You are my portion, Lord;
I have promised to obey your words.
I have sought your face with all my heart;
be gracious to me according to your promise.
I have considered my ways
and have turned my steps to your statutes.
I will hasten and not delay
to obey your commands.
Though the wicked bind me with ropes,
I will not forget your law.
At midnight I rise to give you thanks
for your righteous laws.
I am a friend to all who fear you,
to all who follow your precepts.
The earth is filled with your love, Lord;
teach me your decrees.
- Psalm 119:57-64
“Have you ever awakened in the middle of the night with a thought you couldn’t get out of your head? Did it keep you awake, as your mind couldn’t help but fixate on it? Has it ever been a good thing?
“The psalmist in today’s verse (Ps. 119:62) tells how he wakes up at midnight to praise God. At a point when most people are unconscious to the world, asleep, the psalmist is so interested in God that he can’t sleep because of it. Not only is he kept awake thinking about the Lord, but he actually gets out of bed so that he can worship Him. He is so full of love for God and His Word that the only way he can satisfy his feelings is by getting up and expressing them at an unusual time of the night. It almost seems as though praising and thanking God refreshed and renewed him, taking the place of sleep.
“You do not have to wake up at midnight to have a similar experience. …”
- Presidential Prayer Team Devotion
I know how this works. I have written about it before. If I just get up to go to the bathroom and then go back to bed, I can usually go to sleep, not always, but most of the time. If I do anything else, like blow my nose or say a single word, I cannot sleep. I am done for the night.
Then again, when you stay up to watch the team of your adopted home actually win a football game, you might be still awake at midnight. And I can attest that when I get excited about something, like my upcoming performance, I race through the thoughts, practicing lines or formulating a new post in my mind, and it is well past midnight before I go to sleep. My insomnia is not as bad as it once was. The days of simply not being able to feel sleepy, looking at the ceiling for hours, are far behind me, except for one day last week. I have no idea how that event occurred. When those nights happen, it is great not having a job to go to the next morning. I can simply sleep late.
I doubt if King David had an alarm candle. Did they tell time by the time it took to burn a candle back then? Okay, before some Biblical scholar writes a nasty comment, Psalm 119 is not attributed to King David, but in Biblical times, how did they tell time? Could we allow the psalmist a little poetic license and say that any time when it was dark and there was no reference to a specific time, ‘midnight’ is as good a word as any.
But awaking, at any time of the day or night, with a song in your heart and a thought on your mind about the Lord, is a fantastic experience. Today, the earworm was I Need You by Jeff and Sheri Easter. Nothing like a little bluegrass to REALLY wake you up in the morning.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.