In reading through the Old Testament, we find many instances referring to God as being the “portion” of His people. God told Aaron, at his consecration as high priest, that he would have no portion among the people. He told Aaron, "I am your portion and your inheritance among the sons of Israel" (Numbers 18:20). The Book of Deuteronomy tells us that the tribe of Levi (the priestly tribe) did not have a portion or inheritance with his brothers for the LORD was his portion (10:9). David prayed in Psalm 73:26, God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever, and Jeremiah wrote, "The LORD is my portion", says my soul, therefore I have hope in Him (Lamentations 3:24).
Portion is an archaic word that was used to denote one’s destiny. Have you ever thought about your destiny, what your portion is in this world and what the future will bring? Do you believe you have a destiny? The reason I ask is because the spiritual blessing we’re going to talk about this week is predestination. Ephesians 1:5 says God predestined us [believers] to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, and 1:11 tells us that we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will. So according to Paul, at least part of our portion (or destiny), as believers today, is to be adopted sons of God, along with obtaining an inheritance in Christ. We'll look into the blessings of adoption as sons and our inheritance in future blogs.
So what does it mean to be predestined? To start at the beginning, the word “predestined” is derived the Greek word "pro'horizo". “Pro”, means “beforehand”, and “horizo” means “to mark out boundaries”, “to determine”, or “to decree”. “Horizo” looks forward to our destination, the place we are ultimately trying to reach, the end of our journey, what is out there for us on the horizon. “Pro” means that this destination was determined beforehand. The fact that God predestined us means that somehow, in some way, He determined who would be His child and who would not. He has determined a “destiny” for His children, and He did this, before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4, 5,11). As His children, we can have confidence that all His promises to us in His Word will be fulfilled. Someone has put it this way. God’s will is embedded in our DNA.
As God’s children, we can trust our destiny to Him because He is sovereign. He created all things and He has absolute authority over all He has created (Genesis 1:1). God is omniscient. He has knowledge of all things and His knowledge is perfect (Job 37:16). God is omnipotent. He is all-powerful to carry out his plan and purpose throughout eternity (1 Chronicles 29:11). God is omnipresent. He has the ability to be everywhere all the time (Psalm 139:1-12). Most Christians agree that the Bible teaches all of these attributes of God, and we agree that we can be thankful and confidently put our destiny in His hands.
However, scholars have put forth two views on the doctrine of predestination that are quite different, and they need to be mentioned here. The first is the “prescient view”. The word “prescient” is made up of the words, “pre” (beforehand) and “science” (to know). So prescient means “to know beforehand”. The prescient view says God knows beforehand who will choose to believe and who will not and He predestines those who believe to be His. According to this view, the decision to believe rests with us. The second is the Augustinian view which says people are not predestined “because” they believe, but are predestined “to” believe. According to this view, the entire decision rests with God. Are you familiar with these two differing doctrines concerning predestination? Do you hold to a certain doctrine of predestination? This is something that requires a committed study of the character of God and our own sinfulness (see Romans 1:16-32). It is a worthwhile study which yields truths that become self-evident as we faithfully study God’s Word.
In closing, let’s thank God that according to the kind intention of His will (Ephesians 1:5) He determined beforehand to adopt us as His children and give us an inheritance as part of His family (1:11). What greater blessing than to be God’s adopted sons and daughters -- to be
"washed in the fountain, cleansed by His Blood!
Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod,….
part of the family of God" (Bill Gaither).
It is our destiny that God is our portion. Our strength and our hope are in Him who is sovereign over all things, all-powerful, all-knowing, and ever present with us. Praise the Lord!
Enjoy your blessings,
P.S. If you would like to delve deeper into the different views of predestination, I recommend this video as a good place to begin. http://www.ligonier.org/learn/series/predestination/what-is-predestination/
I have been involved in Disciplers since 1987, as a discussion leader, teacher, writer, and now as director. I am profoundly committed to the stewardship of this ministry which God has entrusted to me for a time. God’s word is the chief joy of my life. I cherish my personal time in the word, and I am filled with gratitude to be able to share His word with you, my fellow disciples in Christ.