Title: Names of God: YHVH, part 12. The righteousness of God is a gift; ROM 3:21-26.
ROM 3:21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,
This verse is the dividing line which separates the first two and a half chapters, which have been on the subject of man's complete ruin in sin, from the next section, which is occupied with God's perfect remedy in Christ.
Heresies are born from the distortion of these two attributes of God: righteousness and love. God demands perfect righteousness and only His infinite love can and has provided it to man freely by means of grace.
The word manifest comes from two Latin words, mantis, "hand," and fendo, "strike," we can comprehend that a thing is manifest when it is as plain as a hand that seeks to strike you.
However, God’s hand is not striking us. Jesus was struck; by His wounds we are healed. He was judged. He became a curse hung on a tree. This truth has been fully uncovered. No one works for God’s favors. Righteousness is a gift. As He said, “Reach here and touch My scars.”
The Greek word used, phaneroo, means "to make visible, to uncover, lay bare, or reveal." Christ and the face of God have been fully revealed.
Any covering over the righteousness of God, meaning any covering over all aspects of the Messiah, has been pulled away and He has been fully revealed. The true sacrifice has been uncovered and laid bare. The animals are gone along with the altar and the Tabernacle. The veil has been torn away and the Lamb of God has been fully manifest. Due to this, we can behold His face on a daily basis.
Is it manifest that the hand of God is going to strike you? If Moses were to see the face of God then that is exactly what would need to happen. Moses would have been judged or judged.
Today, it is the hand of God that holds out the righteousness of God for you to see. You see a pierced hand = righteousness and love.
JOH 16:7 "But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.
JOH 16:8 "And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment;
JOH 16:9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me;
JOH 16:10 and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you no longer behold Me;
JOH 16:11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.
We are not to look into the hand of God as if it is holding something that He wants to give us as if we have an attitude of "what's in this for me," but we are to look at the hand itself. Imagine God had His hand behind His back and He told you that there was something in it that He wanted you to see. You would immediately think that there was something material in the hand that He would give to you. But it is not that. The hand holds a scar. The scar is the hand. He is not giving you something. He is giving you Himself.
JOH 17:24 "Father, I desire that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am, in order that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me; for Thou didst love Me before the foundation of the world.
JOH 17:25 "O righteous Father, although the world has not known Thee, yet I have known Thee; and these have known that Thou didst send Me;
JOH 17:26 and I have made Thy name known to them, and will make it known; that the love wherewith Thou didst love Me may be in them, and I in them."
One will see that the hand has the print of a nail, that the hand was pierced, and that you may, by faith, put out your hand and touch that wound.
JOH 20:26 And after eight days again His disciples were inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst, and said, "Peace be with you."
JOH 20:27 Then He said to Thomas, "Reach here your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand, and put it into My side; and be not unbelieving, but believing."
JOH 20:28 Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!"
JOH 20:29 Jesus said to him, "Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed."
When a person sees Christ through the gospel there is a clear manifestation of the righteousness of God. It cannot be a hand of judgment since the nail print clearly reveals that He took the judgment.
ISA 53:4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
ISA 53:5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
ISA 53:6 All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.
Israel spent centuries worshipping idols. Inevitably, people searching for satisfaction in paganism are attempting to convince themselves that their quest is right. They are in some deceived way trying to convince themselves that they are doing what is right or at least doing what they think they have a right to do. Israel's quest on this road would lead to their complete ruin. God is perfect righteousness. His way, His commands, His power and truth cannot be compromised. Afterwards, subsequent generations in Israel after the Babylonian captivity would understand the error of their fathers and they would revive the study of the scriptures, but this fervency for knowledge would evolve into a quest for personal righteousness all over again, except this time it wouldn't be in paganism, but in keeping the Law of Moses. Yet, the Law would make no one righteous.
Righteousness could never be found by man or earned by man. In both testaments, righteousness could only be had as a gift from God.
