The Bright Morning Star
Like a sentinel on watch, it stands high in the sky for all to see during the fourth watch. (3 am to 6 am) After the sun disappears from the earth at the end of the day, it is the first star to appear in the sky. Even though it has two showings, it has been dubbed "The Morning Star" as it shines so brightly at 3 am, the darkest time of the early morning, until the sun rises on the earth.
"The Morning Star" is actually the planet Venus reflecting the light of the Sun. Since its orbital pattern is elongated, there are times when it is closer to the sun than others. We can see Venus where the sun rises in the morning and where it sets in the evening. I read that Venus can be seen in the southeast sky at dawn. During the month of February, I have delighted in rising early to see this bright light expel the darkness around it. The other stars pale in comparison. "The Morning Star" rises higher when the Lord begins to paint red-orange and pink washes over the lightening morning sky. After the Sun rises higher in the sky, "The Morning Star" eventually fades from view.
Is it any wonder that this is one of the names of Jesus? "I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star." (Revelation 22:16) The prophecy of Balaam foretold of this in Numbers 24:17. "I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel..." In ancient times, the star was thought of as a harbinger of the sunrise and a signal of the dawn of hope. Was it the Morning Star that led the Magi to the Christ child? I wonder! Wasn't the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem a sign of a new day dawning? He is the Light of the World. He says, "...Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John8:12)
Christ's disciple, Peter, was brave enough to lay down his fishing nets to follow "the Star." In his second book, Peter reminds his readers that he was an eyewitness to the majesty of Jesus and heard the voice of God say that He loves Jesus and is well-pleased with Him. "And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts." (2 Peter 1:17-19) The bright "Morning Star" stands ready to set us on a new course. His plans and purposes come with presence and power and lead us into victory against the enemy of our souls.
Darkness would like to overcome us and send us down the wrong path, but God stands by. The Psalmist reminds us: "...even the darkness will not be dark to You; the night will shine like the day for darkness is as light to you." (Psalm 139:11-12) And Zechariah's song after the birth of John the Baptist declares God's purposes in sending Jesus: "And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare the way for Him, to give His people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace..." (Luke 1:76-79)
Let the "Morning Star" remind us that Jesus is the light that ushers in a new day. He is our point of reference in the darkness and the one who helps us navigate the storms of life. The disciples learned this when they were attempting to cross Lake Galilee. "Their boat was tossed about by the high winds and heavy seas. During the fourth watch of the night, Jesus came to them, walking on the waves!" (Matthew 14:24-25 - TPT) All became calm when He stepped into the boat. The response from the disciples was to worship Him. The bright "Morning Star" should be a reminder for us of the faithfulness of the Lord to bring on a new day. Job 22:26-28 gives advice on how to start the day: "For then you will have your delight in the Almighty and lift up your face to God. You will make your prayer to Him, He will hear you, and you will pay your vows. You will also declare a thing, and it will be established for you: so light will shine on your ways." (NKJV) We must lift our faces to the Lord, our Bright Morning Star, and walk in the light of His glory on the path that He has already prepared for us.
Joan E. Mathias