'I said...O Lord...Thou Art My Portion'

Ps. 142:5 'I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion...''

In sharp contrast to the sentiments expressed in the above scripture, Ps. 17 verse 14 speaks of "men of the world, which have their portion in this life". The writer of the 142nd Psalm understood that it is impossible to walk with God while at the same time walking in lock step with this ungodly world. These are two different paths with two different destinations. You cannot have both. Trials and tribulation, though, await any who may venture to tread that narrow path of separation from this world to find their portion in the Lord. So be it.

With that thought, famous Scottish theologian of many years past Thomas Boston exhorts the true Christian pilgrim to reflect often upon that day when he, as did the author of the 142nd psalm, said with his own mouth..."Thou art my refuge and my portion".

From the 142nd Psalm, by Thomas Boston:

"I said." This imports,

1. A remembrance of the solemn transaction, Ps 103:18.
This is a deed never to be forgotten, but always to be kept in remembrance. But, O ye who have said this, remember,

a) What you said. You said that God in Christ should be your refuge, that under the shade of his wings you hid yourselves, and that, renouncing all other refuges, as refuges of lies, you did betake yourselves to the covert of Christ's righteousness, and that there ye would abide for your portion; which was a formal acceptance of and laying hold on the covenant.

b) To whom you said it. To God in Christ speaking to you in the gospel offer, and inviting you into the refuge. What men say to their superiors, they think themselves specially concerned to mind. And surely what ye have said to God, ye ought in a peculiar manner to remember, and awe your hearts with the consideration of the majesty of the party to whom ye said it, Ps 16:2: "O my soul, thou hast said unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord"; for he is not one with whom we may deal falsely.

c) How ye said it. Did ye not say it in your hearts, while God in Christ was held out as a refuge for you? And the language of the heart is plain language with a heart searching God. Did not some of you say it with your mouths? And did not all communicants say it solemnly before the world, angels, and men, by their receiving the elements of bread and wine?

d) Upon what grounds you said it. Did you not see a necessity of a refuge for you, and a necessity of taking God in Christ for your refuge? Ye had rational grounds for it, and lasting grounds that can never fail; so that ye can never have ground to retract nor shift about for another refuge. Jer 2:31.

e) Where ye said it. Remember the spot of ground where ye said it in prayer, where ye said it at the communion table. Ps 42:6. The stones of the place will be witnesses of your saying it. Jos 24:27.

2. A standing to it, without regretting that we said it, remembering what is said, John 6:66-69: "From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God." Men often repent what they have said, and therefore will not own that they have said it. But gracious souls will not repent their saying this, but will abide by it. If they were to make their choice a thousand times, having chosen God in Christ for their refuge and portion, they would not alter; Jer 3:19: "I said, Thou shalt call me, My Father; and shalt not turn away from me." Many alterations may be in men's circumstances in the world, but there can never be one that will afford ground for retracting this saying.

3. An owning of the obligation of it: I said, and am obliged thereby to stand to it, "For I have opened my mouth unto the Lord and I cannot go back", Judges 11:35. God in Christ is yours, and ye are his by his own consent; ye are no more your own; ye have said the word, and must own that it is binding on you; and ye must beware that after vows ye make not enquiry. Whoever may pretend they have their choice yet to make of a refuge and portion to themselves, ye cannot: ye are engaged already, and ye are not at liberty to hearken to any other proposals, any more than a woman who has already signed her contract with one man.

4. A professing of it confidently without being ashamed of it; as though you should say, "I own it before all men, and am not ashamed of my choice." Antichrist allows some of his vassals to carry his mark in their right hand. Re 13:16. But all the followers of the Lamb have their mark on their foreheads, where it will not hide, Re 14:1. The world would put the people of God to shame on the head of their refuge and portion, as if they had made a foolish bargain of it, Ps 14:6: "Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the LORD is his refuge." But sincerity will make men despise that shame, as David said, "And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight."

5. A satisfaction of heart in it: as though you should say, I said it", and, Oh, but I am well pleased that ever I said it; it was the best saying I could ever say. Ps 16:2, 5-7. And this is in effect to say it over again. And good reason there is for them who have sincerely said it to be well satisfied in their refuge, and to rejoice in their portion. The reflecting upon it may afford solid delight and content of heart. Ye who have taken the Lord for your refuge may with much satisfaction reflect upon what you have done. -Thomas Boston (1676-1732)

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