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Psalm 127:2 rightly speaks of sleep as a gift from God. It allows human beings to be refreshed, especially so that they can provide for themselves and others, and carry out God's will for their lives. The Bible also records God using sleep as an occasion to send prophetic or guiding messsages through dreams (as with Joseph in Matthew 2:13 and Matthew 2:20) -- and not just to His followers, but others, as well (as in the case of Pharaoh's dreams in Genesis that Joseph interpreted for him (Genesis 41)). However, excessive sleep (especially when intentionally done in place of working, or in order to avoid working) is repeatedly condemned, particularly in the book of Proverbs, in verses such as Proverbs 6:9-11 and Proverbs 20:13.
Aren’t there more than 100 references to sleep in the Bible, and many more references for rest, slumber, and dreams? Here are a few key passages about sleep. Sleep according to the NAVE’s Topical Bible is from God, Psa. 127:2. The sleep of the sluggard is referred to in Prov. 6:9-10. -- 9 "How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? 10 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: 11 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man." A type of sleep, the sleep of slothfulness, is a misuse of good sleep that leads to all kinds of problems like poverty and addictions (Proverbs 6:4-11; Proverbs 19:15). In Sleeping for Christ, Christian behavioral scientist and apologist Jay Medenwaldt wrote, “Sleep can be a spiritual discipline,” because sleep deprivation can create all kinds of side effects and affect performance in alertness, concentration, emotion regulation, health, self-control, our diets, scripture memorization, and many other functions and activities. So, to avoid sleep deprivation, in Awake, O Sleeper: Getting Up Early, Heilman suggests going to bed early, praying before falling asleep, getting the body into a routine, and remembering that—for the Hebrews—the day starts in the evening. It sets the tone for the following day. There are many Bible examples. The woman of noble character in Proverbs 31:15 rose up early with a plan and purpose for her life and home. 15 “She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.” Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, David, and Jesus also rose up early (Mark 1:35-- "And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, He [Jesus] went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” John 8:2-- 2 “And early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and He sat down, and taught them.” “Let’s face the brutal facts,” Heilman said. “We sleep in when we’re apathetic about our life’s mission and purpose.”
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