God has something


Are you familiar with the saying, “What God has for me is for me”?

This is something I’ve heard more than a few times during my years in the church. In the past, I may have casually conceded to the remote truth of that statement, but for the most part, I had dismissed it as religious jargon. Recently, however, I was surprised to actually find this concept in the pages of Scripture, though articulated a bit differently.

Psalm 16:5-6 reads, “Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance” (NIV). The New Living Translation renders it this way: “LORD, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine. The land you have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance!”

David, the archetype worshipper of God, writes from the perspective of one devoted to the house of God. If you remember, the Levites were tasked with the furnishings and ministry of the tabernacle and later the temple. Due to the nature of their service, God said of Levi, “They shall have no inheritance among their fellow Israelites; the LORD is their inheritance, as he promised them” (Deuteronomy 18:2 NIV).

Though born of the tribe of Judah and crowned king over Israel, he somehow managed to identify with the Levities. What was it that allowed him to relate to them? Weren’t the Levites dependent upon the tithes of the people (Numbers 18:24)? While David had it within his power to conquer a city for him to dwell (2 Samuel 5:6-9), the Levites were given towns and their pasturelands at the discretion of their fellow countrymen (Numbers 35:1-8); David took what he wanted, but Levi had to depend on others. This doesn’t seem the same.

David’s words in Psalm 16 are not based on riches or status, rather they have much to do with relationship and story. The Lord was David’s portion because he trusted and delighted in him. Everything that came of his life was the result of God’s faithfulness, of which he was well aware. His dependency was on the Lord.

When the Lord told Levi that he would be their inheritance, this was not a downgrade from receiving an allotment in the Promised Land. While it may have seemed that they were left out — much like David was not initially included when the prophet Samuel came to the house of Jesse to anoint the next king (1 Samuel 16:1-13) — their lot was as secure as any. The Lord insured that they would always have work (1 Chronicles 15:2), food (Numbers 18:24) and land (Numbers 35:1-8), using the labor of Israel to be a blessing to Levi.

Indeed, the Lord is our inheritance. This does not mean that we cannot expect anything tangible, but that anything we do receive comes from him. We know that he is able to make good on every promise and guard what he has given us — what God has for us is for us.


~ by christianballenger on July 31, 2016.

One Response to “God has something”

  1. Good post. Our churches are being filled with people expecting a God- like waiter or Santa Claus because the teachings have become me-centered vs. God-centered.

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