Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak;
let the earth hear the words of my mouth.
May my teaching drop like the rain,
my speech condense like the dew;
like gentle rain on grass,
like showers on new growth.
For I will proclaim the name of the Lord;
ascribe greatness to our God!
The Rock, his work is perfect,
and all his ways are just.
A faithful God, without deceit,
just and upright is he;
yet his degenerate children have dealt falsely with him,
a perverse and crooked generation.
Do you thus repay the Lord,
O foolish and senseless people?
Is not he your father, who created you,
who made you and established you?
Remember the days of old,
consider the years long past;
ask your father, and he will inform you;
your elders, and they will tell you.
When the Most High apportioned the nations,
when he divided humankind,
he fixed the boundaries of the peoples
according to the number of the gods;
the Lord’s own portion was his people,
Jacob his allotted share.
He sustained him in a desert land,
in a howling wilderness waste;
he shielded him, cared for him,
guarded him as the apple of his eye.
Paul’s Reason for Writing So Boldly
I myself feel confident about you, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another. Nevertheless on some points I have written to you rather boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to boast of my work for God. For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to win obedience from the Gentiles, by word and deed, by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and as far around as Illyricum I have fully proclaimed the good news of Christ. Thus I make it my ambition to proclaim the good news, not where Christ has already been named, so that I do not build on someone else’s foundation, but as it is written,
“Those who have never been told of him shall see,
and those who have never heard of him shall understand.”
Everyone wants to get their share. The whole concept of economy is based upon possessions passing from the haves to the have-nots. When things do not flow smoothly we have some of our ugliest conflicts. Whether it is Aunt Polly’s quilt collection or Corporation shares, fights often break out when someone with wealth dies and there is no clear understanding of who is to receive their leftover wealth and why.
Inheritance, by its very nature is biased and prejudiced to the poor and against the wealthy. It is certainly possible for wealthy people to gain inheritance from those poorer than themselves, but the majority of the time it is received by those with less or similar resources. We usually have no problem with this, even when those on the receiving end appear less deserving than the ones they received it from. For one, those who leave this life are generally believed to be in less need of physical possessions than those left among the living. But even when inheritances are delivered early there is something that appeals to our sense of nobility when the poor are blessed by the rich.
As Christians, we are called to move beyond our penchants for possessions. In Deuteronomy, Moses points out that God also is looking to get his share… but what could God possibly want that He does not have or cannot simply create for Himself. Moses tells us that, when God was allotting out portions of land to the people, what He wanted for Himself was the people. In this particular case, it wasn’t just any people, but the Hebrew people that God had chosen and rescued from slavery in Egypt.
Paul had a similar experience to Moses with the Gentiles as he helped bring them into the kingdom. The Apostle to the Gentiles could have been the wealthiest of the Christian leaders. With his connections he could have been the safest of them all. But he only had one desire. He wanted every person, Jew or Gentile, to know the love of God. That was what he wanted as his inheritance.
What is the inheritance you desire most?
What does it mean for you to be the thing God desires most?