Out of CONTEXT Verse: Psalm 118:24

Sing along with me!

This is the day (This is the day)…
that the LORD has made (That the LORD has made)…
I will rejoice (I will rejoice)…
And be glad in it (And be glad in it)…

Now that this Sunday School song from 30 years ago will be stuck in your head the rest of the day, let’s get something clear: this verse isn’t about today, or Monday, or any random day at all. It’s about the most important day in history.

I get it. We like this verse because it encourages us to have a positive outlook on life. It helps us get through Monday. It prepares our hearts for worship on Sunday. That’s fine. It’s good sentiment. But it’s still bad interpretation. Let’s look into the context:

The LORD is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation.
Glad songs of salvation
are in the tents of the righteous:
“The right hand of the LORD does valiantly,
the right hand of the LORD exalts,
the right hand of the LORD does valiantly!”
I shall not die, but I shall live,
and recount the deeds of the LORD.
The LORD has disciplined me severely,
but he has not give me over to death.
Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the LORD.
This is the gate of the LORD;
the righteous shall enter through it.
I thank you that you have answered me
and have become my salvation.
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
This is the LORD’s doing;
it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day that the LORD has made;
   let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:14-24 ESV

These verses are about our redemption; about our salvation; about Jesus.

We see this in the New Testament writings numerous times:

Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? – Matthew 21:42 ESV (See also Mark 12:10 and Luke 20:17)

This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. – Acts 4:11 ESV

So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” 1 Peter 2:7 ESV

Each time, it’s in support of the argument that Jesus is the Messiah.  It’s clear, that the “stone” is Jesus.

Also, three times in this Psalm we see the word, “salvation.” In Hebrew, this is “yeshuw’ah”. Jesus, in Hebrew, is Yeshua.

But as he (Joseph) considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus (Yeshua), for he will save his people from their sins.” – Matthew 1:20-22a ESV

And finally, we see in this Psalm that the “right hand” of God is the power behind these verses. It is what is accomplishing the work. In our culture, someone who works in conjunction with another to accomplish that persons goals is often called a “right hand man”.  It’s no different in this passage. Jesus is God’s “right hand”:

So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. – Mark 16:19 ESV

This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. – Acts 2:32-33 ESV

But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. – Acts 7:55 ESV

…that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places… – Ephesians 1:20 ESV

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is,seated at the right hand of God. – Colossians 3:1 ESV

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high… – Hebrews 1:3 ESV

Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven… Hebrews 8:1

But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God… – Hebrews 10:12 ESV

…looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:2 ESV

Yes, every day is a gift from God that we should rejoice in.  But let’s be clear: the “day” referred to in Psalm 118:24 is about a day that is greater than every other day. It is about the day of our salvation. It is a day we should rejoice in. It is the greatest day in history.

Huh…I guess CONTEXT MATTERS.

Next CONTEXT post: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me…

 

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