Sweet Sleep

Sweet Sleep

I.  Introduction

The benefits of wisdom are many, including a better night’s rest, as we will see in a moment.

Join me again in Proverbs 3.

Prov. 3:13-18  Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,
and the one who gets understanding,
14 for the gain from her is better than gain from silver
and her profit better than gold.
5 She is more precious than jewels,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.
16 Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her;
those who hold her fast are called blessed.

Why do you suppose there is so much emphasis on the value of wisdom? Maybe because people often fail to see it? Do we see the way of wisdom as difficult, boring, restrictive, out of touch?

The devil is an expert in false advertising. He makes the way of folly look so enticing, and it seems like his message is much more prevalent.

A key part of wisdom is learning to see things for what they really are. And the way of wisdom is the true path to joy and peace. And peaceful rest.

Prov. 3:21-24  My son, do not lose sight of these—
keep sound wisdom and discretion,
22 and they will be life for your soul
and adornment for your neck,
23 Then you will walk on your way securely,
and your foot will not stumble.
24 If you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

It’s this last verse that I want to dwell on for our lesson today.

II.  Troubled sleep

A benefit of wisdom is a better night’s rest. Why do you suppose that is?

First, let’s think about some things that might trouble one’s sleep.

A.  Leaving God out

When we try to do things without God.

Psa. 127:1-2  Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. 2 It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.

Those who trust in themselves feel like it’s all up to them.

Matt. 6:25-33  “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

When we know God has it under control, we can rest easy. The Creator has things under control. Sometimes we forget this. Like Martha.

Luke 10:38-42  Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

Only one thing is necessary. If we seek God first, we don’t have to be worried and anxious about our daily needs.

B.  Fear of unknown

Another thing that keeps people up at night is the fear of the unknown. Maybe something bad will happen.

Jesus says:

Matt. 6:34  Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

God is on the job.

Psa. 121:1-4  I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? 2 My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. 3 He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. 4 Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

God will be up all night. So you don’t have to be.

The next two verses in Proverbs 3:

Prov. 3:25-26  Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes, 26 for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.

C.  Troubled conscience

Matt. 27:17-19  So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” 18 For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up. 19 Besides, while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today in a dream.”

She knew that what was happening was not right.

When we choose the way of sin, we are rejecting not only wisdom but God, the giver of wisdom. As Christians, when we choose the way of sin, we are rejecting the Son of God who died for us. Somewhere down deep, we know we are not on the right path. Sin brings regrets and dread.

Heb. 10:26-27  For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.

When we walk in wisdom, we can rest knowing we are at peace with God.

Prov. 3:21-24  My son, do not lose sight of these—
keep sound wisdom and discretion,
22 and they will be life for your soul
and adornment for your neck.
23 Then you will walk on your way securely,
and your foot will not stumble.
24 If you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

III.  Peter’s example

For our final point, let’s consider an example from the life of Peter.

Acts 12:1-11
But back up to verses 6-7. Peter was sound asleep.

That’s the picture of a man who had faith in the Lord.

IV.  Conclusion

If we put our faith in God and walk in his way, we can rest easy. And even if this life is full of sorrows and troubles, health problems and heart aches, we can look forward to resting in Him.

Rev. 14:13  And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”

Sometimes people joking say, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” And often, when someone has died, people will say “rest in peace.” But the only way to look forward to peaceful rest in the Lord is to walk in his way now.



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