Righteousness Exalts a Nation (as observed) by Nancy G. Daniel
Righteousness Exalts a Nation
as observed by Nancy G. Daniel
In recent years we are hearing this scripture more and more as darkness increases. We pray and look to the political scene and the prophets. If we don't see change it is easy to throw our hands in the air. Then look to God thinking we are waiting on Him to do something. Books have been written on the subject and yes, we need to get involved at all levels to shift the narrative. We are often told to start at the local level. But, perhaps, we can begin a shift as we gain understanding of what God is talking about, our personal responsibility as a believer.
Proverbs 14:34(TPT) A nation is exalted by the righteousness of its people, but sin heaps disgrace upon the land.
Genesis 18:32 (AMPC) And he said, Oh, let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again only this once. Suppose ten [righteous people] shall be found there. And [the Lord] said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.
Justice, Righteousness, Love and Holiness
As we briefly look into history in the Old Testament we see that it is just to defend those who are not able to defend themselves and to be righteous is to be in right standing with God and to be in right standing with God is to take care of those who cannot care of themselves. The Old Testament kings and wealthy leaders took bribes and built their success by taking advantage of the poor and the defenseless. There are many scriptures on this topic and to be brief I will share one in Isaiah.
As we study the word justice we see that a part of the meaning of this word is to defend the defenseless and a part of the meaning of the word righteous is to care for them.
Isaiah 1:16 (Netbible) Wash! Cleanse yourselves!
Remove your sinful deeds from my sight.
17 Learn to do what is right.
Give the oppressed reason to celebrate.
Take up the cause of the orphan.
Defend the rights of the widow.
Proverbs 29:7 (AMPC) The [consistently] righteous man knows and cares for the rights of the poor, but the wicked man has no interest in such knowledge.
Deuteronomy 24:17(Netbible) You must not pervert justice due a resident foreigner or an orphan, or take a widow’s garment as security for a loan. 18 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God re-deemed you from there; therefore, I am commanding you to do all this. 19 Whenever you reap your harvest in your field and leave some unraked grain there, you must not return to get it; it should go to the resident foreigner, orphan, and widow so that the You’re your God may bless all the work you do. 20 When you beat your olive tree you must not repeat the procedure; the remaining olives belong to the resident foreigner, orphan, and widow. 21 When you gather the grapes of your vineyard you must not do so a second time; they should go to the resident foreigner, orphan, and widow. 22 Remember that you were slaves in the land of Egypt; therefore, I am commanding you to do all this.
“The case law is put in three forms: commandments; prohibitions; and “here is what you should do to right a wrong.”
“A few prohibitions and commands that focus on humanitarian issues can be found in Exodus 22:20-26; Exodus 23: 1-9. These focus on the defenseless and disadvantaged, the needy and the newcomer, alien. The alien was often without connections and so was open to abuse. Israel had experienced abuse in Egypt and knew how it felt, God asked them to treat non-Israelites, not as they had been treated when they were visitors in a foreign land, but fairly, as they had hoped to be treated. The defenseless, Exodus 22:24-26 explains these guiding principles and commands related to the defenseless members of the covenant community. These humanitarian concerns are reflected throughout the Old Testament in every major aspect of its teachings as we are to discover during this study on justice.”
And in Exodus 22:27-30 we find respect and love for God. Disrespect or honor is shown when any of God’s guiding principles or commands are ignored or dis-obeyed.
We must also love God and love each other. This is Old and New Testament. The definition for love in Hebrew is not sentiment or emotion.
Matthew 22:37 (AMPC) Jesus answered him, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and most important commandment. 39 The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ 40 All of Moses’ Teachings and the Prophets depend on these two commandments.
Notice verse 40. All means all of Moses teachings! This explains the teachings of the Old Testament!
Leviticus 19:18 Never get revenge. Never hold a grudge against any of your people. Instead, love your neighbor as you love yourself. I am the LORD.
Deuteronomy 6:5 You must love the LORD your God you’re your whole mind, your whole being, and all your strength.
Both the word “love” in Leviticus and Deuteronomy mean the same thing. The Deuteronomy 6:5 note in netbible.org says:
tn The verb àËäÍá ("ahev, “to love”) in this setting communicates not so much an emotional idea as one of covenant commitment. To love the Lord is to be absolutely loyal and obedient to him in every respect, a truth Jesus himself taught (cf. John14:15 “If you love me, you will obey my commandments.).
We looked briefly at justice, righteousness, and love. The Lord also tells us to be holy as He is holy. To be holy is to be set apart. This is not necessarily a moral purity idea as we read it in the Old Testament, though it does include it. To be set apart is an action of doing things God’s way. Perhaps today we can say it is “shama” (to hear and take the action of obeying) what Holy Spirit is saying to us.
Leviticus 19:2 “Speak to the whole congregation of the Israelites and tell them, ‘You must be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.
