“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul. “Therefore, I hope in Him.” – Lamentation 3:24
Last week, I used Lamentation 3:22-23. I read the next verse and almost included it, but the more I thought about it, I didn’t really know what it meant. So, I decided to study it further. I have heard very few Christians use this term. I don’t think my soul has ever uttered these words.
A few weeks ago, I was preaching. After the service, a lady approached me and said, “I love the Lord, I really do, but I realize today that I don’t really trust Him with my life.” I had forgotten her words, but reading and studying “cheleq”, the Hebrew word for “portion, tract, territory,” has brought them to the forefront of my mind. The more I think about her words, I begin to wonder if I truly trust Him with my life. If I have to wonder, that means I probably don’t. I think the Lord connected these two things over this past week because my answer comes in truly making the Lord “my portion.” As always, it is much easier said than done.
The first meaning that I see has to do with something divided up into parts. It reminds me of how Joseph gave his brother, Benjamin, twice as much food as he gave the other brothers. When it came to dividing up land in general, the oldest got 2/3 of the inheritance, while the second in line got 1/3. Once, in Luke 12, a guy shouted to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” Jesus simply said something like, “I’m not here to do that kind of thing.” How much time do I spend thinking about my next meal, the land I own or want to own, or the size of my bank account? If I spend more time thinking about worldly possessions than God, then He is probably not my portion.
The meaning I like the best comes within the context of Joshua dividing up the land among the Israelites. Every tribe got an allotment of land, except the tribe of Levi. Deuteronomy 10:9 says, “Levi has no portion nor inheritance with his brethren; the Lord is his inheritance.” It is crazy how up until probably right now, I would have thought, “man, they got ripped off.” Turns out, they got the best part. The other tribes had to work their land and use part of the resources to help support them and keep up the temple. All Levi had to do was focus on the Lord and His work. They would never inherit any land, but they would inherit the Lord, for He was their portion.
I’m sure I only scratched the surface of what all of this means. Mostly, it means I must change my thinking. For the first time, my soul is saying to itself, “Lord, You, are my portion.”
Thank you so much, Lord, for teaching me this morning. The first thing you ever asked of me was my honesty. I read these words this morning and know that You aren’t truly my portion. As you look into my soul, I pray that you find that I really want you to be. I have looked too much to the pleasures and treasures of this world. All of it will fade away, but you . . . you are eternal and will stand forever. The Word of the Lord will stand forever. Cleanse my heart, soul, and mind this morning as I make probably my thousandth fresh start with you. You, Lord, are my portion. Amen