Good morning! That’s actually what we’re going to be talking about today.
But what’s so ‘good’ about this morning? The world is a mess! (We can all agree on that) Every day we see food and water shortages, homelessness, disease, religious problems, lack of peace, lack of justice, leadership problems, and many others; time would fail us to go through all of them.
The last verse in the Book of Judges says “Every man did that which was right in his own eyes (Judges 21:25).” It’s almost a timeless verse, isn’t it, as if it was just a matter of fact. We live in a world that is very much the same way. Crime runs rampant because it goes relatively unpunished. Violence and corruption are nothing new; just a few chapters into our Bibles, it says that God looked upon the earth and saw that it was filled with violence and corruption (Genesis 6:11).
The world is longing for a good and positive change, “a new and glorious morn;” the problem is that many people have different ideas as to what that is. Just to give you an example, the past few times a new President has been sworn in, many supporters have said it was a “new day” for America. New? As if everything is just going to get better now? Maybe temporarily.
For most of us, there’s something we do first thing every morning; for each of us, that may be different. We may pick up the Bible off our night table and start reading, or we may get right out of bed and go use the bathroom, or we may pick up our phone and check our text messages; if we have a significant other, maybe we send them a text saying “good morning, beautiful.” If we’re married, maybe we turn to our spouse and say “good morning” and give them a kiss. For each of us, what we do in the morning is different. Some of you may not be a “morning person;” none of us dare talk to you before you’ve had your coffee. But many people in this world wake up and the first thing they do is turn on their television or check their phone, and they actually let it tell them what they need to be upset about today; and often, the reason for the upset is quite frivoulous: “Twitter exploded over so-and-so’s comments on ‘Monday Night Football.’” Meanwhile, there’s very real problems in this world. There’s also a lot of fear, and watching the news all the time doesn’t help. But consider as well the advertisements you might see and hear; so many of them are created with a call-to-action in mind: “Don’t miss out on the new iPhone”—implying that the one you have is no longer the most up-to-date, state-of-the-art phone. As one person (Matt Haig) wrote, “Happiness isn’t very good for the economy.” “New and glorious” does not cause outrage.
In contrast though, the Psalmist writes that JOY cometh in the morning.
We know that light was the very first thing created; the first recorded words of God are “let there be light;” he didn’t say “let there be darkness,” because darkness was already there. Darkness is not the opposite of light, it’s the absence of light. Right off the bat, the LORD divided the light from the darkness. In him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5), even though day and night are both alike to him; have you ever thought about the fact that if you go outside at night, the grass is still green, just like if you go outside in the daytime, the stars are out, but you just can’t see them because the daytime sky is too bright? The LORD never sleeps (and thank him for that).
In Isaiah’s prophecy, it’s written that the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light, and those that dwelt in a land of deep darkness, upon them has the light shone (Isaiah 9:2). Of course this is about the coming of the Messiah, who would be a light for his people, and one day soon, for the whole earth (Isaiah 42:6, 49:6). Further on in Isaiah, the LORD says, to arise, shine, for thy light is come (Isaiah 60:1-3, 19-22).
A sunrise is a good reminder that the mercies of the LORD are new every morning. One commentator wrote, “No other faith has a fresh outpouring of grace each day.” The LORD is a sun and shield and will give grace and glory; no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly (Psalm 84:11).
I saw a photo online with the caption, “If God can turn day into night, he can turn your burden into a blessing.” Remember that the sun still rises every day even if you can’t see it (because it’s cloudy, or you’re asleep), and it rises on time every day.
The creation account repeats the phrase, “And the evening and morning were the first/second/third/etc… day” Darkness first, then light.
Night turns into day because the sun lights up the world. Darkness does not comprehend light (John 1:5). Light is stronger than darkness, every single time. “Be not overcome of evil,” says Paul, “but overcome evil with good.”
Jesus is referred to as the “Sun of Righteousness,” who will arise with healing in his wings (Malachi 4:2).
Jesus says that he is the Light of the world, but he also says “YE are the light of world (Matthew 5:14).”
