I am not really a morning person. I loathe early alarms. Most days, it takes me a while to really get going. If, however, the day promises something out of the ordinary and pleasant, like the beginning of a vacation, I’ve been known to wake up before the alarm clock goes off. But the prospect of an unpleasant day makes getting up that much more challenging, and pulling the covers over my head that much more alluring.
That’s one thing, among many, that makes the faith of Abraham so amazing to me. There are three times in his life that the Bible says he arose early in the morning – and he knew on all three of those days that what he had to do would not be pleasant.
The first is Genesis 19:27 where Moses tells us that Abraham “went early in the morning” to a special location where he would survey the destroyed cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. The second is Genesis 21:14. There Abraham “rose early in the morning” and with great sadness kicked Hagar and Ishmael out of his house to appease Sarah. The third is Genesis 22:3 when Abraham “rose early in the morning” to take Isaac to Mount Moriah with the intention of sacrificing him to God.
Abraham, no doubt, arose early to some beautiful mornings and pleasant activities. But his only early mornings specifically mentioned in the Bible are the three above. How brutal they must have been! How tempting it must have been for him to keep rolling over and sleeping just a little longer. But instead of hiding under the covers, he rose up early and met the challenges of the day.
Life brings with it many unpleasant days. But with the help of God and the faith of Abraham, we can throw off the covers, confidently rise from our beds, and face what each day brings. For God has promised, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isa. 41:10).