Sunday, August 21, 2011

I WILL rejoice! - August 21st, 2011

This is the day the LORD has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

History and Context:
The book of psalms is a collection of 150 songs used by the Israelites for praise and worship. They are in the writings and wisdom section and cover a large variety of themes from appeals for God's forgiveness or His destruction of enemies, to tahnksgiving, to celebration of God's teachings, etc. 73 of the 150 psalms have been attributed to King David. The other 77 have various authors, many of them being unknown. Psalm 118 is one that has no author attributed to it. It was a victory hymn which was sung in procession by king, priests, and people in rememberance of the victory won with the help of God.

The Text:
Psalm 118 begins with a repeating phrase; "His mercy endures forever." The psalmist paints a picture of being surrounded by enemies and having no hope but to call on the Lord. He says "I called on the LORD in distress" and the Lord answered him. The Lord rescued him in his time of need and for this reason the psalmist prays for him. This builds up to the point of verse 24 in which the Psalmist recognizes the Lord as the creator of the day. This means that the way in which the day went was becase of the Lord and he has chosen to rejoice and be glad.

The Challenge:
This verse has been made into a popular children's song, and since has been made into various other praise songs. The important thing to realize in it is that there is an act of will involved. The psalmist writes "we WILL rejoice...". This means rejoicing is a choice. It something we can choose to do every morning, we don't have to wait to see if the day went well or not. This particular psalmist was praising God after he saw that it went well but we know right at the beginning of the day that it is one that the Lord has made. He made every day! So why not begin the day with a choice to rejoice? It'll make your day a whole lot better from the start!

The Prayer:
Lord, I make a choice today to rejoice in you and in your day! Thank you for creating this new day for me to live and to follow you. I rejoice in it and I decided to be glad throughout this day no matter what comes my way. In Jesus' name, Amen!

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