August 5

Today's Bible Reading
            Judges 19
            Acts 23
            Jeremiah 33
            Psalms 3-4
“In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell safely, and this is the name by which she will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS'' (Jeremiah 33:16)
            The prophecy of Jeremiah continued until the time of the Babylonian exile. He warned Israel that because of her sins, God was going to allow the Babylonians to invade, destroy Solomon's Temple, and lead them away into a 70 year captivity one from which many of them would never return, even their children. Babylon's first invasion came in 606 BC, the second in 597 BC, and the third in 586 BC. Then Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed, and the people were deported.
            This promise was to encourage them, in the midst of their apprehension that they may no longer be a nation in the future. This is God's guarantee to them that there would be a time when the nations would no longer threaten to destroy Israel. Throughout the Old Testament, God made promises to His people by using the Names that were attributed to Him.
            Jehovah was the sacred name of the God of Israel, used especially with reference to His being a covenant God of His people. The name itself is spelled by only four letters in the Hebrew, YHWH. The Canaanites and other nations never used this name for their gods, due to holy awe connected with the name from antiquity. Both the Bible copiers and readers refrained from even speaking it aloud; therefore, its exact pronunciation has been lost to us. Today, most prefer the forrn Yahweh over Jehovah.
            The literal meaning of the name seems to be HE IS. It is similar to the I AM name by which God calls Himself when speaking to Moses. It does convey the fact that He is the eternal, personal Being. Added to this, the Bible reveals His attributes of holiness, goodness, justice, love, and mercy as well as His omnipotence and omnipresence.
            Some of the other names that have expressed the attributes of God are these:                   Jehovah Jireh : The Lord will provide (Genesis 22:14)
                        Jehovah Ropheka: The Lord your healer (Exodus 15:26) 
                        Jehovah Nissi: The Lord is my banner (Exodus 17:15) 
                        Jehovah Shalom: The Lord is peace (Judges 6:24)
                        Jehovah Rohi: The Lord my shepherd (Psalms 23:1) 
                        Jehovah M'Kaddesh : The Lord is holy (Leviticus 20:7) 
                        Jehovah Shammah: The Lord who is there (Ezekiel 48:35)
            But this one seemed especially meaningful since there appeared to be no inherent righteousness in Israel or the Jewish people. They were desperate for the righteousness of their Lord. So, here, God describes Himself as Jehovah Tsidkemu - the Lord our righteousness.
            This verse also means everything to us. The perfect moral uprightness, demanded by God's holy standards, could not be found in Israel and it cannot be found in us. It is provided, however, by God Himself through faith in Christ, for it is He who is Jehovah Tsidkenu -the Lord our righteousness. Are you trusting Jesus today to be your righteousness?
            The Asian country of Turkmenistan has approximately 5 million inhabitants. There are a few Russian orthodox churches, but Sunni Islam is the predominant religion in the country.  Pray for believers in this Asian country who are under severe persecution. Christian congregations have been intimidated and forbidden to meet.
            Pray for a softening of the attitude of authorities, and for courage of the Christians in the country to stand firmand for Christians outside to pray and speak out against these actions.