If you’re like me, you have heard a worship-leader, a praise-team leader, or even a preacher or a pastor encourage people to praise the Lord during a worship service by saying: “The Bible says: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!” Now, the Bible does say that . . . , sort of! You will find the quotation in Psalm 118:24. And the actual text in the King James Version of the Bible says: “This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
But I’m not bringing this up to quibble over the misquotation of “Let us rejoice” as opposed to the correct quotation of “We will rejoice.” No! The reason I’m writing is because we have traditionally misapplied this passage. “The day” in the passage is NOT a reference to the day of the worship or praise service the worship leader or whoever is applying it to! Sometimes, I have even heard people apply it to any and every day, not just the day of the worship or praise experience.
Now, don’t get me wrong! I’m NOT saying that today or any day is NOT a day that the Lord has made and that it is not a day we should rejoice and be glad in! By all means no! Any day we wake up and find ourselves “not dead” is certainly a day that the Lord has made and it certainly is a day we ought to rejoice and be glad in! (And even if we don’t wake up, it’s still a good day that the Lord has made!) No! I’m just simply pointing out the fact that “the day” in Psalm 118:24 is NOT the present day we apply it to!
Perhaps we can come to a better understanding if we would look at the verse in context. So, let’s backup to verse 22 and then move forward to verse 24 and it would look like this: “The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
As we look the text, we can see that there is an obvious connection between the phrases: “This is the LORD’s doing” and “This is the day which the LORD hath made.” Psalm is Hebrew poetry, and Hebrew poetry used a literary device called parallelism. This was when the author would make a statement in one sentence and then in the next sentence he would either; restate the statement in a different way, add to the statement or make a contrast to the statement. So, here in this text; “This is the LORD’s doing” and “This is the day which the LORD hath made” are parallels: Both statements are referring to the same thing! What are they referring to? They are both referring to the fact that: “The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.” The psalmist says: This is the LORD’s doing! Now, the day in which the LORD did this (The day the Lord made the stone the builders rejected the chief cornerstone.), that is the day the author is referring to when he said: “We will rejoice and be glad in it.” By the way, “the day” was not referring to a specific 24-hour day, but rather it could have been a period of days, weeks, or even years! For instance, when the Bible talks about “the day of the Lord” it is not talking about just one day, but rather a period of time.
In the primary context, the psalmist was referring to the fact that David had been over-looked and rejected as being suitable to be king of Israel. He was the stone the builders rejected! However, eventually he did become king (the chief cornerstone)! In a secondary context it can also be applied to Jesus. He was rejected by men, but God made Jesus the chief cornerstone. The Apostle Paul made such in application in Ephesians 2:20, as did the Apostle Peter in 1 Peter 2:6-7.
Yes! Any day is a day that the Lord has made! And any day is a day we ought to rejoice and be glad in! But when we cite this particular text, we should note that the day in question was and is not our present day, but rather it was the day David became king of Israel! Prophetically, it was the day Jesus died for our sins! It was the day God raised Him from the dead! It was the day he washed our sins away! That day was truly the Lord’s doing! That is the day; we should truly rejoice and be glad in, above all other days!