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May 19, 2023
Sleep Well
Pastor Philip De Courcy
Psalm 4: 1-8
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The news of Japan’s surprise and savage attack upon the American fleet at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, was a bittersweet affair to the British wartime leader Sir Winston Churchill. Bitter in the sense that he mourned the great loss of ships and sailors in this unprovoked attack! Sweet in the sense that it would become the catalyst for America’s entry into the Second World War! The sleeping giant had been awakened, and now the tide would surely turn against Germany. The country of his mother’s birth would now be arrayed on Britain’s side. It is reported that, on the evening of that infamous day in December, Churchill said, “Tonight I shall sleep the sleep of the saved and thankful.”

“The sleep of the saved.” Now there is an interesting and intriguing phrase! By inference, Churchill’s words assume that those who know God and are known to God sleep better than most. Or at least they ought to. Their rest is not found in downy pillows or soft pillow-top mattresses but in trusting God, who can be trusted with all their cares and concerns (Ps. 55:22; 1 Pet. 5:7). King David is a case in point, for he writes in the fourth Psalm, “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety” (Ps. 4:8 NIV). The backdrop to this psalm is Absalom’s rebellion (2 Sam. 15–18), which makes these words pop out even more. David is at rest amidst unrest. David is at peace amidst war. How was he able to sleep at all? God’s smile (Ps. 4:6), God’s sufficiency (v. 7), and God’s security (v. 8)! True calm and contentment depends not on circumstances but on God’s loving-kindness and promised faithfulness. David was able to sleep in the presence of his enemies, just as Jesus was able to sleep in the midst of a storm (Ps. 23:5; Mark 4:38–39).

Statistics tell us that 70 million Americans have trouble sleeping. Thirty tons of aspirins, sleeping pills, and tranquilizers are consumed every day. America is up when she should be down. If that is you, then let me suggest a couple of things. One, pray to God for the gift of sleep (Ps. 127:2)! Two, ask your Father in heaven to tuck you in with the sure and certain knowledge that in the morning you will find new mercies for the coming day (Ps. 3:5; Lam. 3:22–23)! Three, let God work the night shift (Ps. 121:4)! You can rest and sleep, for God is at work on your behalf (Eph. 1:11). Even though at times it might seem as if God is sleeping or snoring, it is never the case. Read Esther chapter 6 and learn how God turns the tables on Mordecai’s enemy, Haman, even as Mordecai sleeps (Esth. 6:1–13). Ironically, Haman will be hanged on the very gallows he had built for Mordecai (Esth. 7:10). Listen and learn!

God’s got your back. So, you go ahead and lie on yours, and sleep the sleep of the saved.