The Blessing of Sleep | Psalm 3:5–6

          I lay down and slept;
            I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.
          I will not be afraid of many thousands of people
            who have set themselves against me all around.

Having focused first on his enemies (vv. 1–2) and then the protection of the Lord (vv. 3–4), David now turns to his personal experience.  His peace comes through knowing that God’s a shield encompassing him (v. 3)—ironically, even though “many thousands of people” try to encircle and ensnare the king (cf. 2 Sm 17:1–4).

A good night’s sleep is a blessing that comes through faith.  The Lord protected David through the night, but just as importantly, David trusted Him to do so.  In Psalm 4:8, we read, “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”  Jesus modeled this in that He could sleep through the storm (Mk 4:35–41).  Peter likewise slept while unjustly imprisoned (Acts 12:6).

Why do we lose sleep?  It may be a deficiency in trust, either for the Lord to keep us safe or to provide our daily bread.  We’re called to be diligent, not to be sluggards (Pv 13:4; 21:25), but our Lord commanded in Matthew 6:25 to “not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on.”  God provides our needs.  Psalm 127:2, “It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.”  What a restful thought that we are in His hands!

In reality, though, much of our sleep loss stems from sin.  We wonder how we can keep all the plates spinning and struggle with guilt over our sins.  So, we can’t cannot sleep when we come to bed.  I asked an inmate who was coming to class late about his sleep, and he was surprised that I knew he couldn’t sleep due to his conscience.    

Repent of your sins this evening, believe in the gospel, and then trust in the Lord for provision.  May He bless you with sleep!

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