Daily D – Psalm 108:1-2
Psalm 108:1, 2
My heart, O God, is steadfast;
I will sing and make music with all my soul.
Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn.
The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Ps 108:1–2.
I’m ready, God, so ready,
ready from head to toe.
Ready to sing,
ready to raise a God-song:
“Wake, soul! Wake, lute!
Wake up, you sleepyhead sun!”
Eugene H. Peterson, The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2005), Ps 108:1–2.
How long did it take for Peter and the Gang to return to a normal sleep habit?
Thursday evening in the garden when Jesus prayed so intensely he sweat drops of blood, Peter snoozed quite comfortably. Even after Jesus woke him, he quickly dozed off again. This is evidence of a good habit well-formed and routinely practiced.
His sleep was finally completely disrupted that night of nights. No doubt the next night was largely sleepless as well as Jesus lay entombed and dead to this world. Saturday night had to be fitful at best. How can you sleep with what you have just seen? With what you have just done? With no idea how to get out of this mess?
Thankfully, Sunday’s dawn was awakened with the best news ever. Soon enough, Peter would go for a run, then he would hide again, then he would experience the kind of reunion all who know Jesus as savior will experience on the best worst day of their lives.
As sleep-deprived as the man was, it was probably pretty hard to rest that Sunday evening knowing Jesus was alive.
Two tropes of literature and movies are characters who are so upset a) the person cannot eat, or b) the person cannot sleep. Few indeed are the times when these experiences have happened to Yours Truly. How about you?
Friday night, Peter and the Gang had to wonder, “What does this mean?” Sunday night, Peter and the Gang had to wonder, “What does THIS mean?”
Just wondering, but did it take until Acts 10 for Peter to get some rest? He was vacationing in Joppa at Simon the Tanner’s joint. That sentence contains a couple of important details. First, he was at Joppa, today called Jaffa. The name means Beautiful. This was the place where he raised Dorcas from the dead. It was also the place where Jonah hopped a ship going west so that he did not have to go to Nineveh.
Peter ran away too, didn’t he? I wonder what he wondered about as he gazed at the Mediterranean?
Second, Simon Peter stayed with Simon the Tanner. Tanner life led to a life of separation. Tanners notoriously smelled bad. Not only that, but tanners were considered unclean by most Jews. If Peter wanted to get away from people for a while, he chose the right guy in the right place, didn’t he?
Read the rest of the chapter and see how Jesus always knows where to find Peter. He always has a plan for Peter that Old Saint Pete could not have predicted. Peter always seemed surprised how Jesus puts him in the right place at the right time. While he was pondering Jonah’s run and his own, Jesus was preparing him for an enlarged ministry.
Jesus showed Peter in this chapter how he loves everyone everywhere and so should he. And so should we. Jesus interrupted Peter’s rooftop nap. Here’s guessing he interrupted his sleep that night as well.
Sometimes Jesus has to wake us up to awaken us to greater realities. We all could use the prayer lesson Eli taught little Samuel in 1 Samuel 3. Pay close attention to verse 9:
So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’”
Then listen. Then obey. Then awaken to greater purpose.
Also, cultivate a good sleep habit. Go to bed on time. Get up on time. Get at least seven hours of sleep per night, preferably eight hours or more. It is impossible to deviate from a good habit when necessary if you at first do not have the good habit. Regular, daily deep rest makes us much more productive and effective. Work from a place of rest like the pattern of Genesis 1.
Rested minds and muscles perform better. Ask Peter.
When you go to bed on time and get up on time, you can join David in awakening the dawn with a song of praise. You can do this even on difficult days like David. This is a song of lament. This sad song begins and ends in praise. Why? Because David knew that He Who Does Not Sleep was and is in charge and his and our lives are in his hands. As David said in Psalm 30:5,
For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
Even when we cry ourselves to sleep, we can awake with a song of praise because every new dawn is a promise of that day of days.
I will rest and I will awaken with praise.
Our Father, bless me with rest. Bless me with healthy habits. Bless me with awakenings to your presence, your direction, and your promise of that glorious day of days to come. Amen.
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1 Chronicles 22:9-13 But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign. He is the one who will build a house for my Name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’ “Now, my son, the Lord be with you, and may you have success and build the house of the Lord your God, as he said you would. May the Lord give you discretion and understanding when he puts you in command over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God. Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the Lord gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged.”