Day Sixteen = Starving to See
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. (Matt. 5:6)
As we continue studying the armor of God in Ephesians, the Apostle Paul went on to describe another piece to the armor: “and having put on the breastplate of righteousness” (Eph. 6:14). We can never be right enough “as it is written: None is righteous, no, not one.” (Rom. 3:10) This is because it is not our righteousness but His that makes us right before our maker. To be righteous is to do what is right in God’s eyes. God’s commandments are righteousness. In contrast, lawlessness is sin, and sin is the opposite of righteousness.
A lesson from ancient Israel provides an ironic example of just how important the breastplate of righteousness can be. Perhaps you recall the cowardly and capricious life of King Ahab, but how did this evil king’s life come to an end? This selfish leader who allowed a man to be killed just so he could have his vineyard (1 Kings 21)? This king of Israel “who did evil in the sight of the Lord more than all who were before him” (1 Kings 16:30, New Revised Standard Version)?
God had prophesied that Ahab would die in the battle described in 1 Kings 22. So Ahab decided to disguise himself, while his ally King Jehoshaphat of Judah wore his own kingly robes. Their enemy had ordered his captains, “‘Fight with no one small or great, but only with the king of Israel.’ When the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, ‘It is surely the king of Israel.’ So they turned to fight against him; and Jehoshaphat cried out. When the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him.
“But a certain man drew his bow and unknowingly struck the king of Israel between the scale armor and the breastplate…at evening he died; the blood from the wound had flowed into the bottom of the chariot” (1 Kings 22:31-35).
It is perhaps poetic justice that this unrighteous king lost his life due to an opening in his armor. The Bible says “Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.” (Prov. 11:4) Without righteousness, we leave ourselves open to almost certain death. With righteousness—just as with a breastplate—the otherwise fatal attacks of our enemy are thwarted.
As previously stated, it is not our righteousness but His that makes us right before our maker. As we desire more of Him, His righteousness begins to clothe us and as we live more in righteousness, we begin to see more of Him in us. “For the Lord is righteous; he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face.” (Ps. 11:7) For His righteousness imparted transforms us by the Spirit. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the spirit of the Lord.” (2 Cor. 3:18 KJV) We must be hungry for that new level of destiny which awaits those striving towards righteousness.