He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
A sunset is settling, relaxing. But the sunrise, if you’ve had a good night before, the sunrise is energizing. This verse says that the Lord will make your righteousness shine. As a result of trusting the Lord, (see v.5) he will make our righteousness shine. Our righteousness will wake up the world, energize the masses, and bring on a new day. By noon, the shadows are all but gone, the sun overhead, everything is in the light of day. Our cause of justice will light the world, exposing all of the dark places for what they really are. Does your life do this? Mine sure doesn’t seem to most of the time.
I think it goes back to the trust. I remember a time when I’d lift my son up to a bar on the play ground; higher than both of our heads. He liked to hang as long as he could before telling me he was ready to drop. I had to catch him, and the easiest way was for me to hold the back of his legs and ask him to let go, dropping his head and shoulders into my other arm. If I didn’t do what I said, he would end up head first on the ground. It took a lot of trust. At first, he’d try to drop straight down, kicking his legs free of my arm. The result, I’d more or less break his fall but he still crashed. Then he’d drop, but instead of letting me catch him he’d contort and try to get his arms around my neck. The result, I’d crash with him on top of me.
Perhaps without trust, we end up ok, but not really how God intends. We’re mostly peaceful and happy, not crashing too hard. We feel God’s presence in our lives, but our righteousness doesn’t shine like the sunrise or our justice like the noonday sun.