The Lord blesses the righteous (Psalm 5:12). His eyes are upon the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry (Psalm 34:15). The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears (Psalm 34:17). The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much (James 5:16).
In light of these wonderful promises, knowing the characteristics of a righteous man is of extreme importance. In Psalm 17:1-5, David paints on the eternal canvas of Scripture the following portrait of a righteous person.
- A righteous person prays in faith, expecting God’s response. “Hear a just cause, O Lord, attend to my cry” (v. 1).
- A righteous person is truthful with his mouth, expressing nothing false or crafty. “Give ear to my prayer which is not from deceitful lips” (v. 1).
- A righteous person seeks vindication by God. “Let my vindication come from Your presence; let Your eyes look on the things that are upright” (v. 2).
- A righteous person remains faithful to God during trials. “You have tested my heart; You have visited me in the night; You have tried me and have found nothing; I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress” (v. 3).
- A righteous person heeds God’s inspired warnings. “Concerning the works of men, by the word of Your lips, I have kept away from the paths of the destroyer” (v. 4).
- A righteous person trusts the certainty of God’s care and protection. “Uphold my steps in Your paths, that my footsteps may not slip” (v. 5).
Like God’s abundant blessings of the righteous, being righteous before God does not happen by accident.