In the Morning
An old German hymn declares, “When morning gilds the skies, my heart awakening cries, may Jesus Christ be praised.”1 In the scriptural record the importance of the morning hours, especially to believers, is recorded many times. Here morning can be seen to be of particular importance both as a time for beginning the normal activities and duties of life and as a special time for spiritual commitment. “If morning is the time for routine action, in the Bible it is also the most customary time for special events to occur, especially events laden with spiritual significance. In both cases, morning is God’s special time and it represents human opportunity to achieve something purposeful.”2 Although the term “morning” is somewhat imprecise in the Bible, it most commonly refers to the early part of the day from dawn until noon. The following discussion is devoted to a consideration of the use made of the morning in biblical times, with special emphasis on its spiritual significance as drawn from examples from the lives of godly men and women. Particular notice will also be taken of the metaphorical uses of morning as found in the poetic books of the Scriptures.
The Significance of the Morning in the Bible
The word morning is found extensively in the Bible. It occurs more than 200 times in the Old Testament alone. Although it most frequently has reference to the physical event itself, it can also be seen to call attention to the morning’s key importance for certain activities. Most importantly, morning was shown to be associated with divine activity. In this regard, Zephaniah affirms that every morning God, “reveals his justice. At dawn he appears without fail” (Zeph. 3:5).3 With the light of each day his justice was revealed to his people in kindly acts and/or warnings through his prophets for the need of emulating his righteousness. Thus the Lord warned the leadership of Judah:
- See to it that people each day are judged fairly.
- Deliver those who have been robbed from those who oppress them.
- Otherwise my wrath will blaze out against you.
- It will burn like a fire that cannot be put out
- because of the evil that you have done (Jer. 21:12).
Put simply, God gave warning the royal court of the need to judge in accordance with his righteous standards or face his judgment.
The imagery associated with the morning can designate a positive or negative idea. As a warning against injustice that results in judgment, it carries a more negative force. Those who so live for selfish goals that they commit evil acts are reminded of the immanent possibility that God may shorten their lives, resulting in the loss of self together with all that they have gained (Job 4:18-21; Ps 90: 5-9). On a positive note, David expresses his desire to live righteously, and administer and promote justice, declaring,
Deceitful people will not live in my palace.
Liars will not be welcome in my presence.
Each morning I will destroy all the wicked people in the land
and remove all evildoers from the city of the Lord. (Ps 101:7-8)
Where this kind of leadership exists and such practices prevail, there is the lively prospect of a just, noble, and moral society. As well, “This becomes a basis for the worshiper’s examination of his or her own adherence to such a standard. The responsible citizen does not simply pledge to keep the rules and oppose the unruly. He or she is committed to develop character and practice what is morally consistent.”4
In harmony with divine activity, the morning hours served as a special time for meeting with God in heartfelt worship. Thus on one very special occasion, Jacob “rose early” and worshiped the Lord (Gen 28:18-19). So vivid had been his dream during the night that Jacob, “Took the stone he had placed near his head and set it up as a sacred stone. Then he poured oil on top of it. He called that place Bethel” [House of God]. The setting up of stones to memorialize a place as worthy of special notice was a common custom in the ancient Near East. Such a stone could serve as a memorial (2 Sam. 18:18), mark a grave (Gen. 35:20), serve as a boundary stone (Gen. 31:45), or indicate that a significant event had taken place there (1 Sam. 7:12). For Jacob it was a reminder of his spiritual experience, while the pouring of oil on top of the stone declared his devotion to God.5 Of added importance is the fact that so awe inspiring was Jacob’s experience, and so genuine was his response and commitment to God, that he rose early in the morning as an act of primary importance and supreme significance. It must be done before any others.
