5 I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.
King David was in a time of great distress of heart when he wrote Psalm 3. He was being pursued by his rebellious son, Absalom. He was driven from his throne, his palace and his city. He was forced to roam as a fugitive with a few loyal friends. As the battle raged, he became weary in his body and heart. The nights were extremely dangerous for him out in the open. Any evil could have happened to him in the dark of the night, especially as his ferocious enemies were hot on his heels. However, David trusted the LORD’s protection and cast all his burdens upon the LORD when he prepared to lay himself down to rest in the night. He prayed, “But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah” (Psalm 3:3-4).
David, though full of trouble and fatigue, decided to lie down to sleep. He was unlike many who lose sleep over their troubles. Like a child in the arms of his mother, he leaned on the LORD’s arm and slept. As Scripture says, the LORD “giveth his beloved sleep” (Psalm 127:2). David trusted the Keeper of Israel, who “neither slumber nor sleep” (Psalm 121:4), to preserve his life. Notwithstanding all the dangers and troubles that beset him, David slept quietly and securely.
Though the night was filled with danger, the LORD granted David safety through the night. So when he awoke from his sleep, he said, “I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.” He woke up in the strength of the LORD, with his fatigue gone, and was “recharged” to fight his battle.
When we go to sleep or when we awake from sleep, we must, like David, commit ourselves to the LORD in faith and thanksgiving. We have no power to awake ourselves. Sleep has been referred to as “death’s twin sister”. We hear of many who laid down to sleep in the night but awoke no more; they died in their sleep. Oh, how we ought to be thankful to the LORD when we rise from the bed of repose! May our first waking thought be one of gratitude to our Lord who has sustained us through the night.
Let us daily acknowledge the LORD as our great Preserver. It is the LORD who sustains us when we quietly fall into death-like deep sleep. He keeps us from all dangers and also preserves us from death. The LORD has kept us alive today to praise Him.