I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for you, LORD, only make me dwell in safety.
This may be understood, either figuratively, of the repose of the soul, in the assurance of God's grace, or literally, of the repose of the body, under the protection of His providence. The Psalmist having given the preference to God's favour above any good, having chosen that, and portioned himself in that, here expresses his great complacency in the choice he had made. Those who have the assurances of God's favour toward them, may enjoy, and should labour after, a holy serenity and security of mind. It is the privilege of good people that they may be thus easy and satisfied; and it is their duty to use the means appointed for the obtaining it. The Psalmist, after an anxious day, now retires to his chamber with the words, "I will lay me down in peace, and sleep." Here we have David's pious thoughts when he was going to bed. Observe his confidence in God, his composedness in himself Doctrine: As we must begin the day with God, and wait upon Him all the day, so we must endeavour to close it with Him. Let us retire to lay us down. Some sit up to do mischief to their neighbours; others sit up in pursuit of the world and the wealth of it; others sit up in the indulgence of their pleasures. But let us lay down with thankfulness to God, and with thoughts of dying; with penitent reflections upon the sins of the day, and with humble supplications for the mercies of the night. We should be convinced of it that we are still contracting guilt. We should examine our consciences, that we may find out our particular transgressions of the day past. We should renew our repentance, for whatever we find has been amiss in us. We should make a fresh application of the blood of Christ to our souls, for the remission of our sins, and the gracious acceptance of our repentance. We should apply ourselves to the throne of grace for peace and pardon. Let us also lie down with humble supplication for the mercies of the night. We must pray, that our outward man may be under the care of God's holy angels, who are the ministers of His providence. We must pray, that our inward man may be under the influences of His Holy Spirit, who is the author and fountain of His grace. And when we lay down, our care and endeavour must be to lay us down in peace. Let us lie down in peace with God; for without this there can be no peace at all. Let us lie down in peace with all men: we are concerned to go to sleep, as well as to die, in charity. Let us lie down at peace with ourselves. But when may we lie down in peace at night? If we have, by the grace of God, in some measure done the work of the day, and filled it up with duty. If we have by faith, and patience, and submission to the Divine will, reconciled ourselves to all the events of the day so as to be uneasy at nothing that God has done. If we have renewed our repentance for sin. If we have put ourselves under the Divine protection. If we have cast all our cares for the day following upon God. Having laid ourselves down in peace, we must compose ourselves to sleep. It is by the power of God's providence that we are kept safe in the night.
Parallel VersesKJV: I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.