The Hebrew verb here (šākam) is an interesting one. It is related to a nominal root meaning “shoulder” and is usually compounded with another verb to indicate diligence, eagerness, or persistence. In many contexts, therefore, the verbal construction carries the significance of “do repeatedly,” hence is translated “again and again” or “over and over again.” In some contexts, however, the meaning “rose early” is intended, especially when followed by the phrase “in the morning.” Thus in the early morning as he sent away Hagar, Abraham furnished her with food and water (Gen. 21:14). It was apparently Job’s regular practice to worship God early in the morning (Job 1:5). Such also probably was Joshua’s custom (Josh. 3:1; 6:12; 7:14, 16; 8:10). Indeed, when crucial decisions were to be made or important activities needed to be accomplished, it is often reported that godly people rose early to get at the matter at hand (Gen. 22:3; Exod. 24:4; Judges 6:35; 2 Chron. 29:20).
Of special interest is Jeremiah’s reporting of God’s repeated efforts to reach the ears of his people who stubbornly refused to listen (e.g., Jer. 7:13, 25; 11:7-8; 25: 3-4; 26:5; 29:19; 32:33; 35:14-15; 44:4-5). In some of these passages one wonders whether the older KJV translation has appropriately captured the meaning as well as the importance of the early morning. Thus In Jeremiah 7:13 the prophet records God as “rising early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not” (Jer. 7:13, KJV). If so, this would allow readers to understand and feel the brokenness of the heart of God, for he earnestly longed to meet in communion and fellowship with his people only to find that they callously had not kept an appointment with him.
Whatever the exact force of Jeremiah’s use of this Hebrew verb, however, it is simply true, that the morning held a special, often spiritual, significance for believers in biblical times. For the morning served as a choice time for the priority of seeking God’s presence for fellowship, guidance and provision before the activities and burdens of the day were undertaken. It provided an ideal time for worshiping the Lord, as did Samuel’s parents (1 Sam 1:19). The psalmists remind believers that the morning is also a special time for prayer (Pss. 5:3; 88:13), and with that a new opportunity to recall God’s mercy and protection (Pss. 59:16; 90:2) and to find direction for the tasks of the day (Ps. 143:8). Such a habit of life can be crucial for spiritual growth and insight, for believers will find that, “The Lord’s loyal kindness never ceases; his compassions never end. They are fresh every morning; your faithfulness is abundant (Lam. 3:22-23). As the hymn writer proclaims: “Great is thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see.”6
At times the early part of the day may form a vivid contrast with the early part of the night, morning and evening thus forming a meaningful literary merism. In this case morning tells of the beginning of activities, while evening speaks of their cessation (Ps. 104:22-23; cf. Eccl. 11:6). This contrast forms a fitting portrayal of the brevity of life in contrast to God’s eternal existence (Ps. 90:3-6; cf. Job 4:19-20). Yet this merism can and ought to serve as a reminder that one’s full day should be used to represent and serve the Lord (e.g., Acts 28:23-27). In this regard, as believers serve the Lord they can find him to be an available and faithful guide whatever the time of day. Moreover, thanking God for who he is and for all that he does is always appropriate. As the psalmist proclaims,
It is fitting to thank the Lord,
and to sing praises to your name,
O sovereign One!
It is fitting to proclaim your loyal love in the morning,
and your faithfulness during the night. (Ps. 92:1-2) 7
David experienced so intimate a fellowship with God that he could testify as to the Lord’s ready availability for protection and deliverance from his enemies:
During the evening, morning, and noontime
I will lament and moan,
and he will hear me.
He will rescue me and protect me
from those who attack me. (Ps. 55:17-18a)
He is so certain of God’s concern and care for him in times of difficulty that he can pray in advance, confident of the Lord’s response to his cause.
Nevertheless, the Scriptures do point to the morning as an especially appropriate time for meeting with God. Indeed, the well-known words of the traditional Lord’s Prayer appear to be very effective if understood in this way: “Give us today our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we ourselves have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matt. 6:11-13). Moreover, the scriptural record clearly demonstrates that morning often symbolized a new or fresh beginning. Thus in reminding Job that the earth found its beginning in God’s creativity, God described that event as follows:
Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
Tell me, if you posses understanding!