1 Peter 1:15 But as the One Who called you is holy, you yourselves also be holy in all your conduct and manner of living. 16 For it is written, you shall be holy, for I am holy.
Israel was holy, or set apart unto the Lord which meant they were not to be like other nations. God required them to be different by obeying His laws. This difference would make them righteous and this righteousness would exalt them as a nation.
God desired His people to be in relationship with, and to be near Him. God loves His people and to be in right relationship with God meant His people needed to be in right relationship with each other on a personal level, a community level and a national level. In other words, they were to love God and love each other. This is Old Testament not just New Testament.
Let’s connect the dots. A part of the meaning of justice is to defend the defenseless and a part of the meaning of righteousness has to do with caring for defenseless members of the covenant community in Ancient Israel. In the New Testament it does not seem limited to the covenant community. To love God and your neighbor is the very basis for the teaching of Moses, the prophets and Jesus Christ. To love is to be loyal and not just emotional. Finally, to do these things is to be set apart or holy.
Israel could exalt their nation by being righteous.
Micah 6:8(NetBible) He has told you, O man, what is good, and what the LORD really wants from you: He wants you to carry out justice, to love faithfulness, and to live obediently before your God.
The word love faithfulness is “hesed” or loyal love.
We desire for our political climate to change. An unrighteous government can reflect the will of the people, which is disheartening. Others might say it was corruption that made a way for unrighteousness.
Yes, let us actively engage on every level possible. But we can be that holy people, set apart people like Israel by choosing to hear Holy Spirit and do what He says. We can loyally love God and love each other by caring and defending the vulnerable, the orphan, widow, and the defenseless among us. Those who cannot do for themselves in our midst. For those who are able to receive, we can disciple the dear ones God puts in our hands in the transforming Word of God so that they are no longer defenseless but empowered.
Earlier this year, I received a word from the Lord about building Goshen. It must have been a word in the spirit as many others have been talking about it too. There are different perspectives on this topic. As I pondered this word and the Scripture the Lord gave for this article I see where He was going with it.
We each can build a community of people active and loyal in loving God, and caring for each other. From this righteous community can come security and provision which is a baseline for kingdom. From one community other communities can be birthed and so on.
God sees. God knows the heart of a man.
Righteousness does exalt a nation. May we each walk in righteousness to the fullest extent of our ability and calling. Ø
Build and Teach Goshen Revelation
In the fall of 2022 the Lord gently spoke to me to build a Goshen, teach and encourage the students to do the same.
Recently several prophets have been saying they are hearing the word concerning Goshen. But each person understands it differently depending their viewpoint. God is eternally Faceted and each of us are a Facet of Him. This is the beautiful Body of Christ.
Many have felt to save up food and provision. Some to secure a location.
At this writing, this is my limited understanding and perspective. A Goshen is about relationship with God and from the fullness of relationship flows a caring for those around us through the compassionate and generous heart of God in us.
Loving God, loving others, it is that simple!
Colossians 1:16 (AMPC) For it was in Him that all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers, or authorities; all things were created and exist through Him [by His service, intervention] and in and for Him.
17And He Himself existed before all things, and in Him all things consist (cohere, are held together).
Romans 11:36 (AMPC)For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. [For all things originate with Him and come from Him; all things live through Him, and all things center in and tend to consummate and to end in Him.] To Him be glory forever! Amen (so be it).
There is no disease, no chaos that does not know His name. All things originate in Christ. It is from the well of relationship that springs provision, protection and healing. The very name of Jesus, Yeshua, is salvation which is healing, wholeness and deliverance. As we labor to enter the rest of His presence, with the Lord in intimacy and in relationship to though we are called to, these things are provided. Perhaps God will send those called to build homes or those called to save up food to the communities of His Presence. This is the LIGHT!
John 1:1 (AMPC) In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. 2He was present originally with God.3 All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him was not even one thing made that has come into being. 4In Him was Life, and the Life was the Light of men.5 And the Light shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has never overpowered it [put it out or absorbed it or appropriated it, and is unreceptive to it].
The LIGHT in us shines bright, it is real. This light is the outflow of His presence and the world comprehends it not. How could they understand such generous and unselfish love that is shared from God's family? This is the outflow of Christ through us. This is hesed.
It does not matter how much money we have or how much awesome cool survival stuff we provide if we are not flowing from Christ and with each other in community the "draught" will follow us.
It is the light that shines through us that all can see. This light together with the light through others makes a great big light until there is glory that is filling the earth.
May your light so shine!
My encouragement: there is no time like right now to hear from Holy Spirit.
My prayer: Thank you Jesus for loving us so that we can love others. Thank you for joining each of us to the community that you have called us to so that you might be glorified in all we do!
May your light shine bright in these days! May you find the joy in this season of loving God and loving others as we build great Light together. Ø
(Photo by Josh Boot, Unsplash)
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