PSALMS 4:4-5: “Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, And put your trust in the Lord.” NKJV
OBSERVATION: How do I end each day? Have you ever noticed that there is a plethora of advice on how to start each day? However, we never think of the importance of knowing how to end each day. How we end our day will have a great impact on anything we do to begin it!
In our western culture, our day begins at 6 AM. Sunrise is the start of the new day. We wake up, have our all-important cup of coffee, and rush off to start the new day. However, in Hebrew culture, the day began at 6 PM the night before. The Sabbath begins on Friday night and goes through Saturday night. So, in essence, David’s advice is really how to start each new day. However, in our culture, we can apply this in how to end our day.
The first bit of advice is to surrender all of our anger and sin. How many times have I gone to bed angry or with unresolved sin in my heart? David writes,
- “Be angry, and do not sin.”
What do we do when the day has been filled with offenses, temptations, or failures? What do we do when we have been wronged and there is an estranged relationship? We cannot simply pretend that none of this has happened. Instead, we need to lay it down at the cross and ask Jesus for His forgiveness and cleansing. Just as we shed our clothes from the day before we go to bed, so we are to shed our burdens at the foot of the cross!
- “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” I Peter 5:6-7 NKJV
The next bit of advice from this Psalm is to choose what we fill our minds with before we go to sleep.
- “Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah”
It was David who wrote – “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.” (Psalms 1:2 NKJV). When I go to bed angry, or with my mind filled with anxiety and worry, I tend to have dreams that are not uplifting – even downright scary! My subconscious is trying to dump all the junk that I left it with. However, when I make God’s Word the meditation of my heart, both day and night, I find a place of restful sleep and inspiring dreams. This is such an important truth that David pauses his Psalm and thought at this point.
There have been times when I did not heed this advice. I found myself waking up in the middle of the night troubled about what I was dreaming. In these instances, I quickly ran to the cross, called upon the Lord, meditated upon God’s promises, and asked Jesus to be the Lord over my dreams. God has always been faithful in restoring my sleep. Oh, that I followed David’s advice every night!
Finally, we not only have a choice in how we will end the day, but also in how we will begin it. This is where we can learn from our Hebrew brethren. The course of our sleep and the course of our day to begin – start when we lay our heads down to sleep. As we close out the day, as we pray, as we meditate upon God’s Word, we also need to ask Him for grace to begin the new day in the power of the Holy Spirit – even before this day starts!
- “Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, And put your trust in the Lord.”
The best way to describe this is how our minds are set when we are going on vacation. The night before we double-check all of our bags and prepare for the trip ahead. We rehearse in our minds the things we will need and we plan the day before it even begins. Alarms are set, maps are consulted, and when the sun rises we begin the day with purpose and expectation. How much more should we prepare for each day before the Lord. Each day is both a gift and an adventure. It is a time to offer the sacrifices of righteousness and put our trust in the Lord!
Heavenly Father, as my focus is on starting a New Year, let me not miss the importance of correctly starting each new day! Each night, give me the grace to forgive, lay down my burdens, and confess my sins. Let Your Word be my meditation as I lay my head down and as I begin a new day. And, help me to wake up each day positioned for obedience and directed by faith!
In Jesus Name!