Psalm 119.57-64 (1)
Pray Psalm 119.57.
You are my portion, O LORD;
I have said that I would keep Your words.
Sing Psalm 119.57-59.
(Leoni: The God of Abraham Praise)
I vow to keep Your Word; You are my portion, Lord.
Let favor fill my heart; have mercy by Your Word!
When I think on my way, I turn my feet to You,
to Your path I shall not delay, Your Word to do.
Read Psalm 119.57-64; meditate on verse 57.
1. How does the psalmist describe the Lord?
2. What does he do in keeping with that description?
The focus of the ח (cheth) stanza is on taking God as our Portion – and keeping Him that way. The Hebrew word, חֶלְקִ֖י (chel-KAY) is rich with connotations. It means “portion, tract, territory” or even “share” or “habitual way of life” (Brown, Driver, and Briggs). Think of all that is implied in this: Portions of food. Tracts of land, as in the promised land. Territory, a place to dwell and develop, a home. Something to enjoy and share. A Way of life (Jn. 14.6).
God is all that. Can you say that God is all that to you? Your Portion, in all those ways?
Well, we’d better keep working to make that so. Because, as this stanza will show us, we’re going to encounter things that want to take God’s place, and if we give in to them, we’ll lose our way in our journey with the Lord.
The fact is, God is our portion. He has given Himself to us as part of His covenant: “I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward” (Gen. 15.1). We acknowledge and renew that great gift every time we take the Lord’s Supper, and He feeds us spiritually with His body and blood.
Having God as our Portion is one thing. Keeping Him thus is another. And that entails keeping all the words God has spoken to us in His Law and all His Word (well, of course; this is Psalm 119, right?). In this eighth stanza of Psalm 119 we’ll learn a bit more about what “keeping” God’s Law entails. It’s not merely outward grudging obedience, but a rich and ongoing relationship with God, His Word, His people, and His world.
Feed on your Portion today. And get ready to keep Him.
Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.16.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines portion as a part or share of something larger. But in the case of our God, we don’t just have a share; we have Him all. And who or what could be larger? Each of us has our portion in Him, to cherish and love and serve.
The psalmist Asaph wrote these beautiful words:
“Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever” (Ps. 73.25, 26).
The prophet Isaiah quotes our Portion as saying:
“I am the LORD, and there is no other; there is no God besides Me.”
“That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting that there
is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other” (Is. 45.5, 6).
King David wrote of the LORD, our Portion:
“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” (Ps. 16.5, 6).
David comforted himself during the time he spent hiding in a cave from his enemies, by thinking on His Portion. Here is how he wrote about it:
“When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then You knew my path.
In the way in which I walk they have secretly set a snare for me.”
“I cried out to You, O LORD; I said, ‘You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living’” (Ps. 142.3, 5).
We have much Good News to share in our Personal Mission Field about God our Portion, Who wants to be their Portion, too. But again, there is a catch. It “entails keeping all the words God has spoken to us in His Law and all His Word.” This is kind of a no-brainer. Who wouldn’t want God to be their Portion? And who wouldn’t want to do the work involved to keep it that way?
1. What does it mean to you to say that God is your Portion?
2. How can believers encourage one another in realizing God as our Portion?
3. Write a “breathing prayer” using Psalm 119.57. Pray it throughout the day today, and as you lie down to sleep at night.
You see what are the possessions of the just person: God’s commandments, his words, his precepts. In these he is rich; on these he feeds; with these he is delighted as if by all riches. Ambrose of Milan (333-397), Letter 82
Pray Psalm 119.63, 64.
Pray for the believers you will meet today. How can you encourage them in having God as their portion and in keeping His Word?
Sing Psalm 119.63, 64.
(Leoni: The God of Abraham Praise)
All those who fear You, Lord, go with me on my way,
all those who keep Your holy Word from day to day.
Around us all the earth declares Your mercy, Lord.
That I might know Your glorious worth, teach me Your Word.
T. M. and Susie Moore
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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.