READING: Proverbs 1-3
Do you sleep well? I’ve never slept deeply; in fact, I wake up whenever I sense any slight move or hear any quiet sound. The older I get, the harder it is for me to sleep even when I’m exhausted. Age affects us, you know. . . .
At the same time, though, I know my sleep is most restless when I’m worried, I’m afraid, or I’m dealing with conviction over my sin. Many have been the nights when I have lain awake because of my sin or my weak faith. Only the grace of God has allowed me to get any sleep (eventually) on those nights.
When I read today’s chapters, though, I’m reminded that living wisely ought to produce rest. A central theme of the book of Proverbs is wisdom, defined as “skill in the art of godly living.”* The writer describes rest for the wise with these simple but powerful words: “My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. . . . When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet” (Prov 3:21-22, 24).
Resting sweetly with no fear is one of the results of living in obedience and trust. Even for those of us who generally don’t sleep well, there’s also the overall sweetness of obedience — that real sense of absolute peace when you know that no sin remains unconfessed, no sin controls you, and no sin blocks your walk with God. When I compare that sweet peace with the agonizing, ongoing, torment of conviction and shame that comes with sin, forfeiting that peace for the fleeting fun of disobedience simply makes no sense.
And yet, it’s easier to write those words now than it is to remember them when the strong lure of temptation stares us in the face. That’s when we must turn our ears to wisdom and “call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding” (Prov 2:3). Wise people flee sin and run to God.
- Disobedience should keep us awake at night. Ask God not to let you rest tonight until you’ve dealt with any current sin issues.
- When your sleep is sweet, be sure to thank Him.
PRAYER: “God, help me to live wisely today, trusting You with all my heart and leaning not unto my own understanding (Prov 3:5-6).”
TOMORROW’S READING: Proverbs 4-6
*Crossway Bibles (2008-10-15). ESV Study Bible (Kindle Location 153122). Crossway. Kindle Edition.