For the LORD's portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.
By this it is not intimated that God needs us, or any creature, to add anything to His blessedness; it is impossible to suppose it. We cannot be necessary to the Lord otherwise than as we supply Him with opportunities of displaying His grace and all-sufficiency. But though it implies not anything so derogatory to God, it means something of the greatest consequence to us.
1. In the first place, it implies tender care. A man's portion is the most valuable part of his substance, which he is solicitous above all things to preserve: and if it be at any time in danger, he is indefatigable till it be secured. In like manner is the Church, and every particular member of it, the charge of the providence of God.
2. A portion is an object of delight. With what pleasure does the worldling survey his possessions! He leaves his intimate friend, and agreeable company, to count his beloved treasure. He walks over his fields each day with fresh pleasure; and every time sees, or thinks he sees, new beauties in the prospect around him. Yet this very imperfectly represents the delight which the Lord is described as taking in His people. Jewels, treasure, heritage, children are the endearing appellations by which they are distinguished.
3. A portion implies expectation. Where much is given, much will be required. Where He has distinguished any with peculiar marks of regard, He expects works of faith and labours of love; fruitfulness in every good work, and increase in the knowledge of God. He expects that His people should be essentially different from the rest of the world; that they shine as lights in the world, and adorn the doctrine of God their Saviour in all things; and that their progress in grace and holiness be proportionable to their various advantages.
4. I might here particularly show you how we came to be the portion of God.
(1) But let us now, from what has been said, consider how lamentable it is that the Lord's portion is so small; that, among all the human race, there should be so few to whom the words of the text may be properly applied.
(2) How solicitous should we be to know whether we be the Lord's portion or not!
(3) "Let us walk worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called."(4) Finally, let us rejoice in the prospect of that glorious period, when the Lord will fully possess His portion, and we shall fully possess ours.
Parallel VersesKJV: For the LORD'S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.