Another dimension of Jesus’ commitment to righteousness is revealed in Psalm 45. The writer of this beautiful poem is singing a hymn of praise to the King, a love song that finds its ultimate fulfillment in the person of Jesus. Under the leading of the Holy Spirit, the writer makes this declaration about Jesus that points with boldness and clarity to the benefits of loving righteousness:

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. 
You love righteousness and hate wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.
(Psalm 45:6-7, NKJV)


The rulership of God through His Son Jesus is revealed here as eternal. His authority is rooted in righteousness, and every decision will be made in line with how things really are. Now here’s the wondrous point: because Jesus loves righteousness and hates wickedness, God has anointed Him with the anointing of gladness more than any other man.

Do we get this? There is a direct correlation between the passionate pursuit of righteousness and the realization of gladness in our lives! To the degree that righteousness becomes our passion, we will live in the experience of joy. Do we see that righteousness cannot mean a suffocating system of external practices that are superimposed upon an uncooperative human nature? Rather, righteousness can only mean a deep conformity to the reality of how things are in God’s heart. As we are transformed by the love of Jesus, and become like Him by the power of the Holy Spirit, loving and pursuing righteousness and hating the perversion of it, we will find ourselves being flooded with gladness “more than our companions.”

This is why Jesus says we must hunger and thirst after this condition. The pursuit of righteousness must become the fundamental passion of our lives if we truly desire to reach our power potential. In the Sermon on the Mount, just a few phrases after He has spoken the Beatitudes, Jesus uses language that speaks of the intensity of hungering and thirsting after righteousness:
 

If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. (Matthew 5:29-30, NKJV)


Jesus is saying here that nothing matters as much as doing what it takes to be conformed to God’s character. So what if we lose something that seems really important now? In the end, we get it all back and more! Sometimes we count the cost of obedience and feel distress over what we will miss if we really get serious about God and His Kingdom. But Jesus is inviting us to consider what we will miss if we don’t get serious about what He is saying here. God is offering us full blessing and happiness, more power and authority than we will know what to do with, and we’re worried that we might miss out on some silly temporal pleasure. We forfeit an unimaginable and eternal inheritance of power and authority for the sake of something that is ultimately worthless! Oh, Beloved, we must get hold of this truth deep in our hearts!

 


Gary Wiens, 9/11/2019