Here are the words of Psalm 4:8 from the ESV:
In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
This verse is one I come back to over and over again. Some see Psalm 4 as being written by David during his time of fleeing Absalom, his son. It was not a time of peace for David. Yet, we see David exclaiming that he has peace. Why or How is David able to have peace when his own son is after his throne? A few observations:
- David says that he is able to both lie down and sleep in peace. Often times, during periods of anxiousness or fear, we may lie down, but sleep does not come easy. Our minds race through contingencies or possibilities that many times never take place. But David proclaims that not only does he lie down, but he is able to sleep. And this is not a light, turning and twisting sleep, but one of peace.
- How can David do this? Because he believes that it is the LORD, alone, who is able to make him dwell in safety. David has a firm belief in the sovereignty of God over every event in his life. It is God and only God, that can keep him in safety. That is why he can rest peacefully because he knows he is completely in the Father's hand (Psalm 31:15), the one who never sleeps or slumbers (Psalm 121:4) and only does good for His children (Psalm 84:11). I love to read quotes by persons who also had this firm faith and confidence in God believing that they were indeed immortal until God's work for them was finished. From the perspective of the world, they would be called courageous, but their courage was in their God, not themselves. They did not trust in their strength or the strength of anyone else.