Who set its measurements—if you know—
or who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were its bases set,
or who laid its cornerstone—
when the morning stars sang in chorus,
and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:4-7)
Although the precise relationship between the morning stars and the sons of God is variously understood, clearly earth’s beginning is linked with the imagery of the morning. Delitzsch appropriately remarks, “Joy and light are reciprocal notions, and the scale of the tones of joy is likened to the scale of light and colours; therefore the fullness of light, in which the morning stars shone forth all together at the founding of the earth, may symbolize one grandly harmonious song of joy.”8
The metaphor of morning could also signify relief from life’s difficulties due to God’s gracious interceding for his own (Ps. 30:4-5, 10-12). Due to man’s sinful bent as well as the normal problems of life people inevitably face times of suffering and disappointment (cf. Ps. 5:3-8). Accordingly, the psalmist asks for God’s help in order that he may make those better choices, which find the Lord’s renewed favor, and therefore experience the blessings that lead to a more godly and successful life (Ps. 90:12-17). What the psalmist prays for himself can also be expressed as a combination of personal and corporate desire. Thus the author of Psalm 130 expresses his strong longing for God’s delivering presence by comparing it to a night watchman who looks forward to the coming of a new day (typically so when faced with an enemy invasion or some nighttime peril). He urges his fellow Israelites to place their hope in the Lord, for he alone can forgive people’s sinful and misguided ways and grant deliverance from their suffering. When this is done, they can enter into a new “morning” of fellowship with the Lord:
I rely on the Lord,
I rely on him with my whole being,
I wait for his assuring word.
I yearn for the Lord,
more that watchmen do for the morning,
yea, more that watchmen do for the morning.
O Israel, hope in the Lord,
for the Lord exhibits loyal love,
and is more than willing to deliver.
He will deliver Israel
from all the consequences of their sins. (Ps. 130:5-8)
The morning theme is present in Psalm 49, a classic wisdom psalm. Following a brief introduction (vv. 1-4), the psalmist states the problem: It is all too easy to be overcome with despair when trouble overtakes you, while those who live for self, and revel in their own accomplishments and wealth prosper. But such a reaction is unnecessary because life is temporary at best and all that any individual accrues will be left to others. No amount of success or wealth can deliver a person from the reality of the shortness of life (vv. 5-13). Even more, for those who have amassed their wealth and worldly position at the expense or oppression of others, or have lived wicked, godless lives, death will serve as their place of destruction (v. 14a, c). For the godly, however, matters will be far different: “The godly will rule over them when the day of vindication comes” (lit. “The upright/godly will rule over them in the morning”; v. 14b). The believing psalmist expects a complete reversal of roles when that day comes (vv. 15-20). Whether the psalmist is anticipating life after death for the righteous or rescue from an otherwise premature death or for hope for a more pleasant life here and now is highly debated (see NET text note). But in any case, the point for our study is simply that “morning” once again symbolizes a new (yes, happier) beginning.
This thought is in harmony with several texts that employ the morning metaphor as an expression of the hope of a more pleasant life. The psalmist testifies of experiencing that very situation, thanks to God’s provision saying,
As for me, I will sing about your strength,
I will praise your loyal love in the morning.
For you are my refuge
and my place of shelter when I face trouble
You are my source of strength!
I will sing praises to you!
For God is my refuge, the God who loves me. (Ps 59:16-17)
Earlier, the psalmist had petitioned the Lord for deliverance from wicked oppressors (vv.1-2) who mercilessly attack him despite his innocence of wrongdoing (vv. 3-4). As Schaefer demonstrates, Psalm 59 has close ties with Psalm 58: “The injustices of the powerful (Ps 58:1-2) become the source of the poet’s suffering (Ps. 59:1-4).”9 Nevertheless, despite all of their oppression, the Psalmist’s trust in the Lord does not waver. He is confident that the Lord will see him through all of this so as to gain a new and better situation. Not only in the midst of his suffering but after it, the psalmist can and will experience a “morning” of happiness and grateful praise, for God’s loyal love (or, lovingkindness; Heb. ḥesed) and strength are his source of stability.
