Why should I be admonished to rise up early? Is there any commandment in the word of God saying that believers of the New Testament should be early risers?
In this Bible study entitled Rise up Early, we shall learn about the hidden blessings that are in rising early. You see the Master and our Lord Christ Jesus gave us an example. He was an early riser. "And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed". (Mark 1:35)
Let us begin with a view from Genesis. In the book of the beginning we observe in Chapter 2 and verse 8 that God planted a garden ( a place for habitation of the first man ) EASTWARD in Eden. A question arises in my mind beloved and I will want to know why God chose the east side of Eden and not the west, south or even the west. You see, God is a God of purpose and He is all knowing. This means that he does not do things just for the sake of doing it. Everything that He does is done with understanding and wisdom. So then what wisdom is behind the placing of the first man eastward in Eden?
East is where the sun rises from. It symbolizes the first of times. You see as I am writing this article, the time here in Zambia is 08:30 AM, but in the USA, it is Midnight. Zambia is East of USA, so we rise up earlier then people living in the USA. Today is May 14 but in some parts of the world west of Zambia, there are still in May 13. Having said that we see that the place where God placed Adam in Eden experienced sunshine earlier than all the other parts of Eden.
There must be a secret behind placing Adam eastward in Eden. I will reveal the secret by quoting the words of Jesus that at first hearing do not seem to relate to the discussion of today. Towards the conclusion of the long Sermon on the Mount, popularly known as the beatitudes (Be Attitudes) Christ says, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you". (Matthew 6:33)
Notice Jesus is talking about first things here. The concept of first things is from old inscribed all over the old covenant. I will quote just one verse for you now. I will discuss first things later with you in more detail in an article entitled “First Things”. For now only one verse form the Old Testament will do.
"Only the firstling of the beasts, which should be the LORD'S firstling, no man shall sanctify it; whether it be ox, or sheep: it is the LORD'S". (Leviticus 27:26)
Just one verse from the OT, which says that the first born of animals should be offered to God. Back to our text in Matthew chapter 6. We looked at verse 33 were Christ tells us that we should place God first in all we do. Actually, this part of the long discourse starts at verse 24 with “No man can serve two masters”. Now in His explanation He introduces two creatures, the fowls of the air in verse 26 and the lilies of the field in verse 28. Let us learn something that does not seem too obvious.
The fowls of the air and the lilies of the field have something in common. They both rise up early to praise the creator. They put God first.
Wake up early and you will certainly hear birds singing songs of praise to the creator. In my observation, the singing lasts for about an hour. They sing from 05 AM to 06 AM. The Psalmist in blessing God writes, "By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches". (Psalm 104:12)
What about the lilies of the field you may be asking. You see beloved the lilies close there petals when the sun goes down. Walk through your garden tonight to appreciate this fact. Early in the morning when the sun is rising they unfold there petals in worship to God the creator. I picture the petals as hands spread out wide in worship to our father in heaven."Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD". (Psalm 134:2)
See, beloved, the fowls of the air and the lilies of the field rise up early to worship God the creator. We should do even the more as we are the only creatures created in His likeness and image.
Lastly, the Blessedness in rising up early to worship lies in verse 30 of Matthew 6. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? (Matthew 6:30)
See beloved, Shall he not much, much, much, much more clothe you, feed you, enrich you with both wisdom and honor. O ye of little faith!