Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Yahweh the Portion of My Inheritance and My Cup

O LORD, You are the portion of my inheritance
  and my cup;
You maintain my lot.
  The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Yes, I have a good inheritance.
(Psalm 16:5-6)
Here is a wonderful name of God: Yahweh the Portion of My Inheritance and My Cup. The name LORD (all caps) is the Hebrew Yahweh, the personal name of God, the name by which He reveals Himself to His people in covenant. The words You are are in italics, signifying that they are not in the original text but were added by the translators).

A “portion” is that which has been weighed out. The Hebrew word for “inheritance” used here refers to a portion that is received by allotment, an inheritance. It comes from a word that literally means “smooth.” Smooth stones were used for making allotments, i.e., drawing lots, and came to refer to an inheritance which is received by allotment, or lottery.

By the double use of “portion” and “inheritance,” David, the psalm writer, is saying, “LORD, You are the Portion of all portions to me.”

We might think of it this way: When we know the LORD, through faith in Jesus Christ, we have won the highest lottery. We have hit the jackpot of all jackpots. We have received the highest and greatest reward there is to receive.

A cup is a holder. God is a cup for us. He holds everything in our life together and fills us with abundance. In the Shepherd Psalm, David said, “My cup runs over” (Psalm 23:5).

After calling God “The Portion of My Inheritance and My Cup” David then says, “You maintain my lot.” The word for “maintain” means to obtain, sustain, retain, maintain. It is not about what we do, but about what God does. What He begins in us, He brings through to completion.

“The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places.” The lines are the boundary lines of what we receive in the LORD, and the field they describe is delightful, a place of fruitfulness and abundance.

“Yes, I have a good inheritance.” The word for “good” used here literally means “glisten.” Our inheritance in the LORD is good — bright and shining, and fair to look upon. It is delightful and very desirable.

Finally, notice that David is speaking in the present tense. The inheritance we have in the LORD is not something we will receive someday when we die and go to heaven. No, it is an inheritance we possess now. It is given to us for this life.

If you have received the Lord Jesus Christ, you have won the lottery. You are now in possession of the portion of all portions. Take time to reflect on the wonderful inheritance you have in the LORD. Look to Him to maintain and take care of you in all things. Enjoy the Lord, your portion and your cup, now and forever.