In Psalm 72 there is the prayer that God would endow the king with justice and righteousness. Why this request? Any person of faith understood that a good King would seek to rule and live by the justice and righteousness of God. When there is justice and righteousness in leadership, life gets better for the nation and the people. Righteousness is about right living; that is right thinking and right doing. It’s about doing the right things in the right way at the right time with the right attitude. It’s thinking and doing what God wants; always following God’s will. When leaders and people throughout the nation live in God’s righteousness, everyone benefits. Life is better. The afflicted receive justice and needy children are protected. People flourish.
In the Isaiah 30 passage we read about Israel in captivity. They forgot to live by the righteousness of God and life deteriorated, so much so, that they were conquered and carried off to a foreign land. But God is still active and will call to them and share with them the righteous way of life. “This is the way; walk in it.” When they throw away their idols and return to the Lord, that is to righteousness, they will have a much better life. They will sow seeds and farm and there will be rain and the crops will flourish and be plentiful. The Lord will bind up their bruises and heal their wounds. Once again they will be a people who live in the righteousness of God’s good will.
In Acts 13, Paul is going from city to city to share the Good News of Jesus. The first thing he usually does is to visit the local Synagogue to speak to the Jewish people. Here he reviews their history from Egypt to King David. The significant thing about David is that he “was a man after [God’s] my own heart.” That is, he lives the righteous life and does what God’s wants him to do; for the most part. But there is one of David’s descendants who lives perfectly in righteousness. And that is the Savior Jesus.
Right living is all about following the Savior Jesus. Jesus is the righteousness of God in person. Let’s follow Jesus and open ourselves up to God’s righteousness; that is right living, thinking, doing, and existing. Right living, in Christ Jesus, is the good life.