A similar sentiment is found in Psalm 143. Using the call/answer motif (vv.1-7), David cries out to God for deliverance from his enemies and the blessings of the Lord’s favor. He trusts in the “morning” of God’s “loyal love” and longs for God so greatly that he can ask God to direct him and rescue him (vv.8-9). Therefore, he prays that he will know the Lord’s leading and the joy of living consciously in God’s presence: “Teach me to do what pleases you, for you are my God. May your kind presence lead me into a level land” (v.10). Ultimately, because David is the Lord’s servant, it is God’s reputation for justice that concerns David the most. Accordingly, he asks God both for deliverance from his enemies and for their destruction (vv.11-12).
Like the psalmists in the above three psalms, today’s believers should be aware of the fact that they ought to live such God fearing lives that whenever difficulties or outright persecution confronts them, they may with confidence pray for the Lord’s deliverance and their just vindication. As the Lord’s own, because they live godly lives, which reflect the Lord’s leading, their enemies would also be God’s enemies. Putting all of the previous discussion into proper perspectives, one can conclude that whether in troublesome times (e.g., 2 Cor. 12:10: 1 Pet. 4:1-2) or pleasant ones (Ps. 23:1-3, 5-6), believers should so conduct themselves as to bring honor to the Lord (Phil. 1:20). This involves obedience to his will, conformity to the standards of the Scriptures, and an eagerness to represent him well and carry out his work (Col 3:12-17).
It is interesting to note in this regard that the Lord’s servants often made the carrying out of God’s will so great a priority that they set out early in the morning to accomplish it. Thus Abraham rose early in accordance with his desire to accomplish the Lord’s will even though it involved the sacrificing of his only son (Gen. 22:3). Similarly, Joshua often rose early in connection with the events of the conquest of Canaan (e.g., Josh. 3:1; 2:12; 8:16). Such cases may reflect an eager longing to sense God’s presence and carry out his commands or desires.
An interesting parallel to this thought is found in David’s praise of the Lord in Psalm 63:1:
O God, you are my God! I long for you!
My soul thirsts for you, my flesh yearns for you
in a dry and parched land where there is no water.
Here the Hebrew verbtranslated “long for” reflects a strong and eager desire for fellowship with the Lord. Worthy of note also is the fact that the verbal form has the same consonants as a noun signifying the dawn. Although the two words apparently come from different roots, it is perhaps significant that David chose this verb in distinction from other verbs connoting the same meaning. Was this a deliberate choice? Delitzsch suggests that since verse six looks back to the night hours, the Hebrew verb in verse one “appears to be chosen with reference to the dawning morning” (cf. Isa. 26:9).10 It is not surprising, therefore, that the early Greek translation of the Old Testament (The Septuagint) renders the Hebrew verb in Psalm 63:1 in accordance with the early morning hour: “O God, my God! To approach Thee I rise early.”
In all of this one can perceive that for believers in biblical times the concept of morning came to symbolize not only divine activity but one’s eager desire to meet with the Lord, serve him, and live in accordance with his will. People quite routinely rise early to get at the work of the day, especially when there is a pressing need for it to be accomplished as quickly as possible. Even more so, then, the example of biblical believers serves as a stimulus for today’s believers to be so eager to meet with God that they seek him early, in order that they may represent him well throughout the day.
The Morning and Christ
The desire for a new beginning carries with it a note of hope (cf. Ps. 30:5). Not only is there hope for a renewed and better experience in this life but for the distant future as well. This ultimately will come when Jesus Christ returns to establish his everlasting kingdom on earth. In this connection Peter prophesies of the second coming of Jesus and a new era by using the metaphor of Christ as “the morning star”: “We possess the prophetic word as an altogether reliable thing. You do well if you pay attention to this as you would to a light shining in a murky place until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” (2 Pet. 1:19).11 Peter’s reference to the morning star alludes to the prophecy of Balaam in Numbers 24:17 who said:
I see him, but not now;
I behold him, but not close at hand.
