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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: Is God Righteous?

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Don Stewart

The Bible speaks of God being righteous. Ezra wrote.

O Lord God of Israel, you are righteous (Ezra 9:15).

The psalmist declared.

Gracious is the Lord and righteous; yes, our God is merciful (Psalm 116:5).

The psalmist wrote.

The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous (Psalm 19:9).

There is nothing in Scripture that is declared more strongly than the righteousness of the God of Scripture. It belongs to the Lord. The prophet Daniel acknowledged.

Righteousness is on your side, O Lord, . . . So the LORD kept watch over this calamity until he brought it upon us. Indeed, the LORD our God is right in all that he has done; for we have disobeyed his voice (Daniel 9:7,14).

God Always Does What Is Right

What does the Bible mean when it says that God is righteous? This means that God's character or nature always leads Him to do that which is right. Righteousness is holiness in action. We can also refer to God's righteousness as God's justice. The Bible says:

The Lord is righteous, he is in her midst, he will do no unrighteousness. Every morning he brings his justice to light; he never fails, but the unjust knows no shame (Zephaniah 3:5).

Isaiah wrote.

Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the LORD? There is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is no one besides me (Isaiah 45:21).

Moses declared.

"The Rock! His work is perfect, for all his ways are just; a God of faithfulness and without injustice, righteous and upright is he (Deuteronomy 32:4).

God Always Deals Righteously With Humanity

God deals righteously toward humanity. Abraham knew that God was just.

Far be it from you to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just? (Genesis 18:25).

In the Book of Deuteronomy we read.

The Rock, his work is perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God, without deceit, just and upright is he (Deuteronomy 32:4).

Paul says the law of God reveals God's righteousness.

So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good (Romans 7:12).

Righteousness Sometimes Involves Judgment

God reveals His righteousness by loving the things that are good and by hating the things that are evil. Consequently His righteousness sometimes results in judgment:

And I heard the angel of the waters saying: 'You are righteous, O Lord, the One who is and who was and who is to be, because You have judged these things' (Revelation 16:5).

In First Kings we read.

Then hear in heaven, and act and judge your servants, condemning the wicked, bringing his way on his head, and justifying the righteous by giving him according to his righteousness (1 Kings 8:32).

God's Righteousness Is Compared To Humanity's Unrighteousness

The righteousness of the Lord is compared with the unrighteousness of humanity.

Lord, you are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame - the men of Judah and people of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and far, in all the countries where you have scattered us because of our unfaithfulness to you (Daniel 9:7).

The Gospel Reveals God's Righteousness

The good news of Jesus Christ reveals the righteousness of God

For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, "The one who is righteous will live by faith" (Romans 1:16,17).

God's righteousness is seen in both judgment and reward.

While for those who are self-seeking and who obey not the truth but wickedness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be anguish and distress for everyone who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek (Romans 2:8,9).

God Will Reward The Righteous

God promises, however, to reward those who have been faithful to Him.

Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, but establish the just; for the righteous God tests the hearts and minds. My defense is of God who saves the upright in heart. God is a just judge, and God is angry with the wicked every day (Psalm 7:9-11).

Paul said.

Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who love his appearing (2 Timothy 4:8).

He Will Rule In Righteousness

Scripture says that God will someday rule the world in righteousness through Jesus Christ

But about the Son He says, "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom" (Hebrews 1:8).

The psalmist wrote.

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you (Psalm 89:14).


God's righteousness, or justice, is an attribute that leads Him to do only those things that are right. Because God is righteous He must judge evil. God's justice allows Him to reward those who have been faithful to Him. Someday He will rule in absolute righteousness.

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