For you, what do you think exalts a nation? Many things may, in human perspective, exalt a nation. Military might, economic prosperity, status among nations, cultural influence, and athletic victory may each make a nation seem exalted. Our nation, the beloved Philippines is very known across the globe. Most foreigners identify us Filipinos as positively jubilant, warm, and hospitable people. For others, we are known as the Pearl of the Orient with multi-faceted vibrant cultures. For some, they relate to us with the names Manny Pacquiao and Pia Wurtzbach. In 1949, Doctor Abellardo discovered the bacteria that later led to the development of the antibiotic erythromycin. Erythromycin is an antibiotic used worldwide for the treatment of a number of bacterial infections. Indeed, all of these bring glory to our fellow countrymen and nation. Yet ultimately, none of these fame and glory can match righteousness as a way a nation is truly exalted. It is not the past and new successes, not even the creation of the COVID vaccine that will make a nation great because it is only righteousness that can exalt a nation.
Righteousness is an ethical conduct, the quality or state of being morally correct and justifiable. It can be considered synonymous with "rightness" or being "upright". Righteousness is the act in accordance with the divine or moral law, and faithfulness to high moral standards. It is the conduct that conforms to the word of God as God is always just and fair. This righteousness is not the same as self-righteousness. When we claim to be righteous in our own eyes that no other people can affirm, and have a “holier-than-thou” attitude, it is self-righteousness.
To do what is right and just is more acceptable and pleasing to the Lord than sacrifice. Matthew wrote: “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” We can see here that it is imperative for us as one who is devoted in serving God, that we must fully seek the kingdom and the righteousness of God. Why is that so? Because God holds us, his people, responsible for righteousness, not for results. Martin Luther said: “We do not become righteous by doing righteous deed but, having been made righteous in Christ, we do righteous deeds.” The same thing that Thomas Boston said: “A righteous man may make a righteous work, but no work of an unrighteous man can make him righteous. Now we become righteous only by faith, through the righteousness of Christ imputed to us.” Indeed, we are made righteous only because of Jesus Christ. We follow God who is righteous in every way.
One may say that the most patriotic thing a citizen can do is repent of their sin, then receive and pursue God’s righteousness in their life. Imagine if as a nation we will pursue righteousness, God, our Provider will not just bless us with His abundance but we will also find life, not death and decay. We will find prosperity, not poverty and lack; and we will find honor, not disgrace. The Book of Proverbs says “Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.” Also, the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry. The test of righteousness does not happen in a peaceful environment but when things are chaotic and off-tangent. In the midst of chaos and disorder, which way should we choose? Our response to the situation determines if we are living in righteousness or if it’s just an empty talk. It is a challenge for our present generation to pursue righteousness especially in these trying times, however, it is a promise that: Surely the righteous will never be shaken, they will be remembered forever. Let the nation of the Philippines be never shaken with what is happening round about, and let it be remembered and exalted as a nation because of righteousness. We call upon our government and officials and employees to walk in His righteousness – to seek His ways and follow His precepts; to have faith in our God, just as the example of Abraham – Abraham believed and it is accounted to him as righteousness. Noah is found righteous, blameless among the people of his time, and one who walked faithfully with God.
Let God’s righteousness in us as a people, exalt this nation. Let us walk the pathway of righteousness! (CD, CGLG, CRFV)
CRFV Winning Team
A company of men and women who have committed their lives to the cause of national transformation.