Where is your inheritance? The majority of us have not inherited wealth, property, or land from our families. But as Christians, we have a spiritual heritage that is worth far more! Do we really understand what has been gifted to us in Christ Jesus and the riches that we have in the word of God? If we do we can join with the psalmist in saying, ‘Your statutes are my heritage forever – and the joy of my heart!’
What are God’s Statutes?
To break down this verse ‘Your statutes are my heritage forever’ let us first take a closer look at the word statute. Our understanding of the word statute is a written law that has been passed by a legislative body. The implication is that when a law is on or reaches the statute book, it means it has been formally approved. The law is recorded and becomes enforceable – it can be used in a court of law.
God’s ‘statutes’ in this verse refer to the covenant promise, the heritage of God’s people in the promised land. The land itself was only part of the promise, God’s protection, peace, prosperity, and blessing were to be enjoyed by God’s people living in obedience under His reign.
“See I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.”Deuteronomy 30:15-16
The statutes represent the stipulations of the covenant relationship, this is the essence of God’s living word – the word which we live by. Love for God, and obedience to His ways, would bring covenant blessings. And in this verse the word ‘statutes’ is used to describe our heritage in God’s Word.
What is the Spiritual Meaning of Heritage?
Our heritage, and maybe even inheritance, is what has been passed down to us from our ancestors. But our spiritual heritage is not dependent on our family ancestry, on who we are or what we have done, or even where we have come from. Our spiritual heritage is rooted in accepting Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.
Our background, our past life, our social status, our education, our wealth, none of these things carry any weight with God. He shows no favoritism. We are adopted into the family of God, by accepting the free gift of salvation. And then we become children of God, by the grace of God. We have an inheritance in God’s kingdom and His covenant blessings are ours. And so we can join with the psalmist and say; ‘your statutes are my heritage forever.’
The promises of God are our possession, received by us from God. We draw on the promises of His word to live our lives with freedom today, and with hope for tomorrow.
Do we know what we have been given, and do we appreciate our God-given inheritance? Sometimes it is good to refresh our perspective with a view of our spiritual heritage and how rich we are in Christ Jesus. Here’s a short list describing and referring to our inheritance in Him:
- We inherit salvation – Hebrews 1:14
- The gift of eternal Life – Titus 3:7
- The full rights of sons and daughters of God – Gal 4:6
- Our inheritance includes the earth – Matthew 5:5
- We inherit the kingdom of God – Matthew 25:34
- Our inheritance includes all things – nothing is held back! – 1 Corinthians 3:22
- The Word of God is our heritage – Psalm 119:111
- And we inherit the Lord Himself – Psalm 73:26
- Our inheritance is good – Psalm 16:6
- It has been prepared from the creation of the world – Matthew 25:34
- Our spiritual heritage is guaranteed for eternity 1 Peter 1:3-5
- It is sealed with God’s promise – Ephesians 1:13-14
Your Statutes Are My Heritage Forever
“Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.” Psalm 119:111 NIV
The longest psalm, and in fact the longest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 119. This is a beautiful and very clever acrostic poem. It is divided into stanzas, groups of eight verses and each stanza begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. As if that wasn’t enough, the verses in the stanza all begin with the same letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The ingenuity of this psalm is lost in translation, but it is evident that the writer was someone who loved words. But more than that he loved the word of God. What did the psalmist mean then, when he says, “Your statutes are my heritage forever?”
Throughout Psalm 119, eight different words are used to emphasize different aspects of God’s Law. These include word, testimonies, precepts, commandments, judgements and statutes. For ‘statutes’ different translators apply a slightly different nuance to the word – and sometimes use testimonies, decrees, or affirmations.
But statutes, testimonies, decrees, and affirmations all imply God’s word in action, the living word at work in our life. Our testimony is based on God’s testimonies – His word at work within us. His decree affirms His word in our life and that is what the psalmist is relying on! The psalm celebrates a love for God’s Word, which stands forever and provides all the guidance that we need for everyday life.
Related Post: 10 Best Books About the Psalms
Your Statutes Are My Heritage Forever, They Are The Joy of My Heart
This psalm is not declaring a love for the law just as rules to be kept and obeyed, but as the revelation of God’s grace. It is in His word that we learn of God’s character, and it is through His word that we come to know and love Him.
The psalmist declares that God’s word is a covenant of grace flowing towards us and drawing us into a relationship with Himself. It is there with the Lord that we find deep and lasting joy when we place our hope in Him.
God’s word, His statutes, are the joy of our hearts because they are the foundation of our life now and our hope for the future!
Our Hope for Today and our Hope for the Future
We now live in the time of God’s favour, with the revelation of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. By faith, we live with the promise of an inheritance in the new creation, which does not perish, spoil or fade, the gift of eternal life.
This is the hope that we have, the forgiveness of our sins, and acceptance by God. This hope is kept in heaven for us, a place prepared by Jesus and by His righteousness. A heritage to value and celebrate over!
Bible Gateway: Ephesians 1:18-23