Good Monday Morning to this week 49 of 2020
It seems apparent from the scriptural record that the third day was selected for a given activity or matter at hand for some distinct purpose and attendant emphasis, which those who were involved in the situation understood.
Third day. And God said: ‘Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear. And it was so. And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters called He Seas; and God saw that it was good.
The apostle Peter denied knowing Jesus three times following the evening of his arrest. Jesus was resurrected from the grave three days after his death and burial.
The abundant use of the third day argues for viewing the third day as a literary motif that could be employed for several reasons.
Indeed, the number three or its compounds occurs hundreds of times. Noah had three sons and Job had three daughters. The Ark of the Covenant contained three sacred objects ‘The gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant” Solomon’s Palace of the Forest of Lebanon was designed with windows “placed high in sets of three facing each other. Likewise, in John’s vision a triple entrance way marked all four sides of the city of the New Jerusalem. David “bowed down before Jonathan three times, with his face to the ground and Daniel regularly prayed three times a day giving thanks to God. Israelite men were required to appear before the Lord three times in a year: “Three times a year all your men must appear before the LORD your God at the place he will choose.
The number three appears often in measurements of time as well. For example, Moses and Aaron petitioned Pharaoh, “Now let us take a three-day journey into the desert to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God. The fleeing Hebrews went three days without finding water in the Desert of Shur. When the Hebrews neared the Jordan River they were informed, “Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the LORD your God is giving you for your own.
In some contexts the third day appears to emphasize the presence of new information that will generate further activity. The third day and number 3 mean divine wholeness, completeness and perfection in the context of many biblical stories.
Thus on the third day Laban learned that Jacob had fled with his wives and property. The entire episode thus contains not only historical information, but the presence of the third day at the outset of the narrative alerts the reader to expect that the account will contain more details.
Similarly, on the third day Joshua and the Israelites learned that the Gibeonites had used deception when Israel made a treaty with them and so set out for their cities. Once again it is likely that the mention of the three days that had elapsed after making the inviolable treaty before the Israelites gained information of their being duped and the attention drawn to the third day alerts the hearer/reader that something out of the ordinary was about to happen.
When David was not allowed to accompany the Philistine forces to the battle. Upon reaching there on the third day, he learned that an Amalekite group had raided and burned the city. The presence of the third day motif at the beginning of the narrative not only reinforces David’s expected reaction but points to the probable success of his mission.
In an interesting case of the occurrence of three days and the third day motif together, Joseph instructs his brothers as to what they must do in order to verify that they had been telling the truth to the one whom they understood to be a powerful Egyptian official rather than their brother. Here again the third day motif may well send a signal that important developments are to follow. Indeed, the third day here reflects the fact that after the prescribed waiting period, important decisions were to be made on the third day.
This year we’ve been waiting for this third day. We often look to the next day to make ends meet. On the the second day we hope for better change or an ending to current situations. I think we should start looking, waiting and longing for the third day. Hosea writes: After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him.
Lets pray for this third and new day together. Let’s pray for the many situations in which not even the second day wants to come. Let’s pray for this third day for the compassion of the Lord to come to our neighbourhoods and surroundings. Let’s pray for this third day for many personal areas in our lives that are needing to transition from the 1st to the 3rd day.
I wish you the words for your prayers and for us to see this miracle of the third day happening in our lives and in the lives of many around us.