Thursday, September 06, 2007

It depends upon what the definition of "this" is...

Ps 118:21-26
21 I will praise You,
For You have answered me,
And have become my salvation.

22 The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This was the LORD's doing;
It is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day the LORD has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.

25 Save now, I pray, O LORD;
O LORD, I pray, send now prosperity.
26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!
We have blessed you from the house of the LORD.

"This" is the day the Lord has made. What is the day the Lord has made? What's being referred to as "this?" Sunday? Each new day?

I've heard many well-meaning people rip this line right out of context. In fact, I've heard some great theological-types, who take great care with the exegesis of the Bible, stand there and proclaim that "today" (whatever new day it may be) is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in "today."

I have NO PROBLEM celebrating today! But is that what this particular scripture is really talking about?

Look at what it says...

"The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone."

"This was the Lord's doing."

"This is the day the Lord has made."

"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord."

This prophetic Psalm isn't talking about just any other ordinary day. It's pointing to one day in particular. What was the Psalmist thinking? "Hmm, right in the middle of this prophecy, I think I'll just thrown in quick props to God for "today." Not. :)

Remember what the people were shouting when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, a week before His crucifixion?
Matt 21:9
"Hosanna to the Son of David!
'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!'
Hosanna in the highest!"
This was in preparation for that great day that the Lord had planned from the beginning.

"This was the Lord's doing." Right in line with another prophecy, this statement tells us that "this day" and its events were planned and executed by God Himself. Isaiah 53 says quite a lot about this great day. Isaiah prophesies of Jesus, "The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." (Isaiah 53:6). Isaiah goes on to say, "It pleased the Lord to bruise Him. He has put Him to grief." (Isaiah 53:10). This was all the Lord's doing. We didn't put Jesus on the cross. God did.

"The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone." Matthew, Mark, Luke and Peter all reference this prophecy. (Matt 21:42, Mark 12:10, Luke 20:17, Acts 4:11, 1 Peter 2:6). The "stone," of course, is Jesus. I've preached a handful of "sermons" in my life (perhaps one for each finger on one hand), and one of them was around Christmastime, eight or nine years ago. I taught a little bit on the "chief cornerstone" and the "rock of offense." I'll see if I can dig up my notes from that.

What it all boils down to is this. This is the day the Lord has made: The day the stone the builders rejected became the chief cornerstone. The day God became our salvation. The day the sacrifice was bound with cords to the horns of the altar. (Psalm 118:27).

If we're to give praise to God and rejoice and be glad in a certain day... let it be that day! Let it be a continuous celebration of that day!


  1. Yos bros.

    You hit something that has been done too long in Christendom...misinterpreting scripture (out of simple ignorance or...for control/agenda...

    There is a great little book by Fee and Stuart - How to Read the Bible for all It's worth. One of the few I would recommend from my Seminary Days in Toronto.

    R o G ~8)

  2. It's quite funny that people sing the song "this is the day that the Lord has made" on sundays as though sunday is the only day meant to rejoice. I too used to sing this like crazy :)
    Thank you for pointing this out. These days one thing I notice that I am unable to sing many songs which I used to. When I see the meaning, many songs are out of space... Yes lyrics are emotional but not scriptural...

  3. Hey there RoG! That sounds like a very interesting book. I looked it up on Amazon and I think I may just order it. The book's introduction makes a great point right off the bat, talking about people who say, "You don't have to interpret the Bible; just read it and do what it says." I agree that ignorance is often the culprit in all this, but like you also say there are many who are preaching their own agenda or want control of the people in their church.

    Bino, I was just thinking the same thing about that song and about others! "You give and take away, you give and take away..." comes to mind (from the song "Blessed Be the Name). I heard two messages - one from my old pastor and one from Jim Richards of Impact Ministries - that forever changed my view of Job's words. Job said a lot of stuff and in the end he admitted that he didn't have a clue what he was talking about! I think I'll link to Jim's message in a blog post.

    All of this said - I know that I'm growing myself in my own understanding of the "rightly dividing" of the word of truth. It never hurts to point things out, and I'd never be offended if people point out my own errors to me.