Understanding Ownership

"The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein." (Psalm 24:1)

The doctrine of creation is not merely a "scientific" debate. The opposite concepts of natural and evolutionary development versus the fiat creation of an omnipotent, omniscient, and transcendent Being impact every facet of our worldview. God owns the earth; He is its Creator (Genesis 1:1; Psalm 24:1-2; Revelation 4:11; and hundreds of other passages throughout the Bible).

Christians who revere the biblical revelation of God are not to be in conflict with this most basic of all doctrines. God owns the living creatures that inhabit the earth (Psalm 50:10). He owns the metals that establish monetary value in the earth (Haggai 2:8). He claims ownership over our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:19). He even states ownership of our very souls (Ezekiel 18:4). Nothing is excluded from the sphere of His ownership and kingship (1 Chronicles 29:11-12; Isaiah 45:12; Colossians 1:16-17). And we are to manage God's resources as stewards of the Owner.

Lucifer's error was that he thought he could become like the Owner, usurping all the rights and privileges of the Creator (Isaiah 14:12-14). Israel's error was similar; they behaved as if their possessions were their own property (Malachi 3:8-10). The prodigal son claimed for himself the right of ownership and treated the money as if it were his own (Luke 15:12-14). The unfaithful steward made no effort to be productive (Matthew 25:24).

We have been delegated authority over the creation itself (Genesis 1:28), are required to be faithful with the "mysteries of God" (1 Corinthians 4:1-2), and are expected to administer "the manifold grace of God" (1 Peter 4:10). May God preserve us from self-serving stewardship. HMM III

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