The Poor Man's Morning and Evening Portions
Robert Hawker (1753-1827)
"And this is his name whereby he shall be called-THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS."—Jer. xxiii. 6.
Begin this month, my soul, with contemplating thy Jesus in this glorious distinction of character; and beg of God the Holy Ghost, who hath here declared that, under this character, Jesus shall be known and called, that every day through the month, and through the whole of life, thou mayest find grace and strength so to know and so to call Jesus, as to be everlastingly satisfied that thou art made the righteousness of God in him. And first, my soul, consider who and what this Holy One is. He is the Lord Jehovah. In the glories of his essence, he is One with the Father. In his Personal glories, he is the Lord thy Mediator. And in his relative glories, he is thy righteousness. For, by virtue, of his taking thy nature, what he is as Mediator and as the Surety of his people, he is for them. Pause over this blessed view, and then say, what can be more blessed than thus to behold Jesus as what he is in himself for his people. Look at him again, my soul, and take another view of him in his loveliness; in what he is to his people. This precious scripture saith, that he is the Lord our righteousness; that is, by virtue of his Godhead he is our righteousness, in such a sure way, and with such everlasting value and efficacy, as no creature could be. The righteousness his redeemed possess in him, and have a right in him, and are entitled to in him, is the righteousness of God; and therefore impossible ever to be lost, and impossible ever to be fully recompensed in glory. Sweet and blessed consideration! it seems too great to be believed. And so it would indeed, if the authority of Jehovah had not stamped it, and made the belief of it the first and highest act of a poor sinner's obedience. And observe, my soul, yet further, there is this blessed addition to the account "he shall be called so." By whom? Nay by every one that knows him. The poor sinner shall call him so, who is led to see and feel that he hath no righteousness of his own; he shall call Jesus his Lord, his righteousness. He shall call him so to others; he shall call upon him for himself: he shall be that true Israelite, that very one whom the prophet describes - "Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength." The redeemed upon earth, the redeemed in heaven, the church of the first-born, shall call him so. The whole army of patriarchs and prophets, and apostles, all shall know Jesus as the Lord our righteousness. Nay, God himself, our Father, shall call his dear Son by this glorious name; for it is He who hath constituted and appointed him as the Lord our righteousness. And that Jesus is our righteousness is from this very cause, "that he is made of God to us wisdom and righteousness, sanctification and redemption, that he that glorieth may glory in the Lord." Now, my soul, what sayest thou to this sweet view of Jesus in this most precious scripture? Is not this name of Jesus most grateful to thee, as ointment of the richest fragrancy poured forth? Can any name be as sweet and delightful to one convinced, as thou art, that all thy righteousness is as dung and dross, as that of Jesus the Lord our righteousness? Witness for me, ye angels of light, that I renounce every other; and from hence, forth will make mention of his righteousness, and his only. Yes, blessed Jesus, my mouth shall daily speak of thy righteousness and salvation; for I know no end thereof.
"And this is the name, wherewith she shall be called, the Lord our righteousness."—Jer. xxxiii. 16.
My soul! the subject of thy morning meditation would not be complete, if thy personal interest in it were not taken into the account; and therefore let thy mind be led forth, this evening, in sweet contemplation upon what the Holy Ghost hath said, in this scripture, by his same servant, the prophet, concerning the church of Jesus. If Jesus be called "the Lord our righteousness," and be, as he is well known to be, the husband of his people, surely his wife shall be called by her husband's name. She shall be called so because it is her husband's name; "the Lord our righteousness." And as he became sin for her, when he knew no sin; so she, when she knew no righteousness, shall, by virtue of her union and relationship with him, be righteousness, even "the righteousness of God in him," 2 Cor. v. 21. Now, my soul, seeing that these things are certain, sure, and unquestionable, do thou follow up the transporting meditation in every way, and by every way, and by every consideration, in which the blessedness of it is confirmed and assured. Married to Jesus, thou hast an interest in all he hath as Mediator, as the glorious Head of his body, the church," the fulness of him that filleth all in all. "And indeed, it is such an union and oneness, as nothing in nature can fully represent: "For he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit," 1 Cor. vi. 17. It infinitely transcends the marriage union, which is only in natural things, and at death is dissolved; for this union is spiritual, and continues for ever. Hence Jesus saith," I will betroth thee to me for ever," Hosea ii. 19. Never lose sight of this high union, and the infinitely precious blessings to which, by virtue of it, thou art entitled: and while thou art called by his name, see that thou hast a conformity to his image. An union of grace should be manifested by an union of heart. What thy Jesus loves, thou shouldest love; and what he hates, do thou hate. Let his people be thy people; and his God and Father thine also. And from being one with him in heart, in mind, in sympathy, and affection; receiving life from him, living on him, and being in him; then will he be every thing to thee, of grace in this life, and of glory in that which is to come. Precious Lord, and husband of thy people, be thou made of God to me, and all thy redeemed," wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption that according as it is written, he that glorieth, may glory in the Lord!"