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“Lie Down in Safety”
Sleep is important. In fact, it is essential to your life and health. Experts say that adults should average at least seven hours of sleep per night. Yet, if you are like me, you probably struggle sometimes to reach that number each night. We have too much going on in our lives and too much on our minds, so it is not always easy to lie down with peace of mind. Despite this, most of us would probably agree that we at least can lie down in our own beds in safety. We are not in danger for our lives, or constantly on the run. Yet, can you imagine if you were? It would be very hard to sleep unless you had some sort of assurance that you would be safe.
The author of Psalm 3 was facing great adversity from his enemies. In fact, his enemies were increasing in number and were threatening his life (v. 2). They were also taunting him by saying that God would not deliver him and save him from the dangers that he faced (v. 3). This probably made the author quite afraid and on edge.
This psalm has traditionally been attributed to King David because of his son Absalom. Before this, there had been a conspiracy in the kingdom and many were turning to follow Absalom, who wanted to take over royal control of the land (2 Sam. 15:1-12). David, thinking that his son would come into town striking everyone down with the sword (16:14), fled the city and traveled towards the Jordan River to cross over into the wilderness.
The Psalm is therefore an appeal for God’s safety and deliverance. King David likely felt threatened and in danger, with people telling him not to trust in God, a God who might have seemed to have rejected and abandoned him. Yet David responds with hope and trust. He says that in spite the danger, the LORD (YHWH) is the shield that is protecting him, his glory, and the One who gives him true victory (v. 3). In fact, when David cries out to God, he is confident that he hears him and answers him (v. 4). David beautifully proclaims that he can lie down, sleep, and wake up again, because the LORD sustains him (v. 5). Therefore, David has no fear, even of tens of thousands of enemies who might rise up against him (v. 6).
The Psalm ends with a final cry for God to deliver him, with the trust that God has already dealt with David’s enemies (v.7). For with the LORD there is sure deliverance and blessing (vs. 8).
When life gets hard and scary, you might have trouble sleeping. Yet, this Psalm reminds us that although we may face many dangers, God will hear us and answer us when we call. He will deliver us and sustain us because he is our shield. Therefore, we can cry out to him in trust, and sleep in peace, knowing that he is in control, and he is our salvation!
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