Yesterday, we looked at the Belt of Truth, and today we are going to discover what it means to wear the Breastplate of Righteousness.
Law enforcement personnel often wear flack vests–a type of breastplate. It is worn for protection or defense. But most of us have never worn a breastplate. Still, in Ephesians 6:14b, God tells us to wear the Breastplate of Righteousness. What does He mean by this and why a breastplate? A breastplate in Paul’s day covered the body from the neck to the thighs. It was a warrior’s uniform. In Revelation 19:11 it tells us that Jesus is returning as a warrior. Let’s take a look:
Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness, He judges and makes war.
This is not our gentle Jesus meek and mild. And when we put on the Breastplate of Righteousness we aren’t either.
In Isaiah 59:15-17 God speaks to Israel in their sin and it can easily be applied to our day as well.
Then the Lord saw it(their sin), and it displeased Him
That there was no justice.
16 He saw that there was no man,
And wondered that there was no intercessor;
Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him;
And His own righteousness, it sustained Him.
17 For He put on righteousness as a breastplate,
And a helmet of salvation on His head;
He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing,
And was clad with zeal as a cloak.
What is this Breastplate?
Breastplate is Strong’s #8302 and it looks like this: and the Strong’s definition is a corslet (as if twisted):—breastplate, coat of mail, habergeon, harness. — Nothing new here. That’s what we’ve always considered a breastplate to be.
But, let’s look at the letters reading from right to left.
Shin 300 = Victory of good over evil, Holy Spirit. Means: Teeth, Fire, the Fire of God to consume all His enemies, Devour, Destroy, Something Sharp.
Resh 200 = Insufficiency, Poverty. Picture: Head Means: Head, Chief, Beginning, Highest, Most Important, a Person, Human Reasoning vs. Obedience. (When we allow human reasoning to be our master, our head, poverty of the Spirit results.)
Vav 6 = Man. Means: Nail or Hook, to Secure, Pin together, Connect -Yeshua
Yod 10 = The outcome or completion of something. Means: Hand, Right Arm, Power, Right hand of God’s power, a Deed Done, To Work, to Cover, Allow, Hollow, Open Hand
Final Nun 700 = Success. Means: Life or Action
From this, we can say,
That putting on this Breastplate means that we are wearing the fire of God to consume our enemies. Those enemies are not outward but inward. His fire is overcoming our human reasoning with His right hand of power and connecting us securely in Jesus. Connected to Him, we will step into action.
Deuteronomy 4:24 and Hebrews 12:25-29 speaks of our fiery God:
For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. (Deuteronomy 4:24)
He doesn’t want us following any other but Him. He knows if we don’t, we will be lead to sin and death.
And this is from Hebrews 12:25-29 —See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, 26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” 27 Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.
28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.
Whether you realize it or not, God is shaking the earth right now and I am not talking about just the earthquakes. He is shaking us loose from all of the things we’ve depended on rather than Him. We’ve looked to our income, our freedom of movement, our limitless supply of goods, sports, even church attendance, for our supply and pleasure.
But let’s go on and get the rest of the picture.
It is a breastplate of Righteousness. In Strong’s, Righteousness is #6666 and it looks like this: and the Strong’s definition is צְדָקָה tsᵉdâqâh, tsed-aw-kaw’; from H6663; rightness, justice, morally virtue or figuratively prosperity.
Let’s look a little deeper. Here are the letters reading from right to left:
Tzade 90 = Humility. Picture-Fishhook. Means: Righteousness, to pull toward, Desire, Trouble, Harvest
Dallet 4 = Earth or creation. Means: Door, Gate, Impoverished man, to come from indicates a pathway, a place of decision, or an entrance to life or death.
Qof 100 = Election of God’s chosen ones, set apart as holy. Means: Holiness, Consecrated, Divide, sun on horizon, Back of the Head, Make a Complete Circle, End of a Cycle, Final, Behind, Dome
Hey 5 = Grace. Means: Revelation – 5 is the number of Torah, Behold, Give Attention – (at the end of a word: comes from letter before)
Righteousness then is seen in humility. While Righteousness may appear to be an impoverished man, he is living as one set apart as holy. By grace, Righteousness receives God’s revelation and counsel, pays attention to it, and puts it into practice.
FYI – to be holy means to look and act different than the norm. Rather, to look and act like God – a peculiar people indeed for our world.
Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:21, He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. While we in surety have the position of righteousness in Christ, the functioning part is an ongoing process. But Holy Spirit is at work in us to complete what began when we were saved.
Jesus told the crowd in His sermon on the mount, For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. That is one to chew on for sure.
God’s already given us what is needed in Jesus, and He’s given us His word.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
With the help of Holy Spirit and the Word, we can live a righteous life that reflects Jesus in all we do and say.
How about we put this all together? As we put on the Breastplate of Righteousness let’s offer this to the Lord:
Father, as I put on this breastplate of righteousness, I thank You for Your fiery zeal at work consuming my human reasoning and securing me in Jesus. By Your grace I will walk in humility today, receiving Your revelation and counsel and putting it into practice. I will not speak or act as the world does but will walk in holiness set apart for You. Thank you for this breastplate of righteousness.
I hope you are enjoying this study. Please share it with others. Thank you.
See you all tomorrow when we dress our feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace.