The Value of Early Rising

June 16, 2024

How would you like to get more things done each day? This is not a sales pitch for the latest course in time management, but there is one time of the day when you can be most productive without interruption that is advocated in the Bible and practiced by the Lord Jesus Christ.

Mark 1:35 (ESV) — 35 And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.

Arising very early in the morning is not easy and takes denying yourself in the form of self-discipline but is the first step in helping you fulfill the commandment to make the most use of your time.

Ephesians 5:14–16 (ESV) — 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” 15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.

This practice of arising early was not only seen in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ, but by a number of other people in the Bible, namely the examples of Abraham, Jacob, and Moses.

Genesis 19:27 (ESV) — 27 And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the Lord.

Genesis 28:18 (ESV) — 18 So early in the morning Jacob took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it.

Exodus 24:4 (ESV) — 4 And Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. He rose early in the morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel.

Exodus 34:4 (ESV) — 4 So Moses cut two tablets of stone like the first. And he rose early in the morning and went up on Mount Sinai, as the Lord had commanded him, and took in his hand two tablets of stone.

There are also several mentions of Joshua arising early to meet with God or get on with the business for which God had called him.

Joshua 3:1 (ESV) — 1 Then Joshua rose early in the morning and they set out from Shittim. And they came to the Jordan, he and all the people of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over.

Joshua 6:12 (ESV) — 12 Then Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the Lord.

Joshua 8:10 (ESV) — 10 Joshua arose early in the morning and mustered the people and went up, he and the elders of Israel, before the people to Ai.

You’ll also find that Gideon arose early in the morning to get an answer from God and Hannah arose early in the morning to worship God.

Judges 6:38 (ESV) — 38 And it was so. When he rose early next morning and squeezed the fleece, he wrung enough dew from the fleece to fill a bowl with water.

1 Samuel 1:19 (ESV) — 19 They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord; then they went back to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the Lord remembered her.

Stop and think about this. The people mentioned above had no alarm clocks, watches, or cell phones and the typical custom would be to be awakened by sunlight, so there had to be a real effort in self-discipline to awake before the norm, just like it takes today. If you want to spend uninterrupted time with God, if you want to apply yourself to a given project then getting up early will go a long way in your pursuit. I heard a Navy Seal discuss the subject of the value of arising early in a video who said that getting up at 4:00 a.m. will put you farther ahead than most people because most people are too lazy to get up that early. I’m not sure if it’s a matter of laziness, but it is a matter of discipline because in order to get up early you must arrange your schedule to get to bed earlier or you will head down the road of sleep deprivation which will cancel out in the long run the good you want to accomplish in arising early.

In my attempt to convince you of the value of getting up early and enjoying uninterrupted time with God and time to apply yourself to accomplishing your goals in life, let’s just consider what the Bible has to say about those who refuse to be self-disciplined in the area of sleep.

Proverbs 6:9 (ESV) — 9 How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep?

Proverbs 10:5 (ESV) — 5 He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame.

The conclusion of the matter is simple: as you assess what all you would like to accomplish, consider the value of arising early and spend those early moments with God in prayer and the word, then watch how creative you can be in the early morning hours to accomplish whatever you need to do. It’s like a spiritual super charge in the exercise of self-discipline as we make the most of His grace by being good stewards of our time.  

1 Peter 4:10 (ESV) — 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:

Luke 9:23 (ESV) — 23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

Proverbs 8:17 (ESV) — 17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.

Psalm 5:3 (ESV) — 3 O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.

Something to think about and an appropriate first step in taking charge of the time we’ve been blessed with.

Bob Brubaker, Pastor