He Does not Sleep nor Slumber (Psalm 121:3–4) - Radical

He Does not Sleep nor Slumber (Psalm 121:3–4)

“He will not let your foot be moved. He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.”
– Psalm 121:3–4

Psalm 121:3–4 is an awesome reality that we are reminded of literally every single day. Or at least we should think about every single day. Or at least we’re reminded of in our lives, we need to remember this at the same time about God. So every single day, you and I require sleep. There’s been times, there are days when I’ve gone without sleep, but it’s been clear that I need sleep. And the same is true with you. Even if you try to pull an all nighter and stay up, at some point you need to lay down and go to sleep.

Psalm 121:3–4 Reminds Us God Does Not Sleep

We require sleep every single day of our lives, but the One who sustains us does not. We will go to sleep tonight, but God does not sleep or slumber.

And it’s a pretty humbling thing, isn’t it? Think about it, God didn’t have to create us this way. God did not have to create us such that every night our bodies are totally worn down. We have to lay down like a sack of potatoes and go unconscious for a number of hours in order to recharge and go again. God made us in such a way that we have to sleep. It’s a pretty humbling thing.

And you know what happens while we sleep? God keeps going. He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. So you and I can run frantically through this life trying to get all these things done like the world will fall apart if we don’t do these things. But every single day for hours, we are laying down and apparently the world goes on. It’s a pretty humbling thing that we are creatures who must sleep. And it brings us to yet one more difference between us and our creator because he never sleeps and this is really good news.

When you and I lay our heads down at night, we can fall asleep knowing that the one who sustains all things and the one who holds all things together. And the one who loves us and is committed to caring for us and providing for us is working even while we are unconscious.

This Verse Leads Us to Praise God

Oh God, we praise you. You are so unlike us in so many ways. Yes, we are so thankful to be made in your image and to reflect you in all kinds of different ways. We praise you that you are working for us all day long. You’re providing us breath. You’re providing everything we need to live, to walk through whatever we’re experiencing during the day, you’re working on our behalf. And when we lay down at night, you’re working on our behalf. You never stopped working for the good of your people, for the glory of your name. You’re working all around the world for the accomplishment of your purposes.

So we just say in a fresh way today, a humbled before you by the fact that we will go to sleep tonight and you will not. All glory be to your name, the one who never slumbers and you never sleep. And we just say in a fresh way in this moment, we trust in you. We trust in you when we’re awake and we trust in you when we’re asleep. And we find all of our confidence in you, the one who never slumbers and never sleeps. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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