A star will march forth out of Jacob,
and a scepter will rise out of Israel.
Peter’s allusion to Balaam’s prophecy is further scriptural attestation to a future role for the promised Messiah. 12 Peter’s words are also intended to encourage believers to put full faith and trust in the truth of the prophetic Scriptures concerning Christ as the promised Messiah (cf. 2 Pet. 1:20-21). Indeed, many Old Testament predictions have already had fulfillment in Christ’s first coming (cf. vv. 16-18). This fact gives added assurance of the reality of the promised second advent of Jesus Christ, this time as King of Kings (cf. Rev. 11:15). The full force of what has already begun to be fulfilled concerning Christ’s messianic reign will continue until its consummation when Jesus returns. To this Jesus himself testified saying to the Apostle John:
Look! I am coming soon and my reward is with me to pay each one according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end! . . . I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright and morning star! (Rev. 22: 12-13, 16b).
As the morning star heralded the dawning of a new era at Christ’s first coming, so it anticipates his second. As Beale declares, “That both inaugurated and future fulfillments are intended here are apparent from the use of the dawn of a new day or age as a metaphorical association of the ‘bright and morning star.’ Christ has begun a new redemptive day, which he will culminate at his final return.” 13
As an interesting sidelight, it is noteworthy that the imagery of the morning star occurs in describing earth’s original creation and with reference to the new heavens and earth (Isa 65:17-19; Rev 21:1-4). In connection with the creation of planet earth Job is told that with the founding of earth, “The morning stars sang in chorus and all the sons of God shouted for joy” (Job 38:7; see NET text note). Although the morning stars are taken by some to refer to angels14 and by others to literal stars used metaphorically,15 our point is simply that the imagery of the morning stars, whatever primary meaning is intended, is present both with the earth’s original creation and in regard to Christ, the morning star, and the new creation.16
One of the grand aspects of the future reign of Christ, the morning star, is the assurance for faithful believers of their everlasting relation with Christ and the prospect of living and reigning with him. Thus Paul observes, “If we died with him, we shall also live with him. If we endure, we will also reign with him” (2 Tim. 1:11-12) and to the faithful believer Jesus promises, “I will give him authority over the nations . . . just as I have received the right to rule from my Father and I will give him the morning star” (Rev. 2:26-28). All three texts relative to Christ, the morning star (2 Pet. 1:19; Rev. 2:26-28; 22:12-13, 16b) support each other with regard to a new day of eternal life, joy, and happiness. In this believers may take courage and rejoice, knowing that as Jesus’ first advent pointed to a fulfillment without consummation of Old Testament prophecy, so they may have assurance of its final completion when Jesus comes again. Hughes rightly proclaims:
In the present night of this fallen world the light of the eternal day has already dawned in the hearts of those who by faith have received him who is the morning star into their lives. His coming at Bethlehem was the advent of ’the dayspring from on high’ (Luke 1:78f.) …Those whose hearts are illumined by this celestial grace find that ‘the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until the full day’ (Pr. 4:18). For them the morning star that now gleams afar will then be known in all its fullness, which is none other than the fullness of the Son and his glory.17
Conclusion and Application
The metaphoric and thematic use of the morning in the Scriptures is instructive for all believers. We have noted many such relevant texts in the Old Testament. From these texts we learned that in biblical times morning was a special time for divine activity. Accordingly, the morning was especially suited for meeting with God, worshiping him, and enjoying sweet fellowship with him. The morning was an important time for doing his will and work. The morning could represent the hope for a change of circumstances or new beginning, whether to obtain relief or deliverance from oppression or suffering. That hope could also entail a yearning for a more distant future including both national Israel and individual believers.
