We ran into a friend while we were out walking and he quoted Psalm 118:24, but with a new twist.
Biblically, the verse reads, “This is the day that the Lᴏʀᴅ has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).
You might have sung the chorus, “This is the day, this is the day that the Lord has made . . . .” The song and the psalm are joyful reminders of God’s greatness and that he supremely governs the world according to his good purpose.
We were talking with a friend about some of the changes we have seen in the culture, even in our churches. That is when he told us of how someone had recently quoted Psalm 118:24 to him, and I wanted to share the phrase with all of you. The re-quoted version is good food for thought.
The verse, with a twist
My friend said, “This is the Lord that the day has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (You might need to read that twice!)
As you probably know, I teach Bible. One of my greatest challenges as a Bible teacher this past decade is uniquely described in the rewording of that familiar verse. There are people I truly care about who are serving the Lord in many ways who would be more comfortable with the reworded verse than the actual verse.
More and more I find myself in a discussion with people who say, “Well . . . I just don’t believe God would do that, say that, or mean that.”
I find myself trying to carefully use Scripture in order to biblically explain to them, “God did do that, say that, and mean that.” The truth about God is revealed in his word, not our personal opinions or feelings. The Bible says, “This is the day the Lord has made,” and it is important we don’t worship “the Lord that the day has made.”
One of the most important parts of our personal relationship to God is knowing him and worshiping him “in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). Is there a thought or opinion that you have about God that stands against the truth of God as revealed in the Bible?
Our struggle is not new
God’s people have always tended to begin their faith journey with passion and dedication to biblical truth. Time and distraction have a way of detouring our journey down a different road than God’s. We have all done it. Even the apostle Paul struggled to walk the walk (See Romans 7).
In Revelation 3, John commended the church in Philadelphia saying, “I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name” (v. 8). John continuously repeated a key phrase in his comments to the churches of the Revelation. He said, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 3:13). If John thought it was important to remind those first-century Christians, we should remember his words today.
If we want to “hear” from God, we need to know how to listen.
We don’t get very many lessons in theology anymore. Yet, without a basic understanding of theology, a person can easily get sidetracked. Here are some of the basics of biblical theology:
- God speaks to us through his Holy Spirit, but it is crucial to remember that the Holy Spirit will never disagree or contradict God’s word. “Knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20–21)
- The Bible has been translated over the years, but God’s word has been protected, not edited. “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” (Isaiah 40:8).
- We worship the same God who has been worshiped by his children throughout world history. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). “To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen” (1 Timothy 1:17).
Do we worship the Lord who has made each day, or is our day remaking the Lord we worship?
That question is something for all of us to consider.
Are we faithful like the members of the church in Philadelphia, who were commended for keeping God’s word and not denying his name? Has our culture, or this era of Christian history, edited the biblical theology of God in some way?
A. W. Tozer
A.W. Tozer was a brilliant American pastor and theologian who died in 1963. If you can, you might want to read a wonderful article about Tozer’s thoughts on the unchanging nature of God. That article closes with this quote about our immutable God:
“God will not compromise and He need not be coaxed. He cannot be persuaded to alter His Word nor talked into answering selfish prayer. In all our efforts to find God, to please Him, to commune with Him, we should remember that all change must be on our part. ‘I am the Lord, I change not.’ We have but to meet His clearly stated terms, bring our lives into accord with His revealed will, and His infinite power will become instantly operative toward us in the manner set forth through the gospel in the Scriptures of truth.”
May all of us remember that today is the day the Lord has made.
May all of us consider the possibility we might have adopted an opinion or two about the Lord that this day has made.
Then, may we repent where necessary and return to a place of blessing because we have chosen to honor his name and keep his word.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says” to all of us on this day, the day the Lord has made.