I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for you, LORD, only make me dwell in safety.
Sleep is the image of death. Jesus Christ abolished the terrors of the first death, the death of the body. In the text is not a prayer of David, but a determination on his part. To a certain extent, peaceful sleep depends upon ourselves. A peaceful state of mind has a great deal to do with the power of enjoying God's gift of sleep. And, similarly, a peaceful death depends on ourselves. There is such a thing as the quietness of a stupefied conscience. How may we, as far as conscience is concerned, carry out the resolution that we will lie down in peace?
1. By doing all that in us lies to preserve a peaceful conscience during the day. Begin the day with earnest prayer. Our morning prayers may show us what we wish to be, but the temptations of the day show us what we are. Our consciences cannot but be injured, if we are guilty of faults and errors during the day, and take no account of them at the dose of the day. Self-examination gives an earnestness and a reality to the prayer for pardon. If it be true that the last sleep of all makes the sleep of each night more solemn, it is also true that each night's sleep makes the last sleep of all less strange. What is each day but a picture of the whole life, and each night but a picture of death? Then we must do all that in us lies to preserve a peaceful conscience during the years of life.
(W. H. Ranken, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.