Such a hope became especially realizable with the coming of Jesus in fulfillment of many Old Testament messianic prophecies. The number of these fulfilled prophecies in the first coming of Jesus is quite amazing to consider. For Canon Liddon determined from careful examination of biblical prophecies and historical data that some 332 distinct prophecies have already been fulfilled in Christ’s first coming. Someone with an aptitude for mathematics concluded that the odds for all of this happening in one person were 1 over 84 + 97 0’s!18 Such a figure is totally overwhelming, if not staggering, to consider and argues strongly for the accuracy and validity of the Scriptures.
We also noted that morning is associated with Jesus’ second (and final) coming to earth to rule over a new heavens and earth. This truth is symbolized metaphorically in several passages in which the imagery of Christ appears as the morning star. There we saw that these contain an assured hope, which holds glorious promises for all true believers. It is not inappropriate, then, that poets and authors of familiar Christian hymns and gospel songs speak of the return of Christ as occurring in some future morning. Thus Blackmore wrote, “Some glorious morning. . . heaven will open, Jesus will come. Some golden daybreak, Jesus will come.”19 The prospect of a new and better life is a much anticipated hope for believers, whether at Christ’s return or before that in heaven. In either case, “On that bright and cloudless morning when the dead in Christ shall rise and the glory of his resurrection share . . . when the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.”20 It will be a time “Beyond the sunset, O blissful morning when with our Savior heav’n is begun,”21 and, ”When the bright and glorious morning I shall see, I shall know my Redeemer…and His smile shall be the first to welcome me.”22 At death’s passing hour we shall say “’Good night’ here but ‘Good morning’ up there.”23
To be sure, to some Jesus may seem to delay his coming (cf. 2 Pet. 3: 3-13), but as believers grow older in years, they realize that the hope of heaven and beyond becomes nearer and dearer with each passing day. Yes,
The sands of time are sinking, the dawn of Heaven breaks,
The summer morn I’ve sighed for--the fair, sweet morn awakes.
Dark, dark hath been the midnight, but dayspring is at hand,
And glory, glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.24
As they await that wondrous time, they may well reflect the feelings of Harriet Beecher Stowe;
Still, still with Thee, as to each new-born morning
A fresh and solemn splendor still is given,
So doth this blessed consciousness awakening,
Breathe, each day, nearness unto Thee and Heaven.25
The metaphorical use of morning is thus a significant reminder of all that believers have and anticipate in Jesus Christ. Each morning believers have an opportunity to meet with God in praye, to thank him for his great love, grace, and goodness, and to commit themselves afresh to live for him. As an unknown poet wrote:
Every morning lean thine arms awhile
Upon the window-sill of heaven
And gaze upon thy Lord,
Then, with the vision in thy heart,
Turn strong to meet the day.26
To the same point another unknown author wrote:
The Morning is the gate of the day,
But ere you enter there
See to it you guard it well,
The sentinel of prayer.27
As we noted earlier, the Lord is available at any and all times and the wise believer will seek him often whatever the hour of the day or night. Further, it must be freely admitted that not all of us are “morning people’—those whose spring into action early in the day. Nevertheless, the spiritual principle resident in the scriptural examples is instructive: that part of the day when we are “at our best” is the time when we need to come into the Lord’s presence to praise and thank him for his goodness to us, to ask forgiveness for any sin, which might disrupt our fellowship with him, and to gain insight and strength in order to live in accordance with his will.
Those who have not developed such a vital habit of life will do well to follow literally David’s pledge, “Lord, in the morning you will hear me, in the morning I will present my case to you and then wait expectantly for an answer’ (Ps. 5:3). In so doing they can also follow the example of the Savior. Mark reports that even though Jesus was in the midst of an extremely busy ministry Mark 1:32-34), that found many people looking for him (Mark 1:37), he still took time to commune with the Heavenly Father before the pressures of the day began: “Jesus got up early in the morning when it was still very dark, departed, and went to a deserted place, and there spent time in prayer” (Mark 1:35). Indeed, there is no better way to begin the day than with the Lord.
