Our Delightful Inheritance

Scripture Focus: Psalm 16.5-6
5 Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
     you make my lot secure.
 6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
     surely I have a delightful inheritance.

Reflection: Our Delightful Inheritance
By Erin Newton

The rising cost of housing is not news to us anymore. Headlines recently have read, “Gen Z Can’t Afford the Rent,” and “Realtor Explains Why Millennials Struggle to Buy Homes.” Where former generations bought homes and land with relative ease, younger generations are seeing it as an impossibility.

Land has served as a means for gaining security and wealth throughout millennia. In the Old Testament, key figures are marked by their possessions and their land. Abraham is promised land as an inheritance for his descendants. The vast number of livestock owned by Job hints at a large land ownership necessary to care for the herds. Land meant security and prosperity. Land was desirable.

Stories about the twelve tribes settling into the Promised Land contain details about the divisions and make little impact on us today. But the absence of land given to the Levites is noticeable. How did the Levites feel about their lack of inheritance?

Psalm 16 is a confession of faith by someone who is devoted to the Lord. The psalmist relies on priestly language speaking of the “holy people” of the land and the dangers of idolatry. The psalmist rejects the idea of pouring out “libations of blood” to a false god. It could be that the perspective is that of a priest, a Levite.

[It’s important to understand that inscriptions reading, “of David,” can mean more than authorship. Some of these psalms are attributed to David, written in the style of David, or about David.]

If the psalmist is truly a Levite, he is landless. This expression of joy uses the language of physical blessings but the content of each blessing is God.

God is his portion. His lot is secure. His boundary lines fall in pleasant places. He has a delightful inheritance. Rolf Jacobsen rightly identifies the source of hope, “The relationship that the psalmist has with God is the psalmist’s all—the portion, cup, lot, boundary, and inheritance.”

With headlines that remind us of all that we lack, do we see God as our all? With a savings account that doesn’t seem to go anywhere but down, do we see the pleasant lines of our inheritance?

A health and wealth gospel will try to convince us that we need something more than God to be content. Do not pour out offerings to the gods of this world. Eternal pleasures are at his right hand alone.  

Divine Hours Prayer: The Refrain for the Morning Lessons
The Lord is near to those who call upon him, to all who call upon him faithfully. — Psalm 145.19

– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle.

Today’s Readings
2 Samuel 23 (Listen 5:38)
Psalms 15-16 (Listen 2:03)

Read more about Inheritance of Rachel’s Daughters
Inheritances are promised and given, not earned or attained. They can’t be purchased or procured.

Read The Bible With Us
What does the Bible mean? Find out. Join our Bible reading plan and find meaning at a sustainable, two-year pace.


Overgrown by the Gospel

Psalm 15
Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
   Who may live on your holy mountain?

The one whose walk is blameless,
   who does what is righteous,
   who speaks the truth from their heart;
whose tongue utters no slander,
   who does no wrong to a neighbor,
   and casts no slur on others;
who despises a vile person
   but honors those who fear the Lord;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
   and does not change their mind;
who lends money to the poor without interest;
   who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.

Whoever does these things
   will never be shaken.

Reflection: Overgrown by the Gospel
By John Tillman

Psalm 15 lays out what David sees as God’s requirements for his holy people.

As we read through the list, we can, like the pharisees, deceive ourselves into thinking that God is describing us. But if we are humble and honest, we will be struck by how far short we fall, and how rare even one of these qualities is in our world, much less all of them together.

How then, can we ever hope to dwell with God? How can we become his people and live in his kingdom and its city?

This list is not intended to be a list of ways we must prove or earn our way into God’s kingdom. Those who will live with God, as described in the psalm, are those who respond to his call, and to whom he responds by sending the Holy Spirit. Paul describes the Holy Spirit as both a down payment and a renovator of our inner being.

The gospel can be interpreted as a transaction that happens in an instant, but it is also a transformation that accelerates over time. The qualities of the people of God are cultivated by God. They are the blossoms and blooms of actions that the Holy Spirit will plant in us when we surrender to him.

When the seed of the gospel begins to grow in us, it is like the springing up of a tree from a crack in our hardened, concrete heart. As it grows, the concrete doesn’t stand a chance. The roots swell and crush the rock, cracking it open to expose the earth beneath. Soon the concrete structure is unrecognizable and covered with green growth.

As we have written elsewhere, cultivation begins with destruction. May the gospel make ruins of our pride and selfishness. May we be overgrown by the gospel.

May our concrete hearts be cracked open by the swelling roots of the gospel in our lives. May our parking lots for our possessions become parks to share with our community. May every area that we have sealed off with reinforced concrete walls be ruined by the invading growth of our new nature. May our self-worshiping architecture be overgrown, cracked open, and torn down by the persistent growth of what the Holy Spirit cultivates in us.

May our controlled environments become reclaimed land that is transfigured into the wild beauty of the garden of God.

Prayer: The Call to Prayer
Come, let us bow down, and bend the knee, and kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand. Oh, that today you would hearden to his voice! — Psalm 95.6-7

– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle.

Today’s Readings
Leviticus 13 (Listen – 9:34)
Psalm 15-16 (Listen – 2:03)

Thank You!
Thank you for reading and a huge thank you to those who donate to our ministry, keeping The Park Forum ad-free and enabling us to continue to produce fresh content. Every year our donors help us produce over 100,000 words of free devotionals. Follow this link to support our readers.

Read more about Cultivation Starts With Destruction
Cultivation is an act of peace, community, and faith. However, cultivation often begins with the smell of fire, the wielding of sharpened metal tools, and the sounds of chainsaws.

Read more about Cultivation Is Supernatural
A stronger faith, and a greater crop yield comes when we invest in cultivation. Cultivation is not natural. It is supernatural.