Wasn’t this supposed to be easy?

Posted: 12/28/2009 in Uncategorized

buried under booksI thought a study on sleep would be restful…

I don’t know what it is about my attitudes about studying the Bible, but I think I assume that it won’t require much effort.  I have more commentaries and resources than I know what to do with, and at the end of the day I can go online and steal someone else’s ideas, right? ugh.. tempting.

Right now I have done a number of word studies on things like rest, sleep, sabbath and dreaming.  I have looked at bible stories that center around sleep, everything from Adam’s deep sleep as God is creating Eve to Eutychus dozing off and falling to his death in the middle of a sermon by Paul. (The later of these stories I see as having practical advice, and I, therefore, avoid sitting in window sills while listening to sermons). I have looked at Luther and Calvin and Piper and Augustine trying to formulate an opinion and I’m still at a bit of a loss.

Sleep is a strange thing.

In some regards it is seen as slothful, wasteful and essentially bad. Especially in excess it is grounds of rebuke and seen as foolishness. At the same time in the context of sabbath and rest, the lack of rest is something which God takes serious enough to provide it as a reason for the Babylonian captivity (Neh 13:18).  But at the same time David, out of duty and worship, said, “I will not enter my house or get into bed, I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids, until I find a place for the Lord.” (Ps 132)

Not that this is keeping me up at night (there are plenty of other things doing that already), but I’m really having a difficult time synthesizing a “Theology of Sleep.”

I’m going to keep reading and studying… if you have any thoughts, direction, advice, please let me know.

Until then I am enjoying the holidays and experiencing the joy of getting adequate amounts of sleep.


  1. helenaomanazapata says:

    mike! I’m so glad that you are getting rest 🙂 today i was thinking about that conversation we were having at myc (the second time) that was interrupted and never finished, after one of the sessions where you were leading… haha… oh well.
    i don’t think i could probably add anything or give any sort of insight to your theory of sleep–seeing as i have the exact opposite problem–i sleep too much, and i think the Lord doesn’t like that either (i think He told me that recently).
    but when i think of rest i think of the passage in Luke 10 about Mary and Martha.

    As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
    “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
    i think there may be (as I’m sure you’re aware of) many different reasons for resting–maybe they all converge into one, or maybe they don’t. i don’t know.
    but maybe sleep is like prayer. we pray not because our superfluous words are any good, but to bring ourselves in humility before the King as he works and moves in our own hearts… maybe in our sleep/ rest we finally give up all the business of our control, maybe we concede that He’s bigger than our day and our lives?
    i’ve also heard about the sabbath and how it was important for the Israelites after their exodus because as slaves they were driven to exhaustion, but the Lord made them sons and thus gave them rest and it was supposed to represent their lives as not slaves anymore, or something like that.
    i know that doesn’t really help, but i pray that the Lord would reveal himself to you and would continue to draw your heart into his and into his love, joy, peace and rest!

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