First Glance – Psalm 16

Ancient property boundary lines in Israel. Photo by Olga Shaffer
Ancient property boundary lines in Israel. Photo by Olga Shaffer

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
    you hold my lot.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    I have a goodly heritage.  (Psalm 16:5-6)

Stephen and I recently came back from a trip to the land of Israel. There we learned about naḥala — your piece of land that God entrusts to you. When the Israelites came out of the wilderness and into the promised land each tribe was given their own inheritance or naḥala. With this piece of land (usually only a couple acres) they would provide for their entire extended family.

To a large tribe you shall give a large inheritance, and to a small tribe you shall give a small inheritance; every tribe shall be given its inheritance according to its enrollment. (Num. 26:54)

This was also the piece of land given by God for you to use in order that He might be glorified. The Proverbs tell us that we are not to move the ancient boundary stones set up by our ancestors (Prov. 22:28, 23:10). We are not to take what God has entrusted to others, or give up what he has entrusted to us. If we were to move our boundary line to make our field larger, we are taking the opportunity away from our neighbour to use their piece of land to glorify God.

The psalmist (David) shares that his boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places; he has a good naḥala. He may be speaking about his literal land, but I think he is also speaking of where God has placed him in life. God places us in particular places, in communities, with particular people, in order that we might show them how great our God is. God gives us our own boundary lines in life so that we might glorify him.

Where are your boundary lines? How can you give glory to God in the land He has entrusted to you?

2 thoughts on “First Glance – Psalm 16

Add yours

  1. We just can’t tell you how much of a blessing and inspiration your posts are to us! We really enjoy your insights and share them often clear out here in Colorado! Thank you so much!!


  2. I have heard this before but somehow it makes me think if I don’t take things on me to do that are not mine maybe even to avoid those that are mine


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