5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.
6 ¶ There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.
7 Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.
8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety. (Psalm 4)
There is a perpetual search among human philosophers for good, for moral truth or for true morality. Men seek for this, not because they are so obsessed with doing good, but because by doing good, they hope that “good will come upon them.” “Who will shew us any good?” They hope by their moral righteousness to be set free from fear of harm and evil, and that they will thereby know happiness and peace.
All of men’s attempts to find joy and peace apart from God have been met by failure. The present attempts will fare no better. Only God Himself is absolute good. Therefore, moral perfection can be found only by union with God. Anything less than that is less than moral, or immoral . . . sin. Union with God is possible through His Son, Jesus Christ. He is “the way, the truth, and the life.” No man comes to the Father except through Him.
The sacrifices, then, of righteousness consist of all it means to “put your trust in the Lord.” All that we do trusting in ourselves is apart from God, is unholy, and must be counted no more than sin. All that we do in dependence upon Him, His righteousness, mercy, grace, and power, is counted righteousness. It is His work in us.
Irreligious men who fear not God count themselves righteous when they prosper, when “their corn and their wine is increased.” They make the error of the men of corrupt minds of whom the Apostle warned Timothy: “supposing that gain is godliness” (I Tim. 6:5). But this is the resting place of such men. Their hope of safety is in human power and increase of worldly possessions. Yet when they lie down at night they cannot sleep. They reason that if they were able to take this power and wealth from others, will not others take it from them? They think that they have the blessing of the Lord, but have no assurance that He will protect them.
Not so with those who offer the sacrifice of the righteous and put their trust in the Lord. They have more joy and gladness than the man who just harvested a bumper crop or received a windfall from the stock market. What they have did not come from men, and man has no power to take it away. He will lie down in peace, and he will sleep. He has made a discovery worth more than all the gold and silver on earth. “Thou Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.”