Tzaddikim -

The Righteous Ones

Psalm 33:1

Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise
is comely for the upright
(Psalm 33:1).

IN JEWISH THOUGHT a tzaddik (TSAH-deek) is a "righteous one"- someone renowned for good deeds and charity (tzedakah). In Chasidic circles, it is the ultimate compliment to call someone a tzaddik, and fabulous legends surround certain tzaddikim and their exemplary lives, such as the Baal Shem Tov and his followers.

In the Scriptures, the word tzaddik refers to "an innocent," in the forensic (legal) sense of being "not guilty" (as opposed to being resha'im, or guilty). Tzaddikim in this sense are those who are declared "not guilty," "innocent of offense," or "not under penalty." In this regard, then, those who are trusting in the Mashiach Yeshua can rightly be called tzaddikim, since He imputes to them righteousness based on their trust in His salvation (see Romans 4:20-22).

Tsaddikim

But why are the tzaddikim commanded to rejoice or "shout out for joy" in the Lord? Because, the verse continues, such praise (tehillah) is "comely" or "fitting" or "beautiful" for those who are graciously accounted righteous. When we personally trust in the sacrifice of Jesus as our personal Sin Bearer before the judgment of God, we are made upright (yashar), and the grateful acknowledgment of this grace in our lives is indeed fitting, appropriate, and beautiful.

Extol the Lord, O you who are trusting in Jesus for your right standing before God! Shout out for joy-for such praise is beautiful and fitting for those whom God has declared innocent and upright because of His unsearchable grace and tsedakah to us in the Lord Jesus! Yes, let us praise and exalt and magnify His great Name - for He has made us tzaddikim before Him forever! Amen.


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