Our Joyful Inheritance

4 07 2012

Psalms 119:111 I have inherited Your testimonies forever, For they are the joy of my heart.

An inheritance was an important part of culture for centuries.  The father would pass on his assets, land and ministry (as in the case of a priest) to his sons.  The first born son would receive the largest inheritance and, so, it would diminish with each son.  A daughter received no inheritance unless there was no son; although, her husband was given a dowry, or payment of sorts, when she was betrothed.

If King David is the psalmist, then we need to keep in mind that he was the youngest of eight sons.  His inheritance from his earthly father was probably small, and in comparison with the wealth he acquired as King of Israel, probably of no account.  But, it wasn’t his earthly inheritance that drew his attention, but his eternal one.  The joy of his heart, the thing that captured his attention and brought him delight, was the inheritance he received from his heavenly Father, in the form of His Faithful Witnesses.

 How good a thing it is when experience ripens into joy, passing up through sorrow, prayer, conflict, hope, decision, and holy content into rejoicing! Joy fixes the spirit: when once a man’s heart rejoices in the divine word, he greatly values it, and is for ever united to it. — C. H. Spurgeon

Let’s review again some of God’s Faithful Witnesses:

  • Jesus (Revelation 1:5)
  • The Holy Spirit (Romans 8:16)
  • His People (Acts 1:8; Revelation 2:13)
  • The Prophets (Acts 10:43)
  • Our conscious (Romans 2:15)
  • God Himself (Romans 1:9; 2 Corinthians 1:23; Philippians 1:8; 1 Thessalonians 2:5)
  • Our good works (Hebrews 11:5)

 The Scripture is called “testimonies” in respect to God himself, because it doth give a testimony to him, and makes God known to us: it gives a testimony of all those attributes that are himself, of his wisdom, of his power, of his justice, of his goodness, of his truth. The declaration of these, we have them all in the various books of the Scriptures: there is never a book, but there is a testification of these attributes. In the book of Genesis we have a testimony of his power in making the world, of his justice in drowning the world, and of his goodness in saving Noah. In the book of Exodus, we have a testimony of his providence in leading the people of Israel through the Red Sea, in bringing them out of Egypt; we have a testimony of his wisdom in giving them his law. What should I name more? In the New Testament, in the Gospel, all is testimony. As the Old gave testimony to God, so the New to Christ: “To him gave all the prophets witness”; not only the Old, but the New: “These are they that testify of me.” Everywhere there is testimony of Christ, — of his humility, in taking our nature; of his power, in working miracles; of his wisdom, in the parables that he spoke; of his patience and love, in the torments that he suffered for us. Both Law and Gospel — the whole book of Scripture, and every part of it in these regards is fitly called “the testimonies of the Lord.” And the holy Psalmist made choice of this name when he was to speak to the honour and glory of it; because it was that name from which he sucked a great deal of comfort, because it was the testimony of God’s truth and goodness and wisdom and power to him; thereupon he makes so precious esteem of it as to account it his “heritage.” –Richard Holdsworth (1590-1649), in “The Valley of Vision.”

Psalm 16:5 The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot.

It is not a WHAT that we receive as our inheritance, but a WHO.  The Lord Himself chooses our inheritance for us (Psalm 47:4). It isn’t based on whether we are the youngest or the oldest, male or female; it is based on Christ alone (Ephesians 1:11).  Because we are adopted into the kingdom of God, we can never be disinherited but are sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise (Ephesians 1:13-14).  This inheritance isn’t given to just anybody, either for no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God (Ephesians 5:5).  Only those who are qualified to share in the inheritance by the Father will receive it (Colossians 1:12),   giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time 1 Peter 1:3-5).

For the joy set before Him, Jesus endured the Cross (Hebrews 12:2).  How much more will His people be able to endure the persecutions, hardships, snares and temptations with the joy of His inheritance set before us!  We get what He bought with His own life.  There is no greater joy than knowing someone loves you enough to do whatever it takes to make you His own.

And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified (Acts 20:32).  I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might (Ephesians 1:18-19).

Lord, You have confirmed Your Love for me, that while I was yet a sinner You died for me.  The Word bears witness of that and my heart resonates with its truth.  Continue to open the enlighten me to know what the hope of Your calling is for me, what is the riches of Your glory and what is the surpassing greatness of Your power toward me so that I may always set Your joy before me and trust You to do what You have said You will.  You are my inheritance and my hope, and in You alone do I put my tomorrow.

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