“When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.”
This is such a precious and practical promise from God’s reservoir of truth, “thy sleep shall be sweet.” When God created man, He designed us to require rest. Men are to be laborers, but we all need our rest. Jesus was a diligent worker, but He also needed His rest. At the well of Sychar, Jesus was “wearied with his journey” (John 4:6), and sat down. The Bible tells us that once, when the disciples were in a storm and fearful for their lives, “as they sailed he fell asleep” (Luke 8:23). This is a great picture for us to consider. The disciples were stressful and anxious, and yet Jesus was getting His rest.
Most of us have experienced times when problems and anxieties have interrupted our rest and robbed us of the sleep we need. There may be times of exception when God awakens us in order that we might pray or spend time in His Word, but as a rule, “thy sleep shall be sweet.” What causes us to be so stressful that we are not able to rest as we should? In Proverbs 3, the general subject of the passage has to do with taking heed to God’s Word. It teaches us that obedience to the Word of God gives peace, faith in God’s Word gives direction, having God’s wisdom brings happiness, and following God brings enjoyment of rest.
Truthfully, we must admit that there are times when our spiritual negligence is the cause of restlessness. When we are not living in obedience to God’s Word, when we are not living by faith and trusting Him completely, when we are not applying the wisdom of God to our circumstances, we may be sacrificing the blessing of peaceful rest. We know that there may be exceptions to this, but as a rule, we know this is true and most of us can testify to it. When we are not trusting the Lord, the tendency is to worry and fret. When we are not making decisions based on God’s wisdom, the end result will not be rest.
If God’s Word is not guiding our paths and influencing our thoughts, our minds will not be filled with His peace. When His grace is not controlling our conduct, we may be prone to bitterness or other unhealthy spiritual conditions. One has to wonder how many professing Christians who rely on medication to get a good night’s rest might be healed by applying these principles and appropriating God’s promises.