The Morning Watch
“My voice shalt thou hear in the morning”
There is great comfort in knowing our God will meet us in the time of morning prayer. It is an unfathomable privilege to know that, as His children, His ear is attentive to our cry. Regardless of our situation, the bitterness and failure of yesterday must give way to the wonder of His presence today.
“It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed,
because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning”
Mercy and compassion envelope the diligent seeker in the early morning hours just as the dew that settles upon the lilies of the valley. His quiet and healing presence sweeps over our soul nourishing, restoring and drawing us near unto that Heart of pure love. How quickly fades the angst and concern over the fears of the day which lies before us. Light and peace fill the void and empty places within as a quiet confidence springs up from deep within our soul. God is here! Not only is He here but He is listening to our trembling voices and tentative hearts. He gives audience to His own; how good and gracious is our God!
“Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning”
Cherith – The Place of Separation
“Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward,
and hide thyself by the brook Cherith”
1 Kings 17:3
The true path of the Lord will always culminate in the setting apart of a vessel unto Himself. “Cherith” literally means separation, derived from a Hebrew root meaning to “cut off”. This life of separation is not the result of works of the flesh or caused by carnal means; it is always entered into by the simple obedience of an individual unto the Word of the Lord. As such, this place of separation will always be filled with special provisions of God to sustain one in the center of His Will.
“And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook;
and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there”
1 Kings 17:4
In these times of loneliness and separation God Himself comes in new and profound ways. There is a drawing near, a learning and a dependency upon Him and His provisions; a time of being hid in the wonder of God Himself. This place of separation brings one to new places of freedom from other comforts and even our reliance on friendships for in the presence of God there is room for none other than God Himself.
“And it came to pass after a while,
that the brook dried up…”
1 Kings 17:7
These separations are intended by God to be temporary in the life of His own, not permanent dwelling places, for God’s desire is that the vessel be poured into the lives of others. The special provision of God dries up and the Word of the Lord comes to move on in new power and a closer relationship with Him. The vessel is prepared for greater works by the cutting off of former things. On this occasion there was a widow in need of the touch of the Lord who would also be a source of new sustenance.
“And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying,
Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon,
and dwell there: behold, I have commanded
a widow woman there to sustain thee”
1 Kings 17:8-9
This same work of God was evident in Paul the Apostle who was set aside for three years in the wilderness of Damascus in order to become a chosen vessel in the purposes of God (Galatians 1:15-18). To what end was the separation of Paul?
“To reveal His Son in me…”