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The Scriptorium

Mid-Night Thanks

Remember to do it. Psalm 119.62

Psalm 119.57-64 (5)

Pray Psalm 119.62.
At midnight I will rise to give thanks to You,
Because of Your righteous judgments.

Sing Psalm 119.61, 62.
(Leoni: The God of Abraham Praise)
Though wicked ways constrain and bind my hands in sin,
yet I recall Your Word and turn to You again.
By night I thank You, Lord; my voice to You I raise;
for all Your righteous, holy Word I give You praise.

Read Psalm 119.57-64; meditate on verse 62.


1. Why does the psalmist rise at midnight?

2. What makes him want to do this?

The psalmist says he would rise at midnight to give thanks to God. How did he do that? He couldn’t set an alarm like we can. How did he manage to wake up to pray?

I can think of a couple of explanations. First, let’s not force our text to mean 12:00am precisely. The meaning is something more like, “in the middle of the night” (which is a literal translation of the Hebrew). So, in the middle of the night, the psalmist was awake. Don’t many of us have that same experience for one reason or another?

It’s also possible that this may have been a time for the changing of the palace guard, and the psalmist could have been – or could have arranged to be – awakened by that.

The point is, when he woke up in the middle of the night, what was on his mind? Giving thanks to God! Oh, how I wish I were more like that! When our minds are so focused on God, so filled with gratitude for His blessings, so mindful of His continuously remembering His Word to us, so awash with His righteous judgments, and so flush with the vision of Jesus exalted in glory, then we may also make a point, if only briefly, to thank our God each time we are awakened in the middle of the night. What a great discipline that would be!

This giving thanks to God because of His righteous judgments is yet another important means for helping us keep the Law of God. The more our hearts are devoted to the Law, and our minds immersed in and saturated with it, the more we will remember God’s Law and give thanks for it, thus further preparing ourselves to keep and obey it always.

Ask God to remind you, whenever you awake in the middle of the night, to give thanks for Him and for His righteous judgments.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162

Sometimes the middle of the night can seem lonely and fearful. Monsters loom large in the wee hours of the night. Even there, He is with us.

“If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall fall on me,’ even the night shall be light about me; indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You” (Ps. 139.11, 12).

“I rise to give thanks to You” (Ps. 119.62). Giving thanks to God helps to dispel our fears.

Our bravehearted brothers in Christ showed us exactly how to do this. They had been beaten and thrown in prison, fastened at the feet by stocks. Many fears could have overwhelmed them. And yet: “But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them” (Acts 16.25). Their raucous rejoicing brought heaven into the midst for themselves and others.

When we think about God in the night and give Him thanks for His righteous judgments, we can also rest confidently in the knowledge that He is thinking about us, too.

“How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
when I awake, I am still with You” (Ps. 139.17, 18).

Whatever time of day it is, whatever our situation, giving thanks to God is always the right thing to do.
“I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and
I will call upon the name of the LORD” (Ps. 116.17).
“Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and
declare His works with rejoicing” (Ps. 107.22).

Let us always remember to give Him thanks. For “His righteousness endures forever” (Ps. 111.3).

For reflection
1. What could you do to remind yourself to give thanks in the middle of the night?

2. How does giving thanks to God honor Him? How does it benefit us?

3. What will you remember to give thanks for tonight in the middle of the night?

There is no situation on earth in which a believer has not cause to be thankful. Let us feel ashamed that others are more willing to keep from sleep to spend the time in sinful pleasures, than we are to praise God. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Psalm 119.57-64

Pray Psalm 119.57-60.
Give thanks to God for His Word. As you pray about the day ahead, ask the Lord to shed light from His Word on the work you will do in your Personal Mission Field.

Sing Psalm 119.57-60.
(Leoni: The God of Abraham Praise)
I vow to keep Your Word; You are my portion, Lord.
Let favor fill my heart; have mercy by Your Word!
When I think on my way, I turn my feet to You,
to Your path I shall not delay, Your Word to do.

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can listen to a summary of last week’s Scriptorium study by going to our website,, and clicking the Scriptorium tab for last Sunday. You can download any or all the studies in this series on Psalm 119 by clicking here.

What is the Law of God and how should we learn and obey it? Two books can help. The Law of God arranges the statutes and precepts of God’s Law under their appropriate number of the Ten Commandments. This book is an excellent tool for meditating on God’s Law and thinking about its application in our time. The Ground for Christian Ethics, on the other hand, explains why the Law matters and how we are to use it. You can order free copies of each of these here and here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.


T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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