Sunday, January 30, 2011

What about sleep?

Here's a question for all you thinkers out there. If you are thinking about life in the Old Testament/ New Testament/ Christian tradition, is sleep a good thing or a feature of the fallen world?
Of course everyone knows we need and want sleep especially if the bed is warm and comfortable.
Everyone knows that sleep restores the body and soul. Even evil Macbeth called sleep, "sore labor's bath,/ Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,/ Chief nourisher in life's feast-" (2.2.36-39).
But do we need it because we are mortal and obviously not all-powerful?
Did people sleep before that fruit was stolen from the tree?
God never sleeps, so it must be part of the human tradition.
In Literature, sleep is a type or picture of death (for instance- in sonnet 73 Shakespeare refers to night as "death's second self that seals up all in rest.")  Is that picture pointing to a deeper truth?
Also there are nightmares... which seems to put sleep in the "fallen" or "corrupt" category.


  1. I remember feeling bummed when I learned there would be no sleep in heaven. I love my naps :). This is a really good question -- hmmmm, I'm no Bible scholar but I do find it interesting that it says that God "caused" Adam to fall into a deep sleep in order to create Eve (Genesis 2:21). I'm not one to get caught up in words, but I see your point about sleep possibly not being the norm in the pre-fallen world given the fact that God caused Adam's sleep and it's specified as a deep sleep. I did a quick search and the Hebrew word for the type of "deep sleep" that God caused to fall upon Adam and Abram is "tardema" and in both instances God was accomplishing work during the deep sleep -- so there was intent and purpose in having the sleep fall on those men and neither was for replenishment or refreshment but rather for God to create woman and establish the covenant with Abram. Details aside, I really do love sleep... mmmmmmmmmmhhhhhh, it may be time for the second Sunday nap (okay, not really... but bed time is coming soon). Hope you're doing well!!!! Love and hugs!

  2. Sleep is definitely a GOOD thing here on earth. I don't think we will sleep in Heaven though because it will never be night or dark. But a good afternoon nap is even more delicious than chocolate. And a goods nights sleep makes the day. Wendy

  3. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat--for he grants sleep to those he loves. Ps, 127:2 (NIV), so I vote for sleep being a good thing. : ) Janice