Someone once asked, “is the beam from a lighthouse affected by howling wind and rain? It remains perfectly steadfast and unaffected by the storm.” If we’re to be the light of the world, we have to be consistent as well; the world is a stormy place but that doesn’t change our responsibilities. Imagine if the lighthouse only worked, say, half the time. How dangerous would that be? Now imagine if the lighthouse worked 99 percent of the time. That may sound great, but that’s still three or four nights of every year that it’s not working. So what happens if our light is out, even just once in a while, where maybe we just don’t feel like letting our light shine that day? Someone out there isn’t getting the light they need. There are a lot of people out there, living, breathing, but who are spiritually dead because they haven’t gotten the Light they need (maybe even just a word in season, which can go a long way). Look at the past three years; a decent amount of that time was spent in forced isolation; churches were not allowed to open or chose not to open. Everyone needs light, believers and unbelievers alike. If you don’t have light, you have darkness. There’s nobody out there who’s not worthy of our light. Again, think back to a lighthouse; it doesn’t look at the ships on the sea and stop shining based on who’s aboard; it doesn’t care whether someone on a ship out at sea is righteous or whether they’re a serial killer; it just shines. If we don’t let our light shine always, we could very well be preventing someone from coming to it.
To shine is to do the right thing; a few Scriptures come to mind (Psalm 37:5-6, Isaiah 58:6-8). If we shine our light now, imagine how much better it will be in the day when Christ promises that the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their father (Matthew 13:43).
Jesus says, “A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:14-16).”
Jesus’ Resurrection—the greatest and most important event in all history—happened on a new and glorious morn’, and an even greater day will bring forth a newer and even more glorious morn’ for the world.
The Kingdom will see the world become a much better, safer, happier place than it is now. There will be enough food and water for everyone (Psalm 72:16; Isaiah 27:6, 65:21; Zechariah 14:8), and everyone will have a place to live in safety (Isaiah 65:22). People will also live a lot longer; even someone who dies at 100 years old will be considered a child (Isaiah 65:20).
The whole world will be of one religion. Most people in this world are in darkness right now; they haven’t seen the light of God’s truth. But there is a time coming when the truth will be seen by everyone (Isaiah 25:7-9, 40:5). Nations will come to Jerusalem to be taught the ways of God; the law will go forth from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:3, 42:4). People will come from the ends of the earth and will say that they had previously inherited lies and vanity, and things wherein there is no profit (Jeremiah 16:19). They will finally see God’s truth; no longer will the world be covered in darkness and confusion; they will rejoice in his salvation.
Most people, when asked if they could change one thing about the world, would probably say they wish there could be peace on earth. Peace is not just a lack of war; it is the lack of even having the thought of war, or anything bad happening. The day will come when everyone will live under their own vine and fig tree, and none shall make them afraid (Micah 4:3-4), and war will be a thing of the past (Isaiah 2:4). Justice will be served in righteousness; no longer will people get away with crime (Psalm 96:13; Isaiah 11:3-4).
There is relatively little we can do right now to make the world a better place; you can personally practice peace and practice proper judgment, feed a homeless person on the street, you can do as much good as you want, and it certainly does make an impact on that one person or group of people who you can help, but there is still relatively little we can do at the time being to actually make the world a better place. The problems of this world will never be done away with while man is in control; again, all you have to do is open a history book; there’s plenty of horror stories about bad kings, bad leaders, and how at the end of it all, nothing was really fixed, and even if it was, it was only temporary; it didn’t last. It will only be when Jesus is King that the world will be healed.
He is called God’s “elect (Isaiah 42:1-4);” he is not going to win the “popular vote” when he returns, even though he is the one who has all the answers—but he has already been chosen. He will be King over all the earth; in that day there shall be one Lord, and his name one (Zechariah 14:9). He will rule the world in peace and in truth and in righteousness. “For the LORD omnipotent reigneth; the kingdom of this world will one day become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever. Hallelujah!
We’ll close with the words of a famous hymn (I recommend listening to the Neil Diamond version):
“Morning has broken like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the word
Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God’s recreation of the new day”
So again, “good morning!”