Pleasant Places

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.

Psalms 16:6, NIV


This has long been one of my favorite Psalms of King David. Of course he is looking forward to an eternal home, but if I understand it right, he is in part referencing the division of land that the Israelites received when they entered the Promised Land. After hundreds of years of slavery in Egypt, forty years of wandering in the desert, and at least a half a dozen years of the initial conquest of Canaan, they finally got to receive their promised inheritance.


I can only imagine what it must have been like for each of the families in each of the clans in each of the twelve tribes when the land was finally divided. Can you imagine the thrill of your turn when you received your specific parcel? You would have likely immediately began a survey of the land, noting each ridge and valley, each pond and stream, each meadow and stand of timber. You would have begun to make plans with your spouse as to where you would build your home, what kind of livestock you would need, and where you would place the pens. 


And no matter what happened, this would be yours for as long as you lived, and would then pass down to your children and their children when their time came. It must have been a marvelous thing indeed, to be able to plan and dream. It was a great gift and God was the one who had given it. The righteous ones must have fallen on their knees in thanksgiving and praise to the Lord.


 We have similar blessings, you and I. Perhaps our situation is not one of a holder of land and property yet, but isn't it nice to dream? If you have been so blessed as to have a certain amount of physical property, and if you have understanding, then you know that this came from God. And it is a delightful inheritance! I think sometimes we miss this important point. We are so busy dealing with the crisis of the day that we forget to be thankful. We often are so caught up in the struggling and clawing and sweating and toil that we sometimes forget what we have.


We may have a home and a car or two. We have all sorts of nice conveniences that are okay for us to enjoy. But we often do not enjoy them - why? I think it is because we are so caught up in our fear of losing what we have or in our lust for getting more that we simply fail to open our eyes and see this delightful inheritance that God had given us. We might not have as much as the next fellow, it's true, but we have so much more than the vast majority of people who have ever lived and it might be appropriate if we were a bit more thankful with what we do have. 


Then, once we have learned to have that vital trait of gratitude towards the Lord, then maybe we will begin to be offer our thanks and praise to Him. And maybe, once we have begun to act as children who have been given everything should act - with appreciation, it will be at that point that we can start looking forward to the delightful inheritance that God has reserved for the faithful.


There is a Promised Land awaiting us, if we will just see it. It will require a faith in God and a service to Christ that are motivated by love. For so many of us, it will require a change of attitude and a change of lifestyle, but it can be done. And it will be done by those with enough vision to see what is waiting. It is the Promised Land and it is indeed a delightful inheritance. We should look forward to it with eager anticipation and with joy, for this Promised Land is Heaven! And while we certainly do not deserve it, for those who in faithful obedience will accept it, it will someday be ours. Maybe we should be falling to our knees much more often with the thanksgiving and praise due the One who has given us such a delightful inheritance.