July 14, 2024

Refusing Sleep

Psalm 132:1-5

“I will allow no sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids, till I find a place for the Lord. . . .”

—  Psalm 132:4-5

What’s the longest time you’ve ever gone without sleep? On long trips sometimes, I’ve stayed awake for more than 30 hours. Normally I can only stay awake for relatively short periods of time. Even dogged determination won’t keep me awake after a certain point. So what should we make of King David’s plan not to sleep?

After consolidating his rule over Israel, David built a fine palace for himself. Afterward, though, he felt guilty for not building a splendid house for God. In Psalm 132 we hear about David’s determination to build a marvelous temple for God. Using exaggerated language, he declares that he will not rest until he has found the right place for God to dwell.

Though God is pleased with David’s devotion, he doesn’t allow him to build the temple, saying that the task is for his son Solomon (see 2 Samuel 7).

Though it’s wise to avoid making exaggerated “I will never . . .” statements, we do well to honor God and give him first place in our lives. God is the only source of true satisfaction and rest, and we need to honor him in all we think, say, and do—with our bodies as well as our minds. God also calls us to build: investing our time, talents, and treasure to work with him in building his church and kingdom. How? By worshiping and praying together, sharing each other’s burdens, and bringing his good news to the world.

Lord, help us to please you and to join in building your church and kingdom at home and around the world. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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