Summary: This message deals with that Interim of Brokenness in a saint’s life because of some departure from the path of righteousness.
Our Text is placed between the ‘ZAIN’ of verses 49-56 and the ‘TETH’ of verses 65-72. In between the Hebraic alphabets ‘Z’ and ‘T’ is the ‘CH’. ZAIN mean Nourish, TETH means Good, Rejoice, and CHETH means BREAKDOWN. Thus, in between being Nourished on the Hope received from God’s Word and the Dancing and Shouting for Joy that comes as a result of realizing that the Lord is Good, there is an Interim of BROKENNESS, A BREAKDOWN.
It seems as if a straight progression from being Fed with Hope to Realizing that the Lord is Good is seldom made; for somewhere in the Interim, there is BREAKDOWN. Between our being nourished with divine comfort and our leaping and shouting for joy, there is a BREAKDOWN! Very rarely do we go from Nourishing Comfort straight to Rejoicing because of the Goodness of the Lord; for somewhere in between the two, there seems to be A BREAKDOWN.
Very rarely do we connect our being Fed with Hope to the Goodness of the Lord. Somehow Pride, Arrogance, Self-Congratulation generally follows being Satisfied, Fed and Filled with Good Things. Very rarely do we connect our being Fed with Hope to the Goodness of the Lord. Therefore, because we do not recognize that our Nourishment is a direct result of the Goodness of the Lord, WE ARE BROKEN BEFORE MIDNIGHT.
That is the dilemma we confront in our Text: we encounter a saint having to deal with that INTERIM OF BROKENNESS. For in the midst of the Breakdown, the writer proclaims HIS PORTION. In the A part of verse 57 he says in the Hebrew Text: “My Portion, O Lord!” It seems as if his Brokenness reminds him of his Lot in Life. He says hw;hyÒ yqIlÒj,. You see, BROKENNESS will remind you of your PORTION.
The word qŸlj² translated “PORTION” was strictly limited in scope to the idea of “SMOOTHNESS,” as Smooth Stones were used for Lots as a means of deciding something. The writer, then, seem to be saying: “The casting of the Smooth Stones has determined YOU, O LORD, to be MY ALLOTTED PORTION IN LIFE. I posses nothing in this world but YOU, O LORD!”
The reference here is to the dividing up of the land of Canaan by Lots. The Lots were cast and all the tribes of Israel were given their land on which to dwell and prosper. But when it came to the house of Aaron and the tribe of Levi, no land was left. And so, they were assigned the Tabernacle and its area and certain cities set aside as Cities of Refuge.
So I believe the writer is a member of the Clergy: a Priest or Levite. Looking at the apportionment of the other tribes, he says: “All the other tribes have been assigned land on which they can farm or raise livestock and from which they can acquire wealth, prestige and goods. But as for me, I have no plot of land, nor crops or livestock, no business to support myself, no earthly possession; all I have allotted to me is YOU. MY PORTION IS YOU, O LORD!”
And that is significant because most of us own no land or livestock, possess no stocks or bonds, own no businesses, have little or no credit; all we have allotted to us is the LORD: THE LORD IS OUR PORTION. And we could say with Fanny Crosby:
“Thou my everlasting Portion
More than friends or life to me,
All along my pilgrim journey
Savior, let me walk with Thee.”
The One who said to Moses from the Burning Bush “I AM There as the One who Will Always be There” IS OUR PORTION. My Portion is the One who will always be Present with me in my Breakdown. The One who will always be there, Leading me in the way back to Him. The One who will be there, Strengthening me in my Brokenness. The One who will be there, Supplying my Needs and Preserving my Life in the INTERIM OF BROKENNESS.
My friends, when you lose everything, you will find that you have an opportunity to gain everything! Sometimes it takes the ADVERSITY OF LOSS to teach us the ADVANTAGE OF THE LORD. So, BEFORE MIDNIGHT COMES, we ought to confess that “MY PORTION IS YOU, O LORD!”
Sometimes the Words of our Mouth Comes back To Haunt Us! For if you would notice in the B part of verse 57, the writer recalls THE TORMENT OF A BROKEN PROMISE HE ONCE MADE. He says, “I have said that I would Keep Your Words.” This could be a reference to his Bar-Mitzvah when he became a Man, a Son of the Law. At that occasion, he took up the Torah in his hands, kissed it, held it high over his head as he carried it, and promised he would order his life according to the Law of the Lord. Or, it could be a reference to his Ordination. After long and tedious study in becoming skilled in reading and interpreting the Torah, he promised to Keep the Lord’s Words. At that time he had received as “words from the Lord” a total direction of life, covering his words, deeds and attitudes. He understood that the Lord’s Words involved a whole way of life that related him to God and his neighbor.