You are my portion, O LORD: I have said that I would keep your words.…
1. Observe the close connection between privilege and duty. "Thou art my portion, O Lord;" this is an unspeakable happiness. "I have said that I would keep Thy words" — this is the fitting return for such a blessing. Every mercy given us of the Lord brings with it a claim which we ought in gratitude to recognize.
2. Notice very carefully the order in which the privilege and the duty are arranged. The blessing of grace is first and the fruit of gratitude next. The grace given is the root and the resolve is the fruit growing out of it.
3. Each possession not only involves service, but appropriate service, even as each plant bears its own flower. The general principle which calls for service bears a particular application, for each particular Gospel benefit is linked with some special Gospel service. The unspeakable boon of having God for our portion has here fastened to it the peculiar excellence of keeping God's words.
I. THE INFINITE POSSESION. "Thou art my portion, O Lord."
1. A clear distinction. The psalmist declares the Lord to be his portion in distinction to the portion of the ungodly. The seventy-third psalm gives a full and particular description of the ungodly in their prime and glory, when "their eyes stand out with fatness," and "they have more than heart can wish." But David did not desire to share their short-lived joys, he sought his happiness elsewhere, looking to the Creator rather than the creatures and to eternity rather than time.
2. The positive claim — "Thou art my portion, O Lord." He deliberately declares this in the silence of his soul. As for the ungodly, they are boasting of their prosperity, they are girding themselves with pride as with a golden chain; but I dare not seek my joy in such matters, "Thou art my portion, O Lord." You see he speaks in the present tense. "Thou art my portion, O Lord." There are some things which I have not received as yet, but I have already laid hold upon my God. At this hour "My Beloved is mine, and I am His." I know whom I have believed, and I know that He has given Himself to me as I have given myself to Him. Beyond a doubt, Thou art at this very moment my portion, O Lord.
3. The portion itself. "Thou."
(1) What a boundless portion.
(2) How abiding it is.
(3) An appropriate portion, in every way suitable go content the soul.
(4) In the fullest degree satisfying.
(5) An elevating portion.
(6) If God be my portion, then my portion is all of grace, for no one can merit God.
II. THE APPROPRIATE RESOLUTION.
1. The preface, "I have said." Why did he not put it, "Thou art my portion, O Lord; I will keep Thy words"? No, he writes "I have said it," which means deliberation. He had thought over his happiness in having such a portion. What then? His thoughts began to stir within Him and to devise a fit expression for his gratitude, and he at last said, "I will keep Thy words." It was no hasty thought, but a determined resolve. I suppose he also means that he had given a distinct pledge. He had opened his mouth to the Lord, and could not go back.
2. The link between the portion possessed and the resolution made: it is not very difficult to discover. God is best known to us by His words. His works reveal Him by a reflected light as ,the moon, but His words display Him by a direct light as a very sun of light to us. How do I know God except by His words? The God of the inspired Word is our God, and because this God is our portion, and we know Him by His words, therefore have we said we will keep His words.
3. What is this work of keeping God's words?
(1) First, then, there is a Word which above all is to be kept, enshrined in the heart and obeyed in the life. "In the beginning was the Word." That very name, "the Word," given to Christ puts the highest honour upon every other word of revelation. Beware of trifling or being negligent towards any word of the Lord, since Jesus Christ is the chief and sum of the words of God.
(2) The word of the Gospel.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: CHETH. Thou art my portion, O LORD: I have said that I would keep thy words.