Rest is a Gift from God
It is part of a whole lesson God has about rest. He hallowed the seventh day and said, “Rest.” While the Sabbath day is particularly for the Jews, the day of rest concept is not just for them. The day of rest is pre-law and given to us as a gift. God does not want us to burn our candles at both ends. He loves us and cares very much about our needs, including our need for rest.
God even ordained that the land would have a rest. Every seven years the Jewish people were to let their ground lie fallow for a full year. They were to trust God’s provision for the next two years. They disobeyed this command and so God declared that He would give the land the Sabbath rests it had missed and He did so while the children of Israel cooled their heels in Babylonian captivity.
Jesus Gives Peace to the Weary
And so we can see that God really is interested in our having a good night’s sleep. “He gives His beloved sleep” isn’t just a poetic line, it is the truth of a caring God. The prayers and meditations that have been used this week as bedtime aids are ones that come to us from very reliable sources of men of God and from God’s own word.
Another great hymn of evening came to us from the prolific author of the revivalist era Sabine Baring-Gould. He is also the author of “Onward Christian Soldiers”. And, since we are on the topic of sleeping, he also wrote a little used Christmas carol “Sleep, My Savior, Sleep”. He also wrote the much more common hymn for evening “Now the Day is Over”. The tune is very restful and will help lull you to sleep as you sing these trusting words.
Now the day is over, night is drawing nigh, shadows of the evening steal across the sky.
Jesus, give the weary calm and sweet repose; with Thy tenderest blessing may mine eyelids close.
Through the long night watches may Thine angels spread their white wings above me, watching round my bed.
When the morning wakens, then may I arise, pure and fresh, and sinless in Thy holy eyes.