Psalm 24:1-2 – The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.
One of man’s rebellions against God is a question seldom publicly asked. However, if you watch the lost and listen to their words, you will notice that this question is at their heart. Sadly, you will also find the same question at the hearts of many who claim Christ. The question: “What gives God the right to command me thus,” or “What gives God the right to do this to me or allow it to happen?”
A simple look at the opening of Psalm 24 gives us enough answer to these questions, and should put them to rest in the hearts of believers. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. Everything that exists on earth belongs to God. All the fullness, the totality of all things, is actually something God owns. God has right of ownership of the world, and all who dwell in the world. Why? How does God have ownership of everything? God owns everything because he made everything. He created the universe. He fashioned all humanity. There is no item that exists that does not exist by his power and for his glory. Thus, he does own everything—it is all his. And, because God owns everything, he has every right to command us to live in whatever way he sees fit and to do with us whatever is his desire.
Think, for a moment, of how understanding this truth should change the way that Christians think and speak. Often, when studying Old Testament, and sometimes New Testament, commands, we struggle to give to one another a justifying reason for why it is better for us that God made such a law. You will hear Christians make arguments about why eating pork was an unacceptable thing for the Jews of old, and that God had some sort of health concern in mind when making this command. However, why not say, as the psalmist declares for us, that the reason that God commanded what he did is that the earth is his and the fullness thereof. All the world belongs to God. He has the right to command anything he desires, and he need not show us any reasoning for it. He could command that we hop 12 times on each foot before leaving any enclosed structure, and such a command would be perfectly righteous and logical because it came from the God who owns us all. Yes, that is a ridiculous sounding command, but it should illustrate the point. We do not need the “why” of any command God has given us. Instead, the “this is what the Lord commands” should be sufficient.
Also, if we recognized God as the true owner of all things and all people, we also would be much less apt to struggle with “why” questions for God. Christians cling to the right to ask God why he has allowed certain things to happen. Why that tornado? Why that flood? Why this illness? Why not stop that attack? Why this congress? Why give that person prosperity? In each of these questions, if we are not careful, we assert that we have a right to know. Most often, the question “why” is not asked as a simple request for knowledge not revealed. When we ask God why, we most often ask him to justify for us his reasoning and prove to us that he should have done what he did. However, God never need justify himself to anyone. The earth is his and the fullness thereof. We are his, all of us who dwell in the earth. He owns us. He has every right to do with us anything he sees fit, even when it hurts. We dare not demand an explanation. We dare not pretend that God has to clear his actions with us. He is God, and we are not. He is the Lord, and we are his possession.
Dear Lord, I acknowledge this morning that the earth is yours, and everything and everyone in it. We all belong to you. You are sovereign. You are King. You have every right to rule. You do not have to explain your commands to us. You do not have to justify your actions to us. I thank you that you have shown yourself to be loving. I thank you that all that you do is right, good, and loving. I thank you that you are not capricious or arbitrary. And I bow myself before you today. I acknowledge my place as your servant, your property, your son. I ask that you will do with me what is most to your glory. I pray that this will involve you helping me to obey your commands and faithfully serve you. I long to glorify your name. I pray that you will use me and those around me to accomplish great things for the sake of your kingdom.