I’m working on my geezerdom. Lately the line I’ve been rehearsing is a useful lead-in for many things: “In my day . . .” You know, “In my day, we had to milk the cow to get ice cream” or “In my day, there wasn’t any of this namby-pamby air conditioning stuff.”
When exactly was my day? Isn’t my day today? And won’t it still be my day tomorrow? It’s a mystery.
As we continue to march through Psalm 118:24, I’d like to take up the word “day.” The Psalm says “This is the day,” and so far I’ve been trying to make these words more focused on the now. This time, though, I want to push back and make it less focused.
The Hebrew word here is yom. That’s like Yom Kippur. Yes, it means “day,” as in midnight to midnight, but, like its English counterpart, it can mean more than just twenty-four hours or even daytime (as opposed to night-time).
I remember a friend of mine, many years back, making a wonderful argument against taking the Bible too literally. “You know, when Genesis says ‘One day,’ it can really mean a big period of time. It could be millions of years. So if you just remember that, then all the story of creation makes perfect sense.” Basically this guy was just presenting the famous “day-age” reading of Genesis 1.
Had I wanted to start an argument, I would have asked him a simple question. “So the plants that showed up on the third day existed for millions of years before the sun came along on the fourth day?” Yeah, the day-age thing doesn’t really work too well.
But of course, a day (yom) can be an age, an era, an epoch. It isn’t in Genesis 1, but it is elsewhere in the Old Testament. For example, in 1 Kings 1:1, we read this:
Now King David was old and advanced in age. Although they covered him with bedclothes, he could not get warm.
That word translated “age” (or “years” in the King James) is yom.
So what’s my point? This is the day that the Lord has made. It’s the day of the week, the day of the month, and the era that the Lord has made. It’s the year, the decade, and the century. You get the idea, right?
Whatever moment we find ourselves inhabiting, this is the one that God made. It doesn’t come and then pass away. It is an eternal thing, as if God were saying, “In my day . . . it’s all my day!”