Earnest Longing

Psalm 16:7 I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.

Psalm 30:5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

Psalm 42:8 Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.

Psalm 59:16 But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.

Psalm 63:6 When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.

7 Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.

Psalm 130:5 I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.

6 My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.

Psalm 143:8 Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.

Isaiah 21:11 The burden of Dumah. He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?

12 The watchman said, The morning cometh, and also the night: if ye will enquire, en-quire ye: return, come.

MEMORY VERSE: This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.

Lamentations 3:21-25

CENTRAL THOUGHT: In the “night seasons” of life—sickness, adversity, financial difficulty, death, depression, spiritual upheaval—we find ourselves waiting for the morning; the literal dawn of a new day, a spiritual sunrise, a light in the darkness of inner turmoil or heavy affliction.


Psalm 16:7 “Reins”: literally, the kidneys; figuratively, the seat of emotion or affection; the mind. Some translations have “conscience.”

Isaiah 21:11 “Dumah” and “Seir”: Dumah was a son of Ishmael, and while both of the cities in Judah named “Dumah” are not located close to Seir, a mountain range in Edom, Dumah is used here to refer to Edom, the country inhabited by Esau’s descendents. Dumah means “silence,” referring to the desolation foreseen in Isaiah’s vision. Both Ishmael’s descendants and Esau’s descendants are types of spiritual enemies of God’s people.

Lamentations 3:22 “Compassions”: soft; gentle; tender mercies; the Hebrew root is “a mother’s womb.”


As we stated in an earlier lesson, David’s time of waiting for the promised kingship was often filled with deep distress. The psalms in the lesson today were his expressions during those dark “night seasons” when he would meditate on God’s law and promises. Comparing the long night vigil of an afflicted person and that of his caregivers—the longing one feels for the morning to come, and the renewal of strength and hope that comes with the light of early dawn—to his own anxious longings for his fugitive lifestyle to end and the long-awaited promise to be fulfilled, David would draw his strength and endurance from God’s word. His knowledge of God’s law would give him counsel and instruction. His ability to stay his hand from slaying King Saul was the remembrance of God’s commandment, “Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm,” an expression which is not found verbatim in Moses’ law, but was generally understood from the time of the patriarchs—Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

In Isaiah’s prophecy, “The morning cometh, and also the night,” a morning of light and hope is foreseen, followed quickly by the blackness of night. This points forward to the brilliant light of the morning church which was soon eclipsed by a spiritual night of apostasy. The hidden saints, prophets and poets who cherished the light of truth looked forward to and earnestly awaited the time when the light appeared again.

To Jeremiah and the chastened Israelites carried away into Babylonian captivity, their dark spiritual night and deep sufferings were only made bearable by the hope they cherished of a “morning” of new mercies. This passage in Lamentations has been a comfort to many afflicted saints down through the ages.

Waiting for the joy that comes in the morning was also the experience of the Israelites in Egyptian bondage, Job in his trial of affliction, Daniel in his den of lions, those who watched for the birth of the Messiah, the disciples on the sea of Galilee in the fourth watch of the night, Jesus’ followers after Calvary, and Paul during his long night on a stormy sea.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


  1. What is promised in the morning, after a night of weeping?
  2. What comforted and instructed the Psalmist in the night seasons?
  3. David’s waiting for relief was compared to what kind of waiting?
  4. Can you think of a song or songs in the Evening Light hymnal that expresses the morning and night time mentioned by the prophet Isaiah?
  5. Share a testimony of how God sent songs in the night or deliverance in the morning.


When there is sickness in the family, it seems like the fever is worse at night; the pain is more keen, the breathing is more labored. Those hours between three and six, just before dawn, seem so dark and draw out so long, as the eye looks anxiously at the clock or toward the window, watching for the pale ribbon of light to appear on the horizon. One brother, remembering his vigil at the bedside of his wife’s father, said, “You can’t rush the sunrise.”

That is so true. That period of waiting is how the saints of old described their darkest days. You can’t rush the process. It is slow, intense, and seems hopeless, were it not for the promises, the blessed counsels of God’s Word, hidden deep within the soul, flashing onto the window of the mind; and the songs, the night songs, sung over and over by a blessed choir of mercy.

One such song comforted a family as the dear mother drew near her last breath. “And the sun’s coming up in the morning! Every tear will be gone from my eyes. This old clay’s gonna give way to glory, and like an eagle I’ll take to the skies.” Sure enough, sometime after sunrise, her spirit did break away, and her suffering ended.

During this time of waiting, let us take courage and hope in the Lord, whose mercies are new every morning.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


“My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up” (Psalm 5:3).

“From the earliest ages God’s servants have thought of the morning as the time specially suited for the worship of God. It is still regarded by Christians both as a duty and a privilege to devote some portion of the beginning of the day to seeking seclusion and fellowship with God. Many Christians observe the ‘Morning Watch.’

“Next to receiving Christ as Savior, and claiming the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we know of no act attended with larger good to ourselves and others than the formation of an indiscourageable resolution to keep the watch, and spend the first portions of the day alone with God.

“When we realize how impossible it is to daily live out our life in Christ as our Savior from sin, or to maintain a walk in the leading power of the Holy Spirit, without daily, close fellowship, we soon see the great value of keeping the ‘Morning Watch.’ It is not an end in itself, but a means of securing the presence of Christ for the whole day!”

—Adapted from Andrew Murray

—Selected by Bro. Bob Wilson