What does righteous mean, aside from it being a thing surfers say when something is pretty great? Virtuous maybe? Perfect? A character of God?
In the Dictionary of Bible Themes it says that righteous is, “An aspect of God’s nature which expresses his unique moral perfection and his readiness to save sinners. It is made known especially through the gospel of Jesus Christ.” (1)
Psalm 145:17 affirms that God is righteous, “The Lord is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works.” (2)
Then in 1 John 2:1-2 it says, “…we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” (3)
Finally in Philippians, the Apostle Paul writes, “For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith.” (4)
So. Through Christ Jesus, all who believe in him are made righteous through his death on the cross. To apply this to Isaiah 26:7, the ESV Study Bible notes say, “God’s promises lead along a path straight and true to fulfillment.” (5) What I would say is that “the path of the perfected person is level.” And “God makes level the path of the one who is made perfect by faith in Christ.”
(all italics are mine)
(1)Martin H. Manser, Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies (London: Martin Manser, 2009).
(2) The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2016), Ps 145:17.
(3) The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2016), 1 Jn 2:1–2.
(4) The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2016), Php 3:8–9.
(5) Crossway Bibles, The ESV Study Bible (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2008), 1285.