JEHOVAH RAISING UP TO DAVID
A RIGHTEOUS SHOOT, AND HIS NAME
BEING CALLED JEHOVAH OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS
In the middle of Jeremiah’s long and detailed account of Israel’s wickedness (chs. 2—45), he tells us that Jehovah will raise up to David a new Shoot. "Behold, days are coming, / Declares Jehovah, / When I will raise up to David a righteous Shoot; / And He will reign as King and act prudently / And will execute judgment and righteousness in the land. / In His days Judah will be saved, / And Israel will dwell securely; / And this is His name by which He will be called, / Jehovah our righteousness" (23:5-6). This righteous Shoot is Christ incarnated to be the descendant of David. In Matthew 1:1 Christ is called "the son of David." He is the new branch, the new sprout, of David. As such a branch He is a righteous Shoot. From the time of His infancy, He has been altogether righteous.
Jeremiah 23:5 tells us that Christ, the righteous Shoot, "will reign as King and act prudently." This requires that He be in resurrection and ascension. If Christ were not in resurrection and ascension, He could not be the King. The word King in this verse therefore implies Christ’s resurrection and ascension. When Christ was a child, He could not be the King. But having passed through resurrection and entering into ascension, He is now the King of kings, the Lord of lords, and the Ruler of all the kings of the earth (Rev. 17:14; 19:16; 1:5). Furthermore, in His resurrection and ascension, He acts prudently.
Jeremiah 23:6 goes on to say that His name will be called "Jehovah our righteousness." This name is repeated in 33:16. "In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely; and this is the name by which she will be called: Jehovah our righteousness." As God’s elect, we, like Israel, have no righteousness in ourselves. Our heart is deceitful above all things and is incurable (17:9), and we have a sinful nature that can never be changed (13:23). We are hopeless, but our hope is in Him. Our hopeless situation—our unchangeable condition of evilness, wickedness, and deceitfulness—prepares the way for Christ to come in to be our righteousness. God has not abandoned us or given us up; rather, He has made Christ our righteousness. Because Christ is our righteousness, we are still here enjoying Him.
(Life-Study of Jeremiah and Lamentations, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)