Thought for the Week - A Day for Rejoicing
Psalm 118 v 24: This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
While we should rejoice every day, historically the text is referring to a specific day of deliverance accomplished by a great champion. Jews have and still do sing this Psalm at the Passover, to rejoice in the day of their nation’s deliverance from the tyranny of Egypt, 3,500 years ago. There are quotes in this Psalm from the song of deliverance recorded in Exodus 15 that their ancestors sang.
Our forefathers knew the Psalm’s background, for when William landed at Torbay on 5th November 1688, this Psalm was sung. They rejoiced that the deliverer of the nation had come.
Methodist founder, John Wesley kept that date each year as a day of special rejoicing and thanksgiving.
The Baptist preacher, C H Spurgeon in his devotional book of Daily Readings for November 5th wrote, ‘This day is notable in history for to-day is the anniversary of the landing of King William III, at Torbay, by which … religious liberty was secured. This day ought to be celebrated, … by the songs of saints. Our forefathers most devoutly made it a special time of thanksgiving. Our Protestant feeling, and our love of liberty, should make us regard its anniversary with holy gratitude.’
Commenting on our text Spurgeon wrote, ‘No doubt the Israelitish nation celebrated the victory of its champion with a day of feasting, music and song.’
In spite of the restrictions surrounding Covid-19, we should follow this example in scripture and mark the Boyne anniversary with great rejoicing and thanksgiving. The text clearly also had a prophetic and spiritual fulfilment in Christ, the greatest champion, and the deliverance He won for us at Calvary.
As He entered Jerusalem the people cried out the very words of v’s 25 & 26: Hosanna or ‘Save now’ and ‘Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord’.
Prophetically, the ‘day’ in our text refers specifically to the triumphant resurrection of Christ. That ‘day’ confirmed Christ’s victory over Satan, sin and death and so makes every day we live a day for rejoicing.
By trusting Christ as Saviour and Lord, we can experience the freedom from the bondage and penalty of sin. While we rightly rejoice in the deliverance won through the victory of King William III at the Boyne, make sure to also rejoice in the victory of the King of Kings at Calvary.
By Bro. Rev. Dr. Ron Johnstone, Grand Chaplain