“Offer sacrifices in righteousness and trust in the Lord.” (CSB – Read the chapter)
As David continues wrestling with the angst of some offense he’s been dealt, in v. 5 here, he turns explicitly religious for the first time. What on earth will offering “sacrifices in righteousness” do for us when we’ve been offended? Is religion supposed to save us when we’re mad?
Nope, but that’s what a lot of folks think even if they wouldn’t put it in those terms. When we’re hurt or offended, we often stop thinking clearly and start running on autopilot. We lean into those things which we can do automatically. Well, because worship is so fundamental to our human design code, if you will, we lean into the fundamentals of whatever religious movement to which we’ve committed ourselves. It becomes rote and unthinking, but at least it gives us some kind of meaning to cling to when things are otherwise topsy-turvy.
For David and the people of Israel, offering sacrifices in righteousness was a basic fundamental of their faith practice. He’s not calling himself (and us when we are mad) to be more religious. Rather, David is calling us to get back to the basics with God when we’re all discombobulated from the day’s turmoil. He’s calling us to get back to the basics and to get right with God. Once we’ve done that we can simply trust in Him to set things right again.
Here’s what this can do for us: When our feelings and emotions are all in a twist because we’ve been offended somehow, our lens for seeing the world can get all twisted too. If we’re not careful, it’s easy in this place to let this lens lead us to some places that are not good. We leave God behind and start to blaze our own trail to get things straightened out again. This isn’t going to lead us anywhere good. Getting right with God and getting back to the basics can help us put things back in place.
When you’ve gotten off kilter because someone else hasn’t treated you the way you thought they should have treated you, one of the first active steps you can take to getting back on track, is to seek the Lord in righteousness. Look over your life. Is there anything that is keeping you from being able to relate to Him as fully and closely as you need to be? Deal with this thing. Clear your spiritual air so you can better see a way forward. Place the whole thing in God’s hands and let Him lead you on the right path forward.