This is the Day
Is it only nice days that the Lord has made?
It’s a nice day today, where I am. It’s one of those days that brings to mind Psalm 118:24 – “This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Of course it wasn’t such a great day for those living through the tropical storm that was flooding Florida. Or those enduring war or hunger or other tragedies—global, local, personal.
Which makes me wonder. Is it only nice days that the Lord has made? Of course not. Is it only nice weather that makes me think of this psalm? Hopefully not. The psalm as a whole is powerfully Messianic, and it’s referred to a number of times in the New Testament. If we take a moment to read the whole thing, it’s clear that the writer—and the Christ, who is being foreshadowed—have faced major trials. And—importantly—come through them.
This is a victory psalm, but we note that it’s a victory that came with a cost. A victory that emerged from distress (v5), from being hated and surrounded and pushed hard (v7-13), from severe discipline from the Lord (v18). The days when he experienced those things were also days the Lord made.
There are several “bottom line” statements in this psalm, various ways of expressing related conclusions. It’s interesting that these one-line snippets can actually stand alone as pillars of encouragement, no matter the weather or other circumstances:
- Out of my distress I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free. (v5)
- The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? (v6)
- It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes. (v9)
- The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. (v14)
- The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. (v22-23)
- Save us, we pray, O LORD! [This is carried over into the NT as Hosanna!] (v25)
- Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! (v26)
- You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you. (v28)
Whatever the day is like, it is the day the Lord has made.
As we are encouraged to do, indeed let us rejoice and be glad in the day the Lord has made. The day that is pleasant, and the day we are pushed hard. The day of rejection and trouble, as well as the day of deliverance. The day of discipline, and also the day of the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Whatever the day is like, it is the day the Lord has made.
The psalmist’s prayer, Messiah’s prayer, our prayer. “Save us, we pray. We need you; there is no other refuge. You are our God, and we will give thanks to you. This day.”