1 “When Morning Gilds the Skies,” trans. Edward Caswell.
2 “Morning, “ in Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, eds. Leland Ryken, James C. Wilhoit, and Tremper Longman III (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1998), 566.
3 Unless otherwise noted, all biblical citations are taken from the NET.
4 Konrad Schaeffer, Psalms, Berit Olam (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 2001), 250.
5 Although standing stones could mark places of illicit worship and/or idolatry ( e.g., Deut 16:72; 2 Kings 17:1; Micah 5:13), this is not the purpose of Jacob’s act.
6 Thomas O. Chisholm, “Great is thy Faithfulness. A classic example of God’s loyal love is his sending of manna with the early morning dew while Israel was in the wilderness for forty years (Exod. 16:13-35; Deut. 8:3,16).
7 Elihu reminded Job that even God himself “gives songs in the night” (Job 35: 10).
8 F. Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary on the Book of Job, trans. Francis Bolton, 2 vols. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1956), 2:315. Victor E. Reichert (Job, Soncino Books of the Bible, revised by A. J. Rosenberg, ed. A. Cohen [London: Soncino Press, 1985] 197) observes, “This depicts the gravity all the stars have to one another and to the earth, for the relationship of the ’strings’ of their gravitational pull resembles the relationship of the musical notes.”
9 Schaeffer, Psalms, 144. As Michael E. Travers (Encountering God in the Psalms [Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2003] 245) observes, ”In Psalm 59, the night passes, but the day remains as the final expression of God’s ḥesed love in the psalm.”
10 F. Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary on the Psalms, trans. Francis Bolton; 3 vols. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1955) 2: 214.
11 See the excellent discussion in the NET footnote.
12 Balaam’s prophecy accords well with the messianic role inherent in Jacob’s prophetic blessing of Judah: “The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs; the nations will obey him” (Gen. 49:10; cf. Ps. 2:7-8). See further my discussions in “The Sun, Light, and the Sun” (Bible.org) with regard to Mal. 4:2 and Luke 1:78-79 in regard to images associated with light Jesus’ messianic rule.
13 G. K. Beale, The Book of Revelation, The New International Greek Commentary (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999), 1147.
14 See H. H. Rowley, The Book of Job, The New Century Bible Commentary (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1980), 242; cf. John E. Hartley, The Book of Job, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1988), 495.
15 See F. Delitzsch, Job, 2:315; Ėdouard Dhorrme, A Commentary on the Book of Job, trans. Harold Knight (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1984), 577.
16 If literal stars are intended in Job 38:7, it may point to an intonation of the natural world by God the Creator ( cf. Job 38: 1-18; Ps. 104: 1-5) through Christ (John 1:1-3; Col. 1:16-17), the morning star. Such may provide an explanation for the experience and importance of music for human beings created in the image (Gen 1:27). One is reminded of the words of Malthie D. Babcock (“This is My Father’s World”): “This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears, all nature sings and round me rings, the music of the spheres.”
17 Philip Edgcumbe Hughes, The Book of the Revelation (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1990), 52-53.
18 For details, see Joseph P. Free, Archaeology and Bible History (Wheaton: Scripture Press, rev. ed., 1962), 284.
19 G. A. Blackmore, ‘’Some Golden Daybreak.”
20 James M. Black, “When the Roll is Called up Yonder.”
21 Virgil P. Brock, “Beyond the Sunset.”
22 Fanny J. Crosby, “My Savior First of All.”
23 Lizzie De Armond, “Good Morning and Good Night.”
24 Anne Ross Cousin, “The Sands of Time are Sinking.”
25 Harriet Beecher Stowe, “Still, Still with Thee.”
26 “Begin the Day with God,” in Masterpieces of Religious Verse, ed. , James Dalton Morrison (New York: Harper, 1948), #1337.
27 “The Sentinel,” Ibid., #1335.