“The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance,” sings King David. (Ps 16:6).
We, as South Africans, celebrated our multi-faceted and rich heritage during September and rightfully did so. Apart from our varied cultural heritage, we may also be thankful for and proud of our amazing and peaceful democratic development and transition around and after 1994. We are blessed with large stretches of unspoiled nature and wildlife, a coastline of about 2800 km, embracing the most beautiful and resourceful aquatic biodiversity, as well as vast plains, rolling hills, mighty mountains and lifegiving rivers. We may count ourselves fortunate to be guardians of a dynamic legacy of medicine, the arts, literature, education, media, mining, manufacturing, finance and economy, technology, agriculture, a sound justice system – too many disciplines to mention.
Unfortunately, a troubling legacy of crime, corruption (especially in public service) and violence against vulnerable members of society, like women, children and people living on distant and isolated farms, is rearing its ugly head. We need to counter this with enhanced traditions of respect for our fellow men and women and their physical integrity and property.
The psalmist contends that all that is good comes from God alone. He is the ultimate Giver and Guardian of what is good and delightful.
– “You are my Lord; apart from you, I have no good thing.” (v 2)
– “Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure.” (v 5) This may also be rendered: “Lord, you are my portion and my cup,” which is a powerful basis for our sense of safety and security.
The gifts and actions of God are his most delightful inheritance. He rejoices about the counsel and instruction of God, his companionship and promise of life beyond the grave (fulfilled in Jesus), fulness of joy and eternal pleasures in his presence.
As King David affirms God as the source of all good gifts and assurances, so should we. From that vantage point, we also develop and share the bountiful inheritance of our beautiful country with our fellow South Africans.