Luke 21:37 – 38 Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives, and all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple.
My dear husband is a night owl. Ever since I’ve known him, he’s stayed up late into the night to write his sermons and watch the news. He even likes to make midnight runs to Wal-Mart, just so he can hang out in the sporting goods department when few people are around to disturb him. He hates getting up early. Except . . .
When hunting season rolls around, my night owl is up long before the birds. He loves everything about hunting, from the musky smells of the forest to the thrill of hiding and waiting for that perfect shot. For him, a few hours sleep is a small price to pay for an opportunity to kill a trophy buck.
As I read the above passage, I wonder . . . what am I willing to get up early for? A sale at my favorite department store? A chance to have breakfast with an old friend? Though I’m more of a morning person than my husband, I still like to grab those few extra minutes of sleep when I can. Something has to be pretty important for me to get up while the stars are still shining bright.
But these people were getting up early every morning, just to hear Jesus teach. Not just on the Sabbath, folks, but every single day! This man had something important to say, and they wanted to hear it. They knew that Jesus held a key that could change their lives and set them free from bondage to worry and stress and anxiety and sin . . . they knew Jesus’ words could unlock the door to freedom for them.
So every day, day after day, they got up early and went to the temple in hopes of getting a good seat. After all, they didn’t want to miss a single word. Spending time with Jesus was important to them.
This wasn’t the only important thing in scripture that happened early in the morning. Let’s take a look at just a few important early morning events:
Genesis 19:27 – Abraham met with God
Genesis 22:3 – Abraham set out in obedience to God, ready to offer his son as a sacrifice
Genesis 28:18 – Jacob worshiped God
Exodus 8:20 – Moses confronted Pharoah
Exodus 24:4 – Moses built an altar to God
Exodus 34:4 – Moses chiseled the ten commandments into stone tablets
Joshua 3:1 – Joshua set out for the Promised Land
Samuel 17:20 – the boy David set out to take food to his brothers at the army camp
Mark 1:35 – Jesus prayed
Luke 24:1 – Women took spices to Jesus’ tomb, only to find He wasn’t there!
John 21:4 – The resurrected Jesus appeared to the disciples
So you see, God has chosen to do some pretty important things early in the morning. As a matter of fact, God accomplishes more by 8 a.m. than the rest of us accomplish all day! 😉
I think it’s important to get up early to spend time with the Lord. In the early morning hours, things are still. Quiet. For a little while, life is free of the distractions that close in, later in the day.
I don’t always make that early morning time with Jesus a priority. Too often, I choose the few extra minutes of sleep over one-on-one, distraction-free, quality time with my Lord. But I wonder what important things I might miss . . . what important things might God want to say to me in that early, quiet time when I can listen to Him without interruption?
Hmmm . . . maybe I need to think twice before I hit the snooze button . . .
Psalm 5:3 In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.
Dear Father, Please help me to make it a priority to spend quality time with you, free of distraction.