24 This is the day which the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
DOES this refer to the first day of the week? There are many who assume that it does. On what grounds? Simply these:
It has become quite a common thing to call the first day of the week the Lord’s day. This custom arose long after the New Testament was written. But having given the day that title, men now claim that every reference to the Lord’s day, or to the day which the Lord made, must refer to Sunday. Thus the Bible is made to support an institution of men.
There is not the slightest intimation in the Psalm that any day of the week is referred to. The Lord did not make one day of the week any more than another. He made them all. Therefore it is absurd to single out any one day of the week, and say that it alone is referred to by the statement,
“This is the day which the Lord has made.”
The day referred to in this verse is the “day of salvation,” in which Christ, the headstone of the corner, opens to all men “the gates of righteousness.” This day of salvation, which the Lord has made, in which He opens the gates of righteousness, is a day in which to be glad and rejoice, as the prophet says:
10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness.
Abraham saw this day, and was glad (John 8:56), because he received the righteousness of God, through faith in Christ.
It is true that the Lord has a day of the week that He claims as specially His own, not because He made it any more than any other day, but because He reserved it to be devoted specially to Him. The Lord’s day is holy (Isaiah 58:13), and it is the Sabbath-day. It is the seventh day that is the Sabbath.
It was for an alleged violation of that day that the Jews upbraided the disciples of Jesus, when He cleared them from the charge of Sabbath-breaking, and showed His authority to decide in the matter, by declaring that He was Lord of the day. Mark 2:23-28. This of itself is sufficient to show that the seventh day and that alone is the Lord’s day.
But while this is true, it is not true that on this day any more than any other day can people enter into the gates of righteousness. The Sabbath day is to be kept holy unto the Lord; but the Lord is just as willing to forgive sins and to grant blessings on any other day as on this day. His ear is ever open to the cry of his creatures.
The Sabbath is not to be kept as a bribe to induce the Lord to bestow blessings, but because of love to Him for His love to us in this accepted time, the day of salvation.
Other articles by E.J. Waggoner:
- The Recompense of the Reward
- Spirit of Prophecy
- Christ the End of the Law
- How to Be a Witness
- Our Mighty Leader
- The Cross of Christ
- Israel: a Missionary People
- Grace or the Law?
- Evolution and the Gospel
- Carnal Warfare not in God’s Plan
- Scientific Morality
- Principles and Precepts
- The Two Covenants
- The Three Sabbaths