A Sacrifice of Righteousness

by frazzledmama on May 18, 2012

Don’t you love how God works?  A couple of days ago,  I wrote a new post in my series on James, during which we learned that we must put off the soul staining deeds of the flesh and seek after righteousness.  Seeking righteousness is not an easy thing.  But, as we discussed, God gives us the strength to do so, through Him. 

Yesterday, while working though a Bible study I am doing with friends, I came across Psalm chapter four.  It isn’t terribly long, so I am going to ask you to read the whole thing ;)

1Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have relieved me in my distress;
Have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.

2 How long, O you sons of men,
Will you turn my glory to shame?
How long will you love worthlessness
And seek falsehood? Selah
3 But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly;
The Lord will hear when I call to Him.

4 Be angry, and do not sin.
Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah
5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness,
And put your trust in the Lord.

6 There are many who say,
“Who will show us any good?”
Lord, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us.
7 You have put gladness in my heart,
More than in the season that their grain and wine increased.
8 I will both lie down in peace, and sleep;
For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

What really jumped out at me, was verse 5.  “Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord.”   What an interesting statement.  I never thought of righteousness as being a sacrifice.   You know me, I had to dig deeper.  

Merriam-Webster defines sacrifice as…

an act of offering to a deity something precious; especially :the killing of a victim on an altar

: something offered in sacrifice

a : destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else b : something given up or lost

Wow! This really goes hand in hand with what James was telling us.  “Destruction or surrender of something, for the sake of something else.”  Kind of like the destruction or surrender of filthiness and wickedness for the sake of righteousness?  For the sake of receiving God’s word, which can save our souls?  For the sake of being blessed!

Now, looking back to the context in this chapter the Psalmist was speaking about being angry, and yet not sinning.  What a great example of putting of wickedness!  It is so easy to become angry, yet not so easy to be angry and not sin.  But His word says, when we put off (or kill) those soul staining deeds(like sinful anger), it is a sacrifice to Him, a sacrifice of righteousness.


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