"The LORD is my portion..."
Are we inherently greedy, or just socialized that way? Deep in my heart, I know I'd like the biggest slice of the pizza, that extra piece of chicken, a new and improved multi-media system, a better equipped computer, more songs in my iPod... the list could go on and on. Of course, over time, I've come to condition myself to refrain from grabbing all that I want. Sometimes it's easy. Other times it takes a lot of self-control. But I do wonder... are we inherently greedy?
In Psalm 119 (that epic of all Psalms!), 5 words grabbed my attention today. One phrase. Half a verse. "THE LORD IS MY PORTION" (v.57). Immediately, I thought of the Levites and the distribution of the promised land for the 12 tribes of Israel in the Old Testament. Every tribe got their own place. Everyone, that is, except the Levites. They were the priests. God decided that the priests would not have any specific area that was "theirs." Instead, they'd be evenly distributed around all of the 12 tribes (everyone needs priests, I guess!). Then God said, "I will be your portion." Wow.
That got me, in turn, thinking about wills and inheritances. Imagine an attorney's office with a family gathered around for the reading of a loved one's will. One by one, each member of the family gets a share of the deceased one's estate. But the last one (let's say she's a favorite granddaughter) is left with nothing material. Instead, the woman leaves her granddaughter, "My strong relationship with the LORD!" Would she feel cheated? Disappointed? Confused?
If God is our portion, then we only need to look to Him to be our support and strength. If God is our portion, we don't have to worry and fret over our future security. If God is our portion, our hearts are released from the entangled ties to material goods (and human approval!)... and we are free to live the abundant life God created us to live!
I, for one, earnestly want the LORD to be my portion. But I have such a long way to go...