Who is a Righteous Man?

By Pastor Teck Uy

How many children would spend time thinking about the best gift that would make their fathers happy? Some go to the extent of sending their dads on a cruise or buying them a new car. Well, all these material gifts will make fathers glad and happy but they certainly long for a better gift – one that will have a lasting impact. They would wish or prefer to be the father mentioned in the Book of Proverbs: “The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him” (Prov. 23:24). This is because the way their children live their lives is a reflection of their own lives. Their success as fathers is often gauged by the way their children eventually turn out.

While fathers try to give their best to guide and instruct their children, their success is not only dependent on the cooperation of their children but on the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. However, they need to consistently instruct their children to walk in the truth. Planting the right seed will eventually pay off. Even the apostle John expressed his joy after receiving news that his labour in instructing new believers paid off. He said, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 4).

When Jesus was here on earth and submitted to the righteous requirement of the law through water baptism, God expressed his joy. “And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased’" (Matt. 3:17). God will certainly bless a righteous man who walks in his ways. God will delight in him and deliver him from all his troubles. In the same manner, a father of a righteous man will have great joy. But who is a righteous man?

A righteous man is one who reveres God. He walks in the fear of the Lord. He is not moved by circumstances surrounding him but is fully focused on how he can please the Lord. He is able to instruct his children to do likewise. The Bible gave an account of Noah, a righteous man who lived in the midst of wickedness, but he and his household were saved. God chose to save him because of his righteousness. The Book of Hebrews tells us, “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith” (Heb. 11:7).

A righteous man is one who has integrity. He keeps his faith regardless of the possible consequences. He does not compromise nor lower his standard. The best example in Scriptures is Job. Notwithstanding what he had gone through, he did not blame God nor gave up his faith. This is in spite of the pressure from his wife, who said to him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!" (Job 2:9).

A righteous man is one who grieves over sin. He not only hates sin but grieves for those who allowed themselves to be mastered by sin. He is very much aware that sin will jeopardize whatever great plan God has for that person. This was the situation of Samuel when King Saul sinned. Being a righteous himself, he did not want to see the downfall of King Saul because of sin. He interceded but all he got as an answer from the Lord was: “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king" (1 Sam. 16:1). The case of King Saul is a good warning to those who refuse to repent.

A righteous man is one who is holy and blameless. He is like King Josiah who was found blameless.  “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and walked in the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left” (2 Chron. 34:2). It must be understood that the key to blamelessness is the observance of the commands of the Lord. In his Psalm, David said, “Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord” (Psalm 119:1).

A righteous man is one who takes God at his word. He believes in God and is willing to take the step of faith. He is like Abraham who believed the word of the Lord when he was told that he will be a father of many nations. The Bible tells us that “Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness” (Gen. 15:6). Indeed, God made good his promise and Abraham became the father of many nations. Hallelujah!