A Psalm of David. The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein. (Psalm 24:1)
King David starts out this royal hymn by drawing our attention away from ourselves and to the One who owns it all. He does this by showing a contrast right at the beginning of the psalm, a contrast that should dramatically remind us of our place in the universe.
Starting with the title, the text literally reads, “Belonging to David, a psalm. Belonging to Yahweh, the earth.” As great as King David was, he was still only a man. Even though he was a prophet and wrote under the influence of the Holy Spirit, he was still just a man. Anything he had and anything he accomplished was given to him by the grace of God (2 Samuel 12:7–8).
Fallen man oftentimes looks at the earth as if it belongs to him, or worse, as if the earth was just a lucky break in the evolutionary scheme of things. But “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). The earth belongs to Him and to no one else. He is the rightful owner. There is only one name on the title deed to the universe, and it’s not yours, and it’s not mine. It’s Yahweh’s. That fact should serve as the foundation to everything else in our lives.
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Not only does the earth belong to the Lord, but everything it contains. That includes your “castle,” your car, your cash. More specifically, every single human being belongs to the Lord. That includes your neighbor, your family, even you. “Know that the LORD, He is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves” (Psalm 100:3). We are but stewards, good or bad, of what He has entrusted to us. It all belongs to God.
Since everything in the world belongs to God, why then do we spend so much time and energy accumulating and clinging onto the things of this world? Perhaps it’s because in the back of our minds we still think they belong to us. We haven’t yielded in submission to the universal ownership of God.
Perhaps that’s why we’re so reticent to give. Not just give of our wealth, but give of our lives and give of our children’s lives. “Here am I, Lord, send him!” or “Here am I, Lord, but don’t take my kids away from me by sending them to some far away country.”
How are you doing in your perspective of your place in the universe? Do you recognize and acknowledge the fact that you own nothing in this world? Our very life-breath comes from Him (Job 34:14–15)!
America’s founding fathers had the correct perspective. In and of ourselves, we have no rights. But, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.”
The question is, Who owns your world? You, or the Lord?
The Bible declares, “The earth is the Lord’s.” Do you agree?