In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” (Psalm 4:8, ESV)

Where the Hebrew is emphasized in this verse, I have put the words in bold.  David is saying that when he lies down to sleep, regardless of his circumstances, he can sleep in shalom, in peace.  The reason that he can sleep in peace is because of the character of the Lord.  The Lord is responsible for David’s safety, therefore, David will be safe.

David means, of course, for the reader to take away the same truth for himself.  The same God who makes David dwell in safety when he sleeps, will make us dwell in safety when we sleep. Outside the walls of our houses, the storms rage, great political forces battle, and the world presses on in sin and suffers all of the effects of sin.  We are not immune to this, we suffer along with the world as sin affects us. As followers of Christ we can still be mugged in a dark alley, we can still be assaulted, we can still be victims of crime.

David sleeps, and we can sleep, because all the world that surrounds us is God’s responsibility.  God himself sets our safety and security firmly on his own shoulders and we can rest trusting in him.

Frederick Meyer comments:

It is the perfection of trust to be able to sleep when our foes are many and set upon our destruction. So Jesus slept, Mark 4:38; and Peter, Acts 12:6. Be sure that you are where God would have you to be, and then resign yourself to his loving care.

 

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