The Encouragement in Psalm 4

Google produces a list of Scriptural passages when you ask, “Which 10 encouraging bible verses do I need to read each day?” The tenth passage on that list is Psalm 4:8. Today’s Daily Bread email message very briefly explains that King David found joy, peace and encouragement in the safety God provides when he (David) lies down to sleep.

In Psalm4:8, David talks about how when he goes to sleep, he goes to sleep in peace. Why? Because God makes him dwell in safety.

Amid the chaos and hectic schedule of everyday life, we can also lie down in peace knowing that we belong to God.

Psalm 4:8

Psalm 4:8 is the praise portion of the lament Psalm 4.  It gives thanks to God for sleep.

Psalm 4:8

David could sleep well at night, even in distressing times and surrounded by the ungodly. He slept well because his safety came from the LORD, not from circumstances or even feelings.

Imagine a man lying down to sleep, tormented by all of what his enemies or pretend friends say about him. David could be that man, but instead, he trusted in the LORD. He therefore had a gladness that the world could not take away, even with all their slander and lies.

David found safety in his solitude with God.

In Greek the thought of the word “alone” is “in loneliness” or “in seclusion,” and the word refers to the one going asleep. God gathers the trusting soul into a place of safety by taking it away from all the things that trouble or harass.

God’s ability to provide, from manna in the wilderness to his one and only Son, to a home in eternity, is unfailing. This world isn’t “safe.” Anything can happen. But if we have a place to lay our head down, and we’re given another day, we can trust that God is our safe dwelling place.

Having trouble sleeping is no surprise when fearing illness, working double shifts, multitasking, or facing any number of crises life can send your way. But stressors and worries don’t have to have their way.

The enemy would love to rob you of peace and security and use stress as a weapon to destroy your sleep. But because you know that a power greater than any calamity can calm a raging storm—you can give God the storms inside you as well.

The Lord Has Our Life In His Hands

In other words, the Lord has your life in his hands. And this is peace-giving.

Sleep is a pretty humbling thing. John Piper once said, “Sleep is a daily reminder from God that we are not God. Once a day, God sends us to bed like patients with a sickness. The sickness is a chronic tendency to think we are in control, and that our work is indispensable. To cure us of this disease, God turns us into helpless sacks of sand once a day. How humiliating to the self-made man or woman that he or she has to give up all control and become as limp as a suckling infant every day.” 1

When We Sleep, God Gives Us Peace

When we lie down to go to sleep, we realize we’re not ultimately in control. God is ultimately in control, and this is the key to sleeping in peace, to resting at night, amidst everything going on in our lives.

David encourages us with Psalm 4:8. In peace we can both lie down and sleep because the God of the universe holds our life in His hands. He alone can make us dwell in safety.

David Acknowledges the Sovereignty of God

No matter what difficulty he is facing, and despite the depths of despair to which David so often falls, we find that he confesses his dependence on the Lord and acknowledges the sovereignty of the Lord his God. It’s no wonder that David is remembered as a man after God’s own heart.

David found the secret of true joy and lasting happiness in that his delight was in the Giver and not in His gift. He rejoiced in the One that blessed in preference to counting his blessings. His reward was the Lord Himself, and David’s heart desire was that the pure light of God’s radiant countenance would fall upon him so that in peace he would both lie down in safety and sleep securely. David was confident in the fact that the Lord encamps around those who reverence and trust Him. David was confident that the Lord would cause him to dwell in safety.

First Peter 5:7 talks about casting all your anxieties on God, because He cares for you. Philippians 4:6 admonishes us to “do not be anxious about anything” and to instead pray with thanksgiving, making our requests known to God. And Philippians 4:7 promises “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

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Consider the Daily Bread email message sent on 9/6/2023 which says,

Psalm 4:8

Psalm 4:8 – In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You alone, O LORD, make me to dwell in safety. (NASB)

Despite the ever-present threats against his life (Psalm 3:1; 2 Samuel 15:13–14), David enjoyed such a close relationship with God that he was able to get a good night’s rest. He trusted the Lord to keep him safe. Amid the chaos and hectic schedule of everyday life, we also can lie down in peace knowing that we belong to God.

You should have God as the only source of your joy and peace in the face of the temptation to believe that these things come from men.

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