145 I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O Lord: I will keep thy statutes.
146 I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies.
147 I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy word.
148 Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.
149 Hear my voice according unto thy lovingkindness: O Lord, quicken me according to thy judgment.
150 They draw nigh that follow after mischief: they are far from thy law.
151 Thou art near, O Lord; and all thy commandments are truth.
152 Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.
1. Find all the things the Bible will do for you
2. Find the things you are suppose to do with your Bible
3. Find the things the Bible is likened to
Sleeplessness! Oyyyy! How many times have I fought this night after night! I know I’m not alone because I see countless sleep aids on the shelves at my local pharmacy. However, there’s something to be said about sleeplessness! The Christian really ought to take a different look at it. Instead of viewing sleeplessness as a hardship, let’s view it from another angle. Could it be that God is trying to get our attention?
How many times have we ignored this God-given opportunity and opted to watch television instead – or even read a book! In Psalm 63:6, David meditates on God’s word as he lays in his bed. We see it here in today’s text as well. Psalm 119:147-148 reveal the Psalmist’s battle with sleeplessness and how he dealt with it.
What a great opportunity for God to get our attention. It’s really the only time of day where there aren’t any of life’s distractions. I use to do my Bible reading at bedtime because I was a “night person” and that was my favorite way to unwind from the day’s events. Then my children came along and so did exhaustion: I found myself crawling into bed for that much needed sleep! 🙂 I had to rearrange my time with the Lord to the early hours of the morning before the children awoke. This is when He taught me that my mornings were my best time to spend with Him.
David not only meditated on God’s words while he was laying down in bed but he also got up early to meet with his Lord (Psalm 63:1).There’s something to be said about getting up early before everyone else. The house is still and the day’s events have not yet begun. I have peace and quiet, as well as time to think before the hustle bustle begins. When I would wait until later, I felt like a sprinter at the starting line: the gun would go off and there I went! Whoosh! My time with the Lord was a blur and I got out of it what I put into it! I didn’t remember what He had tried to teach me – how sad is that?! When I began to get up before the rest of my family, I discovered a peaceful time which gave me a chance to actually think about what I was reading. I was allowing the Holy Spirit of God to speak to me through His word AND I was carrying it with me the rest of the day! I could apply what God had taught me.
O.K., so back to topic: why are the night hours so important during those sleepless times? I suppose I’m no different than most Christians who allot a certain amount of time for my devotional time and study time. But what about those times that God wants to teach me something more than that? I suppose I could liken it to college courses. Not all courses have the same amount of credit hours, right? Some take longer than others because of the subject matter. It’s the same way with my time with the Lord. Not all His lessons for me can be condensed into my “allotted” time! He may have more for me and I will fail to glean what I need if I cut my time with Him short! The night hours give the Lord our undivided attention – everyone is in bed and our day has ended and the next has not yet begun. Granted we are losing precious sleep. However, we couldn’t sleep anyway, right? And furthermore, can’t God keep us awake during the day even though we only got a few hours of sleep? Of course He can!
This is our time with our Heavenly Father – this is a time that He has allowed and we can only benefit from it! The Psalmist used his time to cry and pour his heart out to the Lord. Maybe he had a repentant heart over a certain sin; maybe he was afraid of his enemies; maybe the latter was a result of the former. Whatever his reasons were to be crying, he knew that he would find solace in God’s word (Psalm 119:151-152). His confidence did not yield disappointment but quite the opposite! He knew that God’s word was everlasting and he could depend on it! He walked away encouraged by the Creator of the universe – the One who knew him best and knew how to encourage him (Lamentations 3:21-23)!
The next time you are awakened in the middle of the night, don’t squander those precious moments in front of the television! Instead, get up and ask the Lord if He is the one who awakened you – then open your Bible and let Him speak to you!