So here are some of the things I gleaned about it. (See yesterday's post for the list of Scripture references; I'm not going to re-list them all here.)
Men & women of God who rose up early:
- God himself, 2 Chr. 36:15
- Abraham, Gen. 21:14, 22:3
- Isaac, Gen. 26:31
- Jacob, Genesis 28:18
- Moses, Exodus 8:20, 9:13, 24:4, 34:4,
- Joshua, Josh. 3:1, 6:12, 6:15, 7:16, 8:10
- Gideon, Judges 6:38, 7:1
- Hannah, 1 Sam. 1:19
- Samuel, 1 Sam. 9:26, 15:12
- David, 1 Sam. 17:20, 29:10,11
- Solomon, Song 7:12
- Elisha & his servant, 2 Ki. 6:15
- Jehoshaphat, 2 Chr. 20:20
- The prophets, 2 Chr. 36:15
- Job, Job 1:5
If I want to follow their example and live the high-caliber kind of Godly life that they did, here is one aspect that they all had in common. I would do well to emulate it.
The purpose for and effect of early rising
- Repentance. See Genesis 20:8. As soon as King Abimelech knew that Sarah was Abraham's wife (not just his sister), he got up early and made it right, giving her back to Abraham. As a result, God forgave him and healed the plague that had fallen on the people.
- Obedience. See Genesis 21:14. Abraham was told to sacrifice his son Isaac. He didn't delay, but got up early in the morning and got busy doing what God had said. As a result, God blessed him abundantly. See also 1 Samuel 17:20. David obeyed his father Jesse's command to bring some victuals to his brothers, rising up early to go. As a result, he arrived in time to hear Goliath's taunt, which was also done early, and God gave him a great victory that day.
- A journey. See Genesis 19:2, 21:14, 31:55, Joshua 3:1, Judges 19:5, 19:8-9, 1 Samuel 1:19, 29:10-11. See Judges 19 for the horrible consequences of not getting an early start on a journey.
- Worship. See Genesis 28:18, Exodus 24:4, Job 1:5, 1 Samuel 5:3-4, 2 Chronicles 29:20. Interesting to note that even the pagan worshipers of Dagon got up early to do their acts of worship. And we can't make it on time to an 11:00 am Sunday service?
- Delivery of God's message. See Exodus 8:20, 9:13, 2 Chronicles 36:15. In these instances, God specifically instructed that someone get up early. When God has something to say to someone, He doesn't dawdle around until evening before He finally gets around to telling it. (Notice what happened when Jonah tried to circumvent this process. Things didn't go too well for him, did they?)
- War. See Joshua 6:15, 8:10, Judges 7:1, 9:33, 1 Sam. 17:16, 2 Kings 3:22, 19:35, 20:20. In each case that it mentions they got up early, God's people won the battle.
- Love. See Song of Solomon 7:12.
- Self-advancement. See 2 Sam. 15:2. Absalom rose early and sat in the gate, and it says that he stole the hearts of all the children of Israel. While we would not do well to emulate his example in general, it still shows the success of his strategy, and in areas where we want to get ahead, early rising would not be amiss.
- Meeting with God. See Exodus 34:4. When is God ready and waiting to give us a feast of His presence, and why is that precisely the time that we least like to come?
- Hearing from God. See Judges 6:38. Gideon needed clarity and confirmation of God's will, so he got up early in order to see what God would say by way of the fleece.
- Clearing out evil from one's midst. See Joshua 7:16. When Achan sinned and caused the Israelites to suffer defeat at Ai, Joshua didn't delay, but took early action to get to the root of the problem and stamp out the evil. As a result, God gave them victory in their next battle at Ai.
Observations about early rising
Getting up early represents eagerness to do what you are getting up early to do. It says you are committed and interested in making it happen.
It symbolizes that you will do everything necessary to ensure the success of the mission--but on the other hand, if you can't even get up in the morning to do what you are supposed to do, it portends poorly for how you will handle it when obstacles come your way.
In order to get up early, you have to be disciplined, and the kind of disciplined life that is able to forego a bit of sleep is the same kind of life that will be able to rise up and conquer in other important battles.
In the flesh, you can find it in yourself to get up early for a flesh-gratifying experience, but when it comes to something that will strengthen the spirit, your flesh would rather die than get up early. This is why you can consistently get up early to go to work, or get up at 3 am to go on vacation, but fail to do the same thing when it comes to personal devotions or an emergency prayer need. Only by walking in the spirit will you be able to get up early for something spiritual.