Scripture Reading

Psalm 127:2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.

Insight on the Word

The word “vain” in this passage comes from the Hebrew word “shawv” and means “desolate, destructive and useless.” It is destructive for us to not get the proper amount of sleep that we need. On occasion all of us have stayed up late (one, two, three o’clock) and gotten up early (five, six, seven o’clock) to only spend that day in an unproductive and miserable sleepy daze. This is unwise and abusive toward our mind and body.

We are to rise early each day. The virtuous woman is complimented because “She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household” (Proverbs 31:15). But in order for us to get up early we must go to bed on time. We cannot work late into the night, sit up playing computer games or watching the “late show” and expect to be eager to rise bright and early the next day.

Solomon told us it was vain not to go to bed on time and get our needed rest: “his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity” (Ecclesiastes 2:23). We are to go to bed early and enjoy the rest that comes with sleep (John 11:13).

We are also warned not to sleep too much; for this will lead to poverty. “Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty” (Proverbs 20:13). We are not to be sleeping when it is time to do our daily work (Proverbs 10:5) or spiritual things (Mark 14:37).

Our bodies will truly “eat the bread of sorrow,” if we “sit up late” and “rise up early” each day. At night, after we say our prayers, we are to go to sleep freeing our mind from the activities of the day (Song of Solomon 5:2), and having no worries about life’s struggles (Acts 12:6), trusting in the promise that God “giveth his beloved sleep.”

Speak the Word — I go to sleep on time and get up early each day! (Psalm 127:2)

Daily Bible Reading — Numbers 7 – 10