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The Wise Person Who Possesses God’s Attributes
Proverbs 3:24 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
24 If you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
If you lie down: The Hebrew verb (שָׁכַב shakab) rendered lie down is to assume a reclined position, implying to lie down to rest or to sleep.
You will not be afraid: As we have seen, the wise person, who also possesses God’s other attributes, such as understanding, knowledge, and thinking ability, does not need to be plagued with worry, fear, stress, or anxiety. When you lie down at night, there will be no concern about the things in your life or dread of what tomorrow may bring. (Cf. Deut. 28:65-67)
Sleep will be sweet: The Hebrew verb sweet (עָרַב arab) is used in the sense of nice, peaceful, pleasing, or enjoyable. In other words, the wise person, who also possesses God’s other attributes, such as understanding, knowledge, and thinking ability, will sleep peacefully or have a pleasing or enjoyable night’s sleep. We find the same Hebrew expression used by Jeremiah the prophet, “At this I awoke and looked, and my sleep was pleasant to me.” – Jeremiah 31:26.
Solomon himself initially failed not to lose sight of sound wisdom and discernment. His kingdom was successful, prosperous, thriving, as was he until he failed to apply his own counsel. He took on hundreds of wives and concubines, who contributed to his falling away to false worship. (1 Ki. 11:1-8) Solomon’s experience helps future readers to see that knowledge alone will be of little benefit if one does not have the common sense to apply it.
The actions of Solomon had more significant ramifications than just a life that ended in misery and a people that suffered based on his wisely applying truth. The kingdom would be split in two; the ten-tribe kingdom to the north and the two kingdoms to the south, and the Israelite nation were thrown into a tailspin that they never recovered from. Wisdom certainly would have preserved the lives of so many, like the beauty of an “adornment for your neck.”
The Bible is full of lessons about how wise persons walked with God in a life of security, with no spiritual stumbling (Enoch, Abraham, Joshua, Paul). Conversely, unwise decisions contributed to some very prominent Bible persons missing the security of Jehovah and stumbling themselves into some recurrent tragedies (Moses, Solomon, Peter). Psalm 119:165 tells us, “Great peace belongs to those loving your law, and for them, there is no stumbling.” Those who walk wisely with God need not be afraid, as their sleep will not be plagued with anxiety and restlessness. It will be sweet.