Many of us are now involved in Christmas parties and even planning our Christmas table. Kris regularly reminds me — not always to my liking and not always with her intended goal! — of this: “portion size.” Restaurants, she tells me, double the size; airplanes give the proper portion size. The psalmist, at the meal, said this:
YHWH is my portion (chalaq) (119:57). When he pulled up to the table, after the prayers were said, the psalmist only wanted the Lord. Of course, I’m speaking metaphorically — and so was he.
The portion of the Levites was the Temple.
The warrior’s portion is booty.
The tribe’s portion is a parcel of the Land.
YHWH’s portion is Israel.
The psalmist’s portion — what he has chosen — is YHWH. He wants God. He wants to commune with God, love God, enjoy God and be enjoyed in God’s presence.
In the second line of this verse (v. 57), the psalmist clarifies that his desire to have YHWH as his portion is a resolution to keep YHWH’s words — the order is significant. Words are not YHWH; YHWH communicates in those words. So, it is a personal relationship — communing with God — that he desires.
Many of us will “portion” out Christmas presents — and I’m not being a Scrooge here in some puritanical fashion to debunk presents. The psalmist would say his real present this year is YHWH.