"Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and trust in the Lord."
Why does God call righteousness and trust in Him a sacrifice?
In order to answer this question I started with definitions of the words.
I love to look up words in English, Greek and Hebrew dictionaries when studying the Scriptures. Even words that seem so obvious, like sacrifice. It's an offering, right? But looking further I begin to see that it is an offering that costs me something.
So the next question: What do righteousness and trust in God cost me? Again, I considered the words.
Righteousness--being right, doing right. As I do what is right I am offering a sacrifice to God of my will, my way. I choose to do it His way, not mine. That requires a submission of my will. God's way, not my way.
So what does trust offer to God? Trust implies confidence in Him and His ways. Trust requires me to offer up control on the altar of sacrifice. I give up the control of my life, my circumstances. I take my hands off and allow God to grab hold of my life, my circumstances and I follow.
Notice the number of times that "me" or "my" shows up? It's ME that God is requesting as a sacrifice. He says, "Give Me you, Mary."
Does giving up my way and my control cost me something? Yup! Does it hurt sometimes? You bet ya! Is it difficult? I would say so.
But look deeper into Psalm 4. Consider verse 8-"In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for Thou alone, O Lord, dost make me to dwell in safety."
Sacrifice cost something but the returns are so much more.
God asks me to let Him be in charge, to give Him the reins, to offer the sacrifice of my way and my control. And He offers peacefulness, security and a place of rest in the midst of life's chaos.
As they say, "That's worth the price of admission!"