A Holiday for God
by David Wells
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March 9, 2012 Ė A Holiday for God
24 This is the day which the Lord has brought about; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Ė Psalm 118:24 AMP
This verse is used by Christians everywhere almost every day. Marlo and I pray it every day as a blessing not only for us, but for our children as well. But it left me wondering: how many of us actually believe it?
The 118th Psalm itself is one of confidence. It shows us how Godís love for us never changes, even amidst whatever trials the world may toss our way. In fact, the first and last verses of this Psalm are exactly the same.
1, 29 O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever! Ė Psalm 118:1 & 29 AMP
If that verse sounds familiar, it is. A very popular worship song we all sing at church is based on those verses. But what can be learned from todayís verse? Is there more to todayís verse than meets the eye? Maybe. You see, each Psalm is divided into smaller parts. After all, they were originally written as songs. Even though they very seldom rhyme in the English language, the original Hebrew many times is quite different. Read the background on each Psalm you read. Many are set to certain tunes or instructed to be played with certain instruments.
As far as a further meaning for todayís verse, we need to look back to the previous two verses, which when all three taken together probably completed a stanza.
22 The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. 23 This is from the Lord and is His doing; it is marvelous in His eyes. Ė Psalm 118:22-23 AMP
These verses also may sound familiar to you. Jesus used them in Matthew Chapter Twenty-One to describe Himself. Peter also used them in Acts Chapter Four when speaking about Jesus before the Sanhedrin after him and John were arrested. Does this mean we need to rejoice in the day that Jesus became the Chief Cornerstone? You bet it does. But does it mean that we should only rejoice in that day and in no other? Of course it doesnít. Jesus deserves so much more.
Here in the United States we have a holiday for just about everything, and there is always some kind of celebration surrounding it. On Independence Day we celebrate the birth of our country with fireworks and a backyard cookout with family or friends. Memorial Day is a time to honor the soldiers who have died protecting our freedom and is celebrated by ceremonies at national cemeteries across the country.
Thanksgiving is a time when we all fill our stomachs and reflect on everything in life we have to be thankful for. But where is God? Doesnít God have a day He can call His own?
Thatís right. God has every Sunday. For generations Sunday has been called the Lordís Day in Christian circles. That is when we all assemble in our churches to worship Him. We make Sunday or at least Sunday morning, all about Him. But here is where a couple of conflicts arise.
The first conflict surrounds the Jewish Sabbath. The Jewish Sabbath begins at sundown Friday and runs to sundown Saturday. During this time period, devout Jews do not work. They may prepare their Sabbath meal, but nothing else. So if the Jews are Godís chosen people, which day is the Lordís Day? Is it Saturday or Sunday?
The second conflict involves Christian commitment. If we assume that Sunday is the Lordís Day, where does that leave Him the other six days of the week? Is Monday my day? Is Tuesday your day? Does Wednesday belong to your boss? You see, when we celebrate a holiday, whether itís Independence Day or even Christmas, the majority of the time we go back to business as usual the very next day. The holiday is quickly forgotten because of the pace of our lives. And such an approach can be very dangerous if we treat Sunday as Godís only day.
The truth is that God made every day. He made the day the builders rejected the Chief Cornerstone. He made the day Peter boldly stood before the Sanhedrin after his arrest. He made the day Paul was blinded on the way to Damascus. He made the day John saw a vision on the island of Patmos that became the Book of Revelation. He made every national holiday. He made yesterday. He even made today. Rejoice and be glad in it.
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