The LORD is my portion…
There is a rich word picture given in the first words of this week’s passage. In his Treasury of David, Spurgeon points out that the first words of verse 57, “The Lord is my portion,” are only two words in the original Hebrew. He believes it is written almost as an exclamation of wonder: chêleq yehôvâh — My portion, Lord! To have the Almighty as one’s own portion! Now that is something to shout about.
In the modern vernacular, the word “portion” often conjures up the thought of how much food a person ought to eat: smaller portion, super-size portions. However, in the psalmist’s time, portion referred either to one’s inheritance or to a person’s share of a meal, sacrifice, or the plunder from a victorious battle.
So then, to have the Lord as our portion is to have an eagerly awaited and wonderful share in the Glorious Presence. Our share in the feast of the Bread of Life, our part of the sacrificial Lamb of God, our spoil from the victory of the battle against sin and death — if He is our portion, what a tremendous portion we have!
As we ponder what it means to have God as our portion, let’s briefly consider the remainder of the stanza. For my part, I need the subsequent reminder in verse 58 not to take my Portion for granted. I need to entreat His favor, not because He is reluctant to bestow it, but because I often forget that it is not mine by right but only by His graciousness and mercy.
Much of the content in the remaining verses in this passage may be looked upon as guidelines or indicators that the Lord is, indeed, our portion. The psalmist writes of examining his ways and turning his feet back into the path of God as well as prompt obedience to the Lord’s commands.
He also speaks of the cords of the wicked, indicating that he does not forget the Word in the midst of persecution. He keeps company with others who fear God, possibly due to the very human need for accountability. At the end of the stanza, he is the perpetual student, understanding that he will always need coaching in the Lord’s ways and praising the God whose love fills the whole world .
Good advice. May we all learn to follow such steps as the psalmist, taking care in our walk with God that we do not slip or stray.
So my friends, as we enter the season of Advent, I hope that the Lord is your portion, too. I hope that together we can think on our ways, turn our feet toward His testimonies, and encourage one another to keep His precepts.
This season, let’s not get caught up in the mayhem of greed nor forget that all the Christmas presents we give or receive are transitory. The true Gift of Christmas is Jesus, and what He gave was His life, given as a ransom in our place and paying in full the tremendous debt of sin we had against God.
That is our portion, our ultimate Christmas Present, and it will neither break nor fade nor be lost. Our salvation is secure in Christ forever. Praise be to God on High!