter to the Romans, we see a strong relationship between what David says and what Paul tells the Romans. “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom 14:17).
So the shepherd is not just leading, but he is leading us somewhere. He is leading the sheep to the kingdom of God but through righteousness. To have access to His kingdom, we must be righteous, and since on our own, we could not achieve righteousness, Jesus had to do it for us. He had to die in our place so we live in his righteousness. How well have we made use of this glorious opportunity?
In the beatitudes, we see our Lord Jesus teaching and as it concerns our study, he says “blessed are the poor in spirit, theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. In other words, blessed are the righteous because poor in spirit talks and addresses our relationship with God. It is the opposite of arrogant self–confidence which dominates and rides over other people and treats God as irrelevant. Poor in spirit is the personal acknowledgment of our spiritual bankruptcy and indebtedness before God. It is the tax collector in Luke 18:13 standing in the temple before God and beating on his breast saying, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner”. It is an honest confession that we are sinful and utterly without the moral virtues that we need to commend us to God hence the shepherd leads us in the path of righteousness so we can be commended to God and indeed spend eternity with Him. (We will explore this on the last day when we close this series).
I will refer you to please read Matt 5:6.
Let us explain further making reference to Matt 5:10 ” blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. So when he leads me in the path of righteousness for his name sake, the shepherd is leading me to his kingdom.
We are blessed when we make effort to be righteous and are persecuted in the process.
We are blessed when we use our offices for the purpose for which there were established.
We are blessed when we do the right thing and people condemn us.
We are blessed when we do not use public funds for personal projects.
We are blessed when we give a listening ear to the less privilege and our blessing is his kingdom. So even when people make fun of you, don’t take your eyes of the prize.
The goal is spending eternity with God. Don’t ever forget that.
The Greek word used in the New Testament “righteousness” primarily describes conduct in relation to others, especially with regards to the rights of others in business, in legal matters, and beginning with relationship to God. The good shepherd leading us is building and strengthening our relationship with God and man and possessing heavenly attitude and mindset. It is contrasted with wickedness, the conduct of the one who, out of gross self-centeredness, neither reveres God nor respects man. The Bible describes the righteous person as just or right, holding to God and trusting in Him (Psalm 33:18–22).
It is not possible for man to attain true and perfect righteousness on his own; but the good news is that true righteousness is possible for mankind, but only through the cleansing of sin by Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We now understand the second part of our text which says “for his name sake”. Jesus saved us for himself and by himself. It is by no effort on our part that we are saved, but by the blood of Christ. For the sake of Jesus we are saved. For by his blood and resurrection, mankind has been redeemed but we have to walk to get the redemption (Rom 5:10, Eph 2:5).
We do not have the ability to achieve righteousness of ourselves. But as Christians, we possess the righteousness of Christ, because “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). This is an amazing truth.
On the cross, Jesus led humanity through the path of righteousness. Jesus exchanged our sin for His perfect righteousness so that we can stand before God and He will see not our sin, but the holy righteousness of the Lord Jesus.
This means that we are made righteous in the sight of God; that is, that we are accepted as righteous and treated as righteous by God on account of what the Lord Jesus has done. He was made sin; we are made righteousness. On the cross, Jesus was treated as if He were a sinner, though He was perfectly holy and pure, and we are treated as if we were righteous, though we are defiled and depraved.
On account of what the Lord Jesus has endured on our behalf, we are treated as if we had entirely fulfilled the Law of God and had never become exposed to its penalty. We have received this precious gift of righteousness from the God of all mercy and grace. To Him be the glory and honour for ever and ever.
Most of the problems we face in life are the results of not heeding God’s guidance. We can enjoy every little instance of our personal life, marriage, career and ministry if we are sensitive to his leading. He knows what’s best for us and he will help to achieve our goals as long as they are pure and within the perimeter of his will.
As the week grows older, may the God lead you in the path righteousness through Christ our Lord. Amen
And may the Lord bless you, and keep you.
May the Lord make his face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen
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