R has always been my favorite letter.
88 is my favorite number. There is something about it that's round and square at the same time, a chubby symmetry that I just find pleasing. As a small child, I remember lying on my back in the bathtub, staring up at the bottom of a hanging plant that my mom had dangled from the ceiling over the tub. It was only a tub, not a tub-shower. I would lie there staring at the bottom of that jute basket, also visually aware of the white tile, the white organza curtain covering a window that looked out over a row of pine trees, and the small orange flowers on the wallpaper. Lying on my back, I would swish my hair around my head and say, "Eighty-eight, eighty-eight, eighty-eight," over and over until the water got cooler than lukewarm, and then I would add more hot from the faucet, over and over until I got yelled at to finish up and get out of there. I guess I was always a little weird.
But it is sensible that I should like the letter R, as my name was Ruthie Rebecca Rainbow. I liked the way it sounded and I liked the way it looked. When I saw other children spell their names, I felt sorry for them if theirs did not begin with an R.
But this should not be about me. It should be about God. An attribute of God that starts with the letter R is Righteous.
God is RIGHTEOUS--This means that God is right in all He does. He never makes a mistake. He never does anything wrong. And of course, He never sins. Righteousness usually means that someone is right in the moral sense, rather than, say, getting all the answers correct on a math exam. God certainly would always get all the answers correct on any exam. But much more importantly than that, when He considers the hearts of men, God always comes to the right conclusion about what should be done with them. God is righteous.
God is a righteous judge, a God who displays his wrath every day.
(OK, that's a scary one, but it goes to show that He is right when He shows mercy, and He is also right when he pours out His wrath.)
I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the LORD Most High.
For you have upheld my right and my cause, sitting enthroned as the righteous judge.
He rules the world in righteousness and judges the peoples with equity.
For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face.
Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. You, LORD, preserve both people and animals.
The LORD is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
This is what the LORD says: “Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
1 Peter 3:18
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.
If you do a word study on passages in the New Testament that address God's righteousness, you will find that the miracle is how, through the sacrifice of Christ, God imputed His righteousness to us. We are credited with the righteousness of God, because of Jesus. This is an overwhelming thought and a subject for a different day.
[addendum: RESCUER--Colossians 1:13-14, Galatians 1:4, 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 2 Timothy 4:18. REDEEMER--so many references, how about Isaiah 44:6?)
Next up, S.