“The LORD is my portion; I have promised to keep Your words.” – Psalm 119:57” – (NASB)
In the original language, verse 57 may be a broken sentence. The translators mended it by insertions, but even as it is without the fix it makes good sense. It would appear as an exclamation,—“My portion, O Lord!” As one nearly overcome with God’s goodness, the psalmist (likely David) is lost in wonder while he sees that the great and glorious God is all his own! This is understandable, for there is no possession we might have like the LORD himself. The sentence expresses joyous recognition and assumption,—“My portion, O LORD!” The idea of “a portion” springs from the lawful practice of the Levites when they were sacrificing animals brought to the Temple as offerings. They were given a portion of the meat that they might eat. In this way the priests were sustained since their work was fully within the compound of the Temple when they served. For the psalmist and for us, God is a great and permanent portion, our heritage. It includes all, and more than all; it outlasts all; and yet no one chooses it for themselves until God has chosen and renewed their life by being born of God.
“My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” – Psalm 73:26 (ESV)
Can’t we all agree that we have a weakness when it comes to holding the line on what we know and believe faithfully? Literally the verb in this verse is simply “fail,” not “may fail.” Asaph was enraptured by God. His testimony is, “I have failed! I am despairing! I am dejected! I am overcome with depression!” Then he fires a broadside against all this despondency: “But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” This is our promise for when the blues attack. Refuse to yield to their effects. Instead, battle our unbelief; respond with a strategic counterattack. It comes down to this if we trust the promises of God: when in ourselves we feel weak and unable to cope; when we are physically spent and have lost heart, that is the time to not yield to whatever the reason is for our despondency. We trust God and not ourselves. We have hope because God is our strength and our portion forever. These testimonies in the Bible are for our use to fight the unbelief of despondency. And, we fight with the blast of faith in God’s promises.
“You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. ” – Psalm 73:24-25 (ESV)
Let’s take a moment and consider the first promise. We are guided by God and He does so according to His counsel which is without fault and prefect in wisdom. Understanding these verses really requires reading them in context with the whole psalm. He faces temptation and nearly slips into the evils of envious arrogance (v. 2-3). The author is in conflict inwardly (vs. 14-15) Embarrassed as to how to act, he finds deliverance from his dilemma (v.16). He ends up with this declaration. The Psalmist acknowledges that it is God who guides us and it is also God who sees to us being received in glory. He thus declares his allegiance to God. We truly have no one besides God who will guarantee, and assure our eternal future in heaven. Another promise is here in the next verse (v. 26) that God is the strength of our heart and His portion is our best possession. Hence, there is nothing on earth that should capture our desire besides God. Let’s not buck against this but instead, with Asaph, the Psalms author, let’s make the Lord God our refuge and testify of all His works (v. 28).