My son, do not lose sight of these—
keep sound wisdom and discretion,
and they will be life for your soul
and adornment for your neck.
Then you will walk on your way securely,
and your foot will not stumble.
If you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
More than once in Proverbs, Solomon states how wisdom and a healthy fear of the Lord affect our bones. We can define “affection” as a warm liking and caring for someone or something, including endearment, tenderness and devotion. The old French meaning of afficere means to influence. This means we all have a mental state, emotions, and inner conditions influencing our affections and the way our bones feel. Our affections affect our bones. Solomon admonishes the fear of the Lord even leads to satisfied sleep, untouched by evil (Proverbs 19:23,NASB).
How well do you sleep? We would all want to sleep better, and longer. The Scriptures give us simple advice for more restful, peaceful sleep. First, we must seek to be in right relationship with God (Romans 5:1, Psalm 34:14). A heart entrusted to his mercy and grace will find forgiveness and release from guilt. Also, having that healthy understanding of who God is and who we are as his creation gives satisfaction. Tell yourself, he has set you apart for himself. You belong to him. Jesus is peace, and if he abides in your heart, you will have peace. Second, we must have right relationships with others (Romans 12:8, 14:19). Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, exhorts us to not let the sun go down on our anger. Even if it is a righteous anger, we must let our God of justice take vengeance. If you go to bed brimming with anger, your brain and your bones will be agitated. God is bigger, stronger, and better than anything you’re facing (Job 38). Finally, trust him. Commit yourself to Him and nothing else.
Picture a child kneeling by the bedside, with hands folded, eyes closed, and head reverently bowed. What we tell ourselves as we go to sleep has a profound affect on our sleep according to Solomon. Saying a prayer, or singing a praise song will help, but so can a body reflecting the posture of the worshipful heart (Psalm 62:5-7). Do your own sleep study this week. Every night make a sincere choice to clear your conscience. Ask for peace with God and others before you go to sleep. Posture your heart and body (if you are able) in reverence and awe and see how your affections influence your bones. If you fall asleep worshiping the God of the universe he will be with you. And since he neither slumber or sleeps, he will be awake watching over you through the night granting you rest (Psalm 16:7).
I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
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.
The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore
By Donna Burns