Lord’s Day 11/06 righteousness

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Je­ho­vah Tsid­ke­nu is a name for God which means “The Lord Our Right­eous­ness.” This is easily forgotten today with the emphasis on doing good deeds for God.

Preaching the Gospel to yourself is a great reminder that deeds do not save. It is the Gospel of grace through faith alone that saves. Jesus Christ is our righteousness not our good works.

The poem below by Robert Murray M’Cheyne is a great reminder of the Lord Our Righteousness.

Je­ho­vah Tsid­ke­nu

I once was a stranger to grace and to God,
I knew not my danger, and felt not my load;
Though friends spoke in rapture of Christ on the tree,
Jehovah Tsidkenu was nothing to me.

I oft read with pleasure, to sooth or engage,
Isaiah’s wild measure and John’s simple page;
But e’en when they pictured the blood-sprinkled tree
Jehovah Tsidkenu seem’d nothing to me.

Like tears from the daughters of Zion that roll,
I wept when the waters went over His soul;
Yet thought not that my sins had nail’d to the tree
Jehovah Tsidkenu – ’twas nothing to me.

When free grace awoke me, by light from on high,
Then legal fears shook me, I trembled to die;
No refuge, no safety in self could I see, –
Jehovah Tsidkenu my Saviour must be.

My terrors all vanished before the sweet name;
My guilty fears banished, with boldness I came
To drink at the fountain, life-giving and free, –
Jehovah Tsidkenu is all things to me.

Jehovah Tsidkenu! my treasure and boast,
Jehovah Tsidkenu! I ne’er can be lost;
In thee I shall conquer by flood and by field,
My cable, my anchor, my breast-plate and shield!

Even treading the valley, the shadow of death,
This “watchword” shall rally my faltering breath;
For while from life’s fever my God sets me free,
Jehovah Tsidkenu, my death song shall be.

~Robert Murray M’Cheyne, November 18, 1884.

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The above article was posted on December 5, 2009 by Mark Lamprecht.
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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nathan White December 5, 2009 at 3:12 pm

Mark-
Excellent post. The poem you quote has actually been adapted to a hymn that I love to sing. It is to the tune, “My Jesus, I love Thee”, and it’s broken up like this:

I once was a stranger
To grace and to God,
I knew not my danger
And felt not my load;
Though friends spoke in rapture
O Christ on the tree,
Jehovah Tsidkenu
Was nothing to me.

Like tears from the daughters
Of Zion that roll,
I wept when the waters
Went over His soul;
Yet thought not that my sins
Had nailed to the tree
Jehovah Tsidkenu…
‘Twas nothing to me.

When free grace awoke me
By light from on high,
Then legal fears shook me,
I trembled to die;
No refuge, no safety,
In self could I see,
Jehovah Tsidkenu
My Saviour must be!

My terrors all vanished
Before the sweet name.
My guilty fears banished,
With boldness I came
To drink at the Fountain,
Life–giving and free.
Jehovah Tsidkenu
Is all things to me.

In treading the valley,
The shadow of death,
This watchword shall rally
My faltering breath…
And when from life’s fever
My God sets me free…
“Jehovah tsidkenu”
My death song shall be!

2 Mark Lamprecht December 5, 2009 at 4:00 pm

Thanks, Nathan! I would love to hear this song. Maybe I will send it to my pastor who heads our music.

3 Robert March 25, 2010 at 9:56 am

Thanks for posting Robert Murray McCheyne’s great hymn–and it is a hymn, not just a poem. And you rightly note that it sounds a note that is often missing today. The righteousness and utter holiness of God cuts us off from Him and dooms us forever. Only by His wonderful grace has provision been made for our salvation.

Today is the 167th anniversary of McCheyne’s death. If you enjoy reading about our hymns and their authors, I invite you to check out my daily blog on the subject, Wordwise Hymns.

4 Mark Lamprecht March 26, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Robert, thanks for the kind words. I will check out your sight.

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