"He is an exceedingly covetous fellow to whom God is not sufficient, and he is an exceeding fool to whom the world is sufficient. God is an inexhaustible treasury of all riches, sufficing that of innumerable men. The world has mere trifles and fascinations, and it leads the soul into deep and sorrowful poverty." - Thomas Le Blanc (1599-1669)
From the very start of this message, we must settle something once and for all -
Is God all-sufficient or the world - in your estimation?
Are you one of those "exceedingly covetous fellows" or "exceeding fools" - as the above writer mentioned - who is after the world's "mere trifles and fascinations," or are you one who has found your God to be "an inexhaustible treasury of all riches"?
So many today - even in the Body of Christ - are pursuing after the world's countless idols and the reason being is because they have never caught a glimpse of the Lord Jesus as their "portion."
He - Who is referred to in Jeremiah 10:16 as"The Portion of Jacob" - "is not like them."
Not like who?
Not like the graven images or idols to which most people look, trust, or confide. "They are vanity, and the work of errors..." (Jeremiah 10:15) and "falsehood" (Jeremiah 10:14), but our God - "the former of all things" (Jeremiah 10:16), Fashioner and Potter of the universe, and Maker of heaven and earth - "is able to do exceeding abundantly above all" that His people "ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20) and provide sufficiently for all that they would ever stand in need of.
"The Portion of Jacob" was Israel's all-in-all - their all-sufficient, good, full, and complete happiness. In other words, in Him was found "a worthy portion" - entire satisfaction and complacency. Consequently, they were obliged to wholeheartedly cleave to Him and - in no way ever - forsake Him to embrace idols.
Unfortunately, down through the ages, this has not been the case among God's people. Satan has sought to cloud, distort, or impair their vision - using the "razzle-dazzle" of this world.
They have suffered due to severe depression, hopelessness, unbelief, doubt, and fear...walked in utter disobedience and rebellion...and failed to stand in the presence of their enemies - losing much ground in the entire ordeal.
In Psalm 73:26, Asaph declared - "My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever." For some - wealth, honor, earthly friends, and fame - are their ground of hope. But this man of God had come to the conclusion - at the end of his life - that the Almighty was his supreme joy, the only source of happiness for the soul, the chief good of all mankind, and the most valuable treasure.
Matthew Henry - in his Commentary on this verse - said it this way - "All is well if God be mine...Earth carries away the desires of most men, and yet I have none on earth, no persons, no things, no possessions, no delights, that I desire besides Thee or with Thee, in comparison or competition with Thee."
Notwithstanding, how many people - even on their deathbed - have yet to come to that same conclusion?
And why is it so hard for the living to realize this truth - that God is and always will be man's greatest source of joy?
Psalm 142:5 depicts David's similar thoughts to those of Asaph's when he said - "I cried unto Thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living."
There is no danger to fear when God is our "refuge"; there is no lack if He is our "portion." When the Psalmist found himself surrounded by danger - with no help in sight - and "no man cared for his soul" (Psalm 142:4) - he cried to the One Who could and would hide him under the shadow of His wings and then enable him to taste the "sweet nectars" of victory.
In Lamentations 3:24, the Prophet Jeremiah associated the Lord as our "portion" with our "hope" in saying - "The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him." When He is the dearest treasure and the all-sufficient happiness of His people, then they become totally confident that all their troubles will be counterbalanced and their losses regained.
Jamieson, Fausset, & Brown's Commentary says it this way - "To have God for our portion is the one only foundation of hope."
In Psalm 119:57, the Psalmist makes a definite correlation between choosing God as our "portion" and our obedience - "Thou art my portion, O LORD: I have said that I would keep Thy words."
When we deliberately turn from the world's treasures and declare that God is - "My Portion, O Lord!" - we automatically and willingly bind ourselves unto Him - to the extent whereby His law becomes our rule and treasure. In other words, we find ourselves preferring His word and its commands to all that this world offers - wealth, honor, pleasure, and fame.
Lastly, in Psalm 16:5, David implied that choosing the Lord - instead of the world's idols or sensual joys - for our portion, happiness, chief good, and only fulfilling food and drink which can cheer, refresh, and sustain our souls - causes us to walk in victory over our enemies - "The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: Thou maintainest my lot."
When we make the Lord our "portion," He defends, sustains, preserves, and even enlarges that which is dear or valuable to us. He does not leave it in the power of our enemies to rob and plunder. When we have been wronged, He pleads our cause - bringing justice and vindication.
In closing, Pastor Henry also gives this final word concerning the Lord as our "portion" -"It is our duty to make God the portion of our souls, and then to make use of Him as our portion and to take the comfort of it in the midst of our lamentations."
Have you made Him the "portion" of your soul?
Or are you too busy seeking after the world's trifles and fascinations?
Your answer will determine whether or not you are walking in hope, obedience, or victory over your enemies each day.
Our God - "...is an inexhaustible treasury of all riches..."
Knowing this - and then choosing the idols of this world - is to be an exceeding fool.