The Lord is My Portion—I Shall Not Want
By James H. Pence –
Have you ever thought of God as your portion?
The scriptures use many metaphors to describe God and our relationship to Him. Among other things, God is described as a rock, a refuge, a shepherd and a fortress. But one of the most powerful metaphors for God found in the Bible is portion. Nowadays, we don’t often hear the word “portion” used outside of the context of dieting. But in the Bible, portion is a word rich with meaning. It occurs frequently in the Old Testament and can refer to someone’s share in a meal, part of a sacrifice, a soldier’s share of the plunder, or someone’s inheritance. But when the word is used to describe God, it takes on a whole new depth of meaning.
In Psalm 73, Asaph has been struggling to understand why the wicked prosper when righteous people suffer. As he navigates his way through this question, he finally concludes that, although the wicked may prosper in this life, God has placed them on slippery ground and they will eventually perish (Psalm 73:17-19). But Asaph doesn’t stop there. He realizes that it doesn’t matter how much the wicked prosper because his inheritance, his portion, is not on earth.
Near the end of the psalm, Asaph writes: “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:25-26 NIV). As he looks around and sees how unfair this world seems to be, Asaph remembers that he is only a pilgrim on earth. He has an inheritance—a portion—that is greater than any wealth the wicked possess. His portion is God Himself.
Four times in the Psalms and once in Lamentations, the scripture writers describe God as their portion (Psalm 16:5, 73:26, 119:57, 142:5, Lamentations 3:24). Each time it is a reminder that whatever happens in this world, we have a possession that transcends all trial, tragedy, and difficulty.
We live in a world that is increasingly filled with trouble and violence, and it’s easy to become discouraged with the circumstances we must daily face as Christians. On those days it is helpful to remember that God is our portion. If we have Him, we need nothing else.
PRAYER: God, thank You for being my portion and my inheritance. Help me daily to remember that I have no one in heaven but You and that, having You, I should desire nothing on earth. My heart and my flesh will indeed fail someday, but You are the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.
“I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him’” (Lamentations 3:24 NIV).
Today’s devotion is by James H. Pence. James is an author, speaker, singer, and gospel chalk artist, but prefers to be known as a storyteller. To learn more about James and how he draws the stories of your heart, visit his website at: www.jamespence.com.