What the Word Says about Sleep and Rest

I have been working on this for several days, and I still do not think I am all the way there, but I wanted to share what I've learned. Just note that there may well be a follow-up post later on, as more is revealed:)

I mentioned that I really, really like sleep in my post on sleep and responsibilities. I also mentioned that I wondered where the line was between getting sleep and taking care of responsibilities, as it often seems impossible to do both. What better place to get a question answered than in God's Word?! I started by researching verses about sleep, slumber, and bed. Sometimes this included verses about death, as sleep is used as another word for death in God's word sometimes. After studying and reading through, this is what I came up with.

First, God doesn't sleep. (Ps 124:3-4) However, Jesus, God on earth, did sleep while he was here. (Matthew 8:24) Since we know that Jesus NEVER sinned, sleep is obviously not a sin. I know that seems like a silly thing to say, but I felt I needed to get it out there before I get into the meat of this post.

There are not very many positive things said about sleep, or slumber in God's word, and a LOT of positives are related to lack of sleep, (or not sleeping too much.) For example, there is the whole scene in the garden when the deciples could not keep their eyes open (Mt 26:40-46). Before that, there is the declaration that sleep makes you poor (Pr 6:9-11). Also, the person who stays in bed too long is lazy, or a sluggard (Pr 26:14).

I want to camp on that verse in Proverbs for a second. Proverbs 26:14 says:


"As a door turns on its hinges,
so a sluggard turns on his bed."
That really hits home with me. As much complaining as I do about not having time for "quiet time" with the Lord, how often to I wake up and just turn over and go back to sleep? If I am really honest with myself, too often....
Okay, back to what the Bible says about sleep. Our lady, the Proverbs 31 Woman, slept little, as we woke up while it was still dark and her lamp did not go out at night (Pr 31: 15, 18-b), and Jesus prayed early in the morning, while it was still dark (Mark 1:35). I think it is safe to say that God's Word doesn't place THAT much importance on sleep. Hmmm....ouch! and yawn, lol! I am getting sleepy just thinking about it. "The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak." (Mt 26:41) I think that is the key as to how we are to survive. We CANNOT do all we need to do on our own. Our spirits are willing but our flesh is weak (sleepy, tired, tempted.) We MUST do it in HIM and HIS power.
The Bible doesn't promise us sleep, but is does promise rest and rejuvenation. How? Where? Let's save that for another post... can't wait to get into that one. I bet that study will be much more fun! I'll leave you with a sweet verse about the sleep our Father will give us:)
Proverbs 3:24

" When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. "
Read the verse in context to find out how to get this sweet sleep:) Thank you Lord Jesus, thank you for your Word. I love you!
Please leave comments and thoughts:) I do love to get a good conversation going about God's Word.

2 comments:

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