In our last blogpost, we discussed the two types of resurrections: (1) the resurrection of the righteous, and (2) the resurrection of the wicked. At Psalm 1, we read a description of the righteous in contrast to the wicked. The righteous believer delights in God’s law and mediates upon God’s law day and night (Ps. 1: 2). From the Christian’s perspective, God’s law is revealed in the entirety of Scripture. We Christians ascertain God’s will by means of the Spirit and Word. The Psalmist further wrote:
He [the righteous believer] will be like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields it fruit in its season, and its leaf does not whither; and in whatever he does, he prospers…. Therefore, the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
(Ps. 1: 3, 5-6)
Noah was described as a righteous (sadiq) and blameless (tamin) man, who walked with God (Gen. 6:9). We, like Noah, are challenged to trust in God and follow the Lord fully and completely. The Hebrew word tamin is defined as “complete, whole, and entire.” The writers of both the Old and New Testament used the believer’s “walk” metaphorically to describe the believer’s modus operandi, lifestyle, or way of being. We are challenged to live in constant fellowship with God. Of course, none of us are sinless, but like Noah, we can be blameless. To seek to be like the heroes of faith (like Noah) is a reasonable goal. When Abraham was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared before Abraham and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless [tamin]” (Gen. 17:1). It is impossible for us to be sinless, but we can be blameless by following the Lord fully and completely. This should be our ultimate goal.
Our immediate goal is to function righteously, without being self-righteous. In seeking to be righteous, it is easy for us to become arrogant and pharisaical. Most of the religious crowd of Jesus’s day were arrogant and strongly opposed to Jesus. Jesus said that the vast majority of Pharisees and Sadducees were the “offspring of vipers” (Matt. 3:7). He warned that they (the Sadducees and Pharisees) would not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven (Kingdom Living) (Matt. 5:20). Jesus warned His followers to: “Watch out and beware of the leaven [the sin of self-righteousness] of the Pharisees and Sadducees” (Matt. 16:6). Jesus called them hypocrites and said to the Pharisees and Sadducees, “[Y]ou shut the kingdom of heaven in front of people; for you do not enter it yourselves; nor do you allow those who are entering to go in” (Matt. 23:13). If we want to enter into Kingdom Living, we can have no confidence in our own righteousness. We must learn a new way of living (or walking). We must learn to walk by the Spirit and Word. We must trust in the righteousness of God, not our own righteousness. Jesus said that they [the religious crowd] were like “whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness” (Matt. 23:27). We must guard against any self-righteousness.
Importantly, it should be noted that Scripture describes God as being righteous (Deut. 32:4). At Nehemiah 9:8, we read that God found Abraham to be faithful, and God brought Abraham’s descendants into the Promised Land because God is righteous, and He will do what He promises. Unfortunately, in contrast to Abraham, most of the Israelites were characterized as being arrogant, stubborn, and wicked (Neh. 9:16, 33). Despite the unfaithfulness of the Israelites, God remained faithful and compassionate (Neh. 9:1-38). He did not abandon the Israelites in their desert wanderings. However, throughout the history of the Israelites, there was a clearly established pattern; God remained faithful and righteous, while the vast majority of the Israelites were stubborn, arrogant, unfaithful, and wicked (Neh. 9:1-8). The same could be said for the vast majority of Christians. Most believers refuse to serve God (Neh. 9:35). On the other hand, the righteous are primarily described as being believers who serve God (Mal. 3:18).
Both Psalm 34 and Psalm 37 provide us much helpful information and insight regarding the righteous. At Psalm 34, we read, “The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, and His ears are toward their cry for help (Ps. 34:15). “The afflictions of the righteous are many, but the Lord rescues him from them all” (Ps. 34:19). “Evil will bring death to the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will suffer for their guilt” (Ps. 34:21). At Psalm 37, we read, “Better is the little of the righteous than the abundance of many wicked” (Ps. 37:16). The “Lord sustains the righteous” (Ps. 37:17). “The wicked borrows and does not pay back, but the righteous is gracious and gives (Ps. 37:21). “The righteous will inherit the land” (Ps. 37:29), meaning that the righteous will ultimately inherit the Kingdom of God (to include all of God’s creation). At Psalm 37, we also read, “The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice” (Ps. 37:30). In conclusion Psalm 37:39 reads, “[T]he salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in time of trouble.”
At Psalm 58, we read, “There is certainly a reward for the righteous” (Ps. 58:11). In fact, at Psalm 69:28, we learn that the names of the righteous are recorded in the Book of Life. The Book of Life was next mentioned by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Philippians. Specifically, Paul taught that his fellow workers for the Kingdom of God were recorded in the Book Life (Phil. 4:3). Finally, John, the Elder, mentioned the Book of Life six times in the Book of Revelation. John, the Elder explained that the “overcomer” believer will have his or her name recorded in the Book of Life (Rev. 3:5). “Overcomer” believers are those believers who remain faithful to the end of their lives. The Book of Life will be a featured item at the Judgment of mankind (Rev. 20:12). Only the names of those individuals recorded in the Book of Life will be given free access to the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:27). There will be great consequences for the decisions we make and the priorities we choose.
 “H8549 – tāmîm – Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon (nasb20).” Blue Letter Bible. Web. 8 May, 2023. <https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon/h8549/nasb20/wlc/0-1/>.