The book of Isaiah has 66 chapters. The Bible has 66 books. 39 of the chapters in Isaiah deal with Law and the government of God. There are 39 books in the OT. 27 chapters of Isaiah deal with grace and the salvation of God. There are 27 chapters in the NT. There are 66 direct quotations from Isaiah in the NT as a brightly colored thread is woven into a beautiful pattern. He is often used to enforce and enlarge upon the NT passages that speak of Christ.
Isaiah chapters 40-66 are the salvation/poetry part of the book. 40-48 is the comfort that comes from the Savior. 49-57 is the salvation that comes from the suffering Servant. 58-66 is the glory of the suffering Servant.
ISA 52:1 Awake, awake,
Clothe yourself in your strength, O Zion;
Clothe yourself in your beautiful garments,
O Jerusalem, the holy city.
For the uncircumcised and the unclean
Will no more come into you.
ISA 52:2 Shake yourself from the dust, rise up,
O captive Jerusalem;
Loose yourself from the chains around your neck,
O captive daughter of Zion.
Jerusalem is pictured lying upon the ground stupefied with the wrath of God, and exhausted with grief. The Assyrians and the Babylonians have captured her and destroyed her cities.
A few Jews were not carried off to Babylon and allowed to remain behind in the area of Judah and Jerusalem her capital, now destroyed. It is hard for us to imagine what this all must have looked like to them. Had God abandoned Israel? It sure looked like it. We can look back on it and know that God certainly had not abandoned Israel, but to them, looking at a smoldering city and the once magnificent Temple of Solomon in rubble, they would have almost certainly despaired.
But the prophetic word of Isaiah had come to them since he wrote of it before it happened. They are told to look to the mountains.
ISA 52:3 For thus says the Lord, "You were sold for nothing and you will be redeemed without money."
Vs. 3: God did not receive anything when He sold them into captivity. He only did it so that they might repent. God has never received anything from us or for us. He has given Himself freely.
He is not going to buy them back from the Babylonians with silver or gold. He does not have such a redemption in mind at all. He is going to redeem their souls from the pit - all who will believe upon Him.
Why were they sold?
ISA 52:4 For thus says the Lord God, "My people went down at the first into Egypt to reside there, then the Assyrian oppressed them without cause.
Israel (Jacob) went down to Egypt with the intent of just sojourning there and his people, ended up in slavery. Due to their apostasy, Israel ended up being taken captive by Assyria. God had a cause to oppress them, but Assyria did not. Oppression is described in the briefest possible terms in order to show that only God can free them and He won't do it with silver and gold.
ISA 52:5 "Now therefore, what do I have here," declares the Lord, "seeing that My people have been taken away without cause?" Again the Lord declares, "Those who rule over them howl, and My name is continually blasphemed all day long.
God is seen as being in the midst of His captive people, "what do I have here," and what He sees are the harsh oppressors howling a war cry of victory over Israel and simultaneously blaspheming God's name all day long.
Any who have repented of idol worship while in captivity must think as those who were left back in Jerusalem amongst the rubble. Had Jehovah abandoned them? Had they finally gone far enough as a nation that God would destroy His covenant to Abraham?
But then He speaks out.
God speaks out and says to those left behind in a smoldering Jerusalem and to those in captivity who hear their oppressors howl and blaspheme God's name: "Look to the mountains. Here I am!"
ISA 52:6 "Therefore My people shall know My name; therefore in that day I am the one who is speaking, 'Here I am.'"
ISA 52:7 How lovely on the mountains
Are the feet of him who brings good news,
Who announces peace
And brings good news of happiness,
Who announces salvation,
And says to Zion, "Your God reigns!"
ISA 52:8 Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices,
They shout joyfully together;
For they will see with their own eyes
When the Lord restores Zion.
ISA 52:9 Break forth, shout joyfully together,
You waste places of Jerusalem;
For the Lord has comforted His people,
He has redeemed Jerusalem.
ISA 52:10 The Lord has bared His holy arm
In the sight of all the nations,
That all the ends of the earth may see
The salvation of our God.
The watchmen are pictured as seeing a messenger on the mountains bring good news. Good news = Gospel. His feet are beautiful because they carry the man to bring the gospel to their ears.