Psalm 127:2 (ESV)
It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.
One of life’s simplest and best pleasures is a good night’s sleep. We can go to bed tired and worn, and we can wake up in the morning re-energized. But is that all that happens in our sleep?
This ancient psalm was sung by God’s people as they traveled each year to a festival of worship at the temple in Jerusalem. Yet it deals with issues that still ring true in today’s world. Our lives are consumed with our jobs, families, and concerns about security. “I’m so busy” is a mantra in our world today. But this psalm reminds us that unless the Lord is an active participant in all we do, our efforts will be in vain.
The psalm writer underscores this point by making a reference to sleep. We read that God “grants sleep to those he loves.” This phrase can also be translated as “while they sleep, he provides for those he loves.” This picture may remind us of plants in nature and crops that keep growing while we are busy with other things—and even while we are asleep! Describing the kingdom of God in a way like seed sown by a farmer, Jesus says, “Night and day, whether the farmer sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how” (Mark 4:27).
Are we involved in activities in which the Lord is working and providing? Or are we feverishly engaged in things that have nothing to do with God’s kingdom? Let’s be mindful of serving God in all we do each day, and we can rest peacefully while the Lord keeps providing for us and building his kingdom.
Dear Lord, give us the rest and energy we need in order to serve You, and help us to see where You are at work in our lives and in this world. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.