"The Lord is my portion, says my soul; therefore I will hope in Him."
It is our great privilege, beloved, that we live in a portionless world. This is both our distinctive badge and our Christian charter. When God parceled out the land of Canaan among the tribes of Israel, He made an exception in the tribe of Levi, to whom He said, "You shall have no inheritance in the land, neither shall you have any part among them;" assigning as His reason, "I am your share and your inheritance." The gospel teaching of this is obvious and significant. As the Lord's true priesthood, this world is not our portion, nor earth our rest. It may have required some painful discipline, and no small measure of faith, on the part of the devout Levite, as he gazed upon the fertile meadows, the watered plains, and the vine-clad hills of the Promised Land, before he was made willing to relinquish it all for Him who is invisible--and it needs no little teaching and discipline of our God, and no little faith on our part, before we are led to give up the world, the creature, self, and all, for Christ
--satisfied to have the Lord alone as our Portion, and heaven only as our inheritance.
But the Lord will not put His people off with anything unworthy of Him to give, or them to accept. He has set them apart for Himself, and Himself apart for them. "All believers are the Lord's CLERGY; and as they are His portion, so He is theirs." (Leighton.) "The Lord's portion is His people, Israel is the lot of His inheritance." "The Lord is my portion, says my soul." His love to us was so great, that when He could give no greater proof of that love, He gave HIMSELF. Nothing more could have expressed the yearnings of His heart, nothing less could have satisfied the desires of ours.
And oh, what a Portion is God! All that He is and all that He has is ours! Every attribute of His being is over us, every perfection of His nature encircles us, every pulse of His heart beats for us, every glance of His eye smiles upon us. We dwell in God, and God dwells in us. It is not the world which is our portion, but HE who made, upholds and governs the world. It is not the creature who is our portion, but the Lord of angels and the Creator of men. Infinite portion! illimitable power! immeasurable grace! boundless love! all-satisfying good! all, all is ours!
And what a Portion, O my soul, is Christ! A divine Christ, a redeeming Christ, a full Christ, a sympathizing, ever-present, ever-precious, ever-loving Christ.
'Lord, I bless You for the discipline that brought me to realize what a divine, all-satisfying Portion I have in Yourself. You took from me an earthly portion, only to enrich me with a Heavenly one. You removed from me the human prop upon which I too fondly and idolatrously leaned, that I might learn what Christ was, as my soul's all-sufficient, all-satisfying, and everlasting Portion. I can now admire the wisdom and adore the love that blasted my gourds and emptied me from vessel to vessel, that, rising superior to the broken staff, the drooping flower, and the failing spring of creature good, I might claim my portion as a true spiritual Levite in Yourself alone.'
Believer in Jesus! make the most of your portion. It is all-sufficient for all your need. God has, perhaps, made you poor in this world, that you might be rich in faith and an heir of that kingdom of glory, the New Jerusalem, He has prepared for you--whose foundations are precious stones, whose walls are jasper, whose gates are pearls, whose streets are pure gold, and through which softly flows the river of the water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and the Lamb, in the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river is the tree of life, bearing twelve manner of fruit, and yielding her fruit every month. All this awaits you! Hope in the Lord, hope in adversity, hope in trial, hope against hope, for God in Christ is your present and eternal Portion. "The Lord is my Portion, says my soul; therefore I will HOPE in Him."