Sleepless in Singapore

By Not Known

What happens when you are ready to sleep at night? Some people drop off to sleep in an instand and wake up many hours later feeling ready to go. For these people, bedtime is a time of rest and re-creation in the deepest sense.

For others, it is different. They lie on the bed and start thinking about life’s troubles. The hurts and problems of the day loom larger at night. And of course, some people have problems that are big and which should keep them awake at night. What keeps you awake?

Perhaps you can identify with David the Psalmist as he writes Ps 4. Many think that Ps 3 & 4 both relate to Absalom’s revolt against King David. If so, David has plenty to worry about. His worries were the most worrying kind, for they concerned his family.

Put simply, David’s family life was a mess. One of David’s sons, Amnon, raped his step-sister Tamar. Tamar’s brother, Absalom, murdered Amnon 2 years latter and fled from David for 3 years. Things remained uneasy for a further 2 years and then Absalom rose against David, slept with his concubines and force him into exile. The whole sorry episode ended with David’s military commander killing Absalom, prompting bitter grief and recriminations from David (2 Sam 13 – 19)

Ps 4 seems to be written int he middle of this. if anyone has reason to lie awake at night consumed with self-pity, anger and despair it was David. The Psalm shames us. We toss and turn on our beds consumed with the little troubles of our day. We plot revenge against those who harmed us or sink into blue despair. But is this necessary, helpful or godly?

What did David think about as he lay in bed?

David thought about God. he remembered the joy God had given him (v7). He remembered the righteous and merciful character of God, and, on that basis, appealed for his help (v1). He refused to surrender to anger (v 4) or despair (v6a). He reminded himself that God has set his people apart for himself and odes listen when they call out (v3b).

Look at how the Psalm ends – v8. Despite his troubles, David could sleep peacefully because he thought of God and not of himself or his troubles. Maybe that’s something to think about next time you are sleepless in Singapore