The Berean Expositor
Volume 21 - Page 113 of 202
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The Ministry of Consolation.
The beloved of the Lord---in sleep.
pp. 19, 20
"The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by Him" so we read in Deut. 33: 12.
The theme is pursued in another passage, Psa. 127: 1, 2:--
"Except the Lord build the house,
They labour in vain that build it;
Except the Lord keep the city,
The watchman waketh but in vain.
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 IN SLEEP."
This seems to be the true import of the passage, as may be seen in The Companion
Bible,  and many commentaries, among them the  Oxford Gesenius.
translation is: "Since He giveth unto His beloved when sleeping." There is, of course, no
word here against legitimate labour. There is no excusing the sluggard, and if burning
the midnight oil sometimes is hereby condemned, then some of the articles in The
Berean Expositor should never have been written.
The point of the passage is expressed in the opening verse. It is necessary, when a
house is wanted, that there should be builders. Building is not condemned; the wrong is
to leave the Lord out in the matter. It is the duty of all to watch that the keeping power of
the Lord is unfelt or unwanted is wrong. The stress, therefore, must be placed upon the
word "Except". The three statements linked together by the words "in vain":--
Except the Lord build the house, they labour IN VAIN.
Except the Lord keep the city, they watch IN VAIN.
To labour for the bread of sorrows is IN VAIN.
The Companion Bible gives five examples from the O.T. of those to whom the Lord
gave "in sleep":--
ADAM (Gen. 2: 21-24).
"And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam . . . . . This is now
bone of my bone . . . . . she shall be called woman."
No helpmeet was found for Adam in the whole range of creation, and to emphasize
the graciousness of the gift, it was given to God's beloved "in sleep".
ABRAHAM (Gen. 15: 2, 3, 12, 18).
"And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt Thou give me . . . . . to me Thou hast
given no seed . . . . . a deep sleep fell upon Abram . . . . . unto Thy seed have I
given this land."