Sundown begins the 11th month on the Hebrew calendar, Shevat, known as the month of righteousness. The Hebrew letter associated with this month is TZADIK which symbolizes the "righteous one." Jeremiah the prophet declared the hope of God to his people: "'The days are coming,' declares the Lord, 'when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In His days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which He will be called: The Lord Our Righteousness." (Jeremiah 23:5-6)
Our goal must be to become like God—righteous. This means being in right standing with God. We are encouraged to pursue this goal through a promise in Matthew 5:6. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." Here we must ask ourselves a question. How hungry and thirsty are we? It is through faith in Jesus that we attain righteousness. (Romans 3:22) Not only this, but the apostle Paul tells us, "You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.” (Romans 6:18) Paul goes on to encourage us: “...So now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness." (Romans 6:19)
Scriptures call several people in the Bible righteous. I would like to focus on one—Simeon. His name means one who hears and obeys. He was told that God would send the Messiah to Israel, and that he would see Him before he died. Here is how it is described in Luke 2:25-30. "Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It has been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do to Him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took Him in his arms and praised God, saying: 'Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen Your salvation.'"
Simeon never doubted that he would see Jesus. Even in old age he stayed connected to the Holy Spirit and pursued His promise. He is a picture of one who kept on seeking the promise. Both Matthew and Luke wrote the words of Jesus: "Seek and you will find." The proper translation for this is "Keep on seeking." Righteous Simeon, who never stopped seeking, was rewarded by not only seeing the Lord, but holding Him!
What promises have you received from the Lord? This is the time to stir up your faith and grow in righteousness. Simeon never stopped seeking after his promise. May we be like Simeon and keep seeking the Lord and the fulfillment of our promises. Be assured that those promises will be realized in God's timing.
Joan E. Mathias