A Tzadik is one who is ‘righteous’; in the western believer’s mind, that concept might be limited simply to being ‘justified’ before Elohim, or ‘saved’, and that is not entirely wrong, but neither is it entirely correct. It is not a ‘full’ understanding of that word.
Yeshua is “HaTzadik”, “The Righteous ONE,” the only man ever found to be completley without error, to be ‘perfect’ in the Torah of the Creator. Tzefan-Yah, or “Stephen,” while speaking to his Rabbinic, Jewish executioners, including Sha’ul [Paul the Apostle], called Yeshua HaNatzri, “HaTzadik”. He says, “Which of the Nevi’im have not your fathers persecuted and killed? Especially have they slain those who foretold the coming of HaTzadik, whom you betrayed and killed. You received the Torah by the disposition of Malakhim, and have not kept it!”
That is true of most of our Jewish people today, including many who have trust in Messiah. They do not keep HIS Torah, they keep a “Jewish Law,” thinking the Rabbis are the seat of Authority. No. They misquote and misunderstand Yeshua, because of the blindness of their eyes, trusting in men and NOT in His Word. The “Seat of Moshe” was NOT and is NOT the Rabbis. The Seat of Moshe is the TORAH ALONE. In the practical, in Messiah’s day, it was literally a chair in the Synagogue from which the leader in the Beit K’nesset would read THE TORAH, and the leaders were primarily P’rushim, Pharisees. “What they DO, DO NOT DO,” Yeshua said to the believers who were their victims.
ALL Jews believed in the concept of HaTzadik, the “Coming One;” And the P’rushim believed that if they became ‘righteous’ by their own efforts, they could ‘become’ “HaTzadik.” This was the struggle Nak’dimon was in when he went to Yeshua at night, trying to understand ‘how’ He was doing all that He did.
My point is this: most of us have a terrible misunderstanding of what “A Tzadik” is, and even who “HaTzadik” is. Even though our Jewish teachers have the knowledge that a tzade, the letter seen in the image at the top of this article, is a picture of a man down on his knees with his hands raised up to G-d, the picture of humility, they yet do not understand that a true tzadik is one who has surrendered to G-d because he KNOWS he CANNOT be ‘justified’ without Him, without HaTzadik, the ONLY ONE who can forgive sins on earth.
A tzadik is truly down on his knees, surrendered to G-d, worshipping G-d and trusting in G-d alone for His imparted ‘righteousness’, and THEN striving to improve his behavior to reflect that righteousness more fully, through obedience to HaTzadik: Yeshua HaMashi’akh.
David, when he was going through a very troublous time in his life, understood that it is humility and contrition before G-d that wins His favor. He understood that the evidence of ‘righteousness’ is NOT a perfect life, but quite the opposite. “Many are the adversities of a tzadik, but יהוה delivers him out of them all.”
The beauty of a Tzadik is NOT in a life that is rosey and rich, trouble-free, completely ‘blessed,’ in the sense of man’s ideas about a good life. The beauty of a Tzadik is a crown of righteousness that is put there by G-d and NOT by man. A true tzadik seeks the will of G-d, and the adulation of G-d, and the righteousness of G-d. The righteousness of G-d has ALWAYS been given freely by TRUST in HIS SALVATION, and NOTHING ELSE. And that TRUST is reflected by obedience to HIM, even when everyone else is following the crowd of religion.
A true Messianic teacher is one who ALWAYS points ONLY to Messiah Yeshua as a Rabbi, the ONLY one who can be called ‘My Great One’ [what Rabbi literally means]. ONLY YESHUA is GREAT in regard to doctrine! We MUST learn from Him. And we must humble ourselves before Him.
I am truly, truly thankful that Elohim has CAUSED me to need Him. That was the thrust of my prayers this morning. I am HAPPY for my adversities in this life. It has been 53 years of adversity, and those adversities have DRIVEN me to the feet of Yeshua, over, and over, and over again, and I THANK G-D for them. “Let a Tzadik smite me in kindness, and correct me; oil so choice let not my head refuse.” I am truly GLAD that Abba has indeed been a FATHER to me, reproving me and chastening me. I am thankful that I NEED HIM, and that He has made me utterly aware of just how much I need Him. The world mocks the faithful as weak. COUNT ME WEAK! Because then I KNOW that I am mainained by HIS STRENGTH ALONE. I am truly, truly REJOICING in MY WEAKNESSES this morning, which are MANY. But the ONE who is STRONG is indeed my hiding place.
I pray that SOMEONE needed to read this. And that whoever that someone is finds the WEAKNESS of a true Tzadik that puts him on his knees. A true Tzadik bows down in WILLINGNESS to the Messiah Yeshua alone, now, while He is seeking out those who are cut of that cloth. One day, the rest of humanity’s knees will bow to Him in utter fear and respect which they cannot learn in this life.
“He humbled himself and became obedient to death, even the death of the stake; therefore, Elohim also has highly exalted Him and given Him a Name which is above every name, that at the Name of Yeshua every knee should bow, of those in heaven, of those on earth, and those under the earth, and every tongue shall confess that He, Yeshua HaMashi’akh, is יהוה , to the glory of Elohim His Father.” [Filipim 2:8-11]
Shalom v’ahavah l’kulam.