If I had a house to sell you, but that house had a faulty foundation, you would be unwise to buy it. At least, you would not buy it without knowing that you could fix the problem. And, you certainly would not buy it at the same price you would pay for a house with a solid foundation. The reason why is obvious: the foundation is very important. Even those of us who are not handy know that.
It is funny, then, how easily we miss an important and foundational truth that Scripture presents to us. God is Creator. Are you already starting to get ready to skip to something else to read? Are you already thinking, “I know all that.” Stop for a second, if you would, and consider the words of these 2 verses.
1 The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,
the world and those who dwell therein,
2 for he has founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
What is the conclusion that David draws because of the fact that God is our Creator? Because God has founded the world, the world is his. The earth belongs to God, and all things in it belong to him.
Again, if we are not careful, we will give this that little nod that says we all know this and we are really not that interested. But, just consider what all must be true if this is true? If God really is the Creator, if he really owns the earth, then everything we say as we communicate truth to the world must be foundationally connected to that fact.
Consider many people’s gospel presentation. Among the modern church, too often the message we present is one of offering people a better option than the others out there. If you will come to Jesus, you’ll have a happier marriage, a more moral life, a greater sense of fulfillment. If you come to Jesus, you will be part of our loving community, you’ll grow in ways you never imagined before, and you’ll do good, real good, for the world around you. If you come to Jesus, you can have a reward and hope at the end of your days on earth. And, sometimes, the more bold among us might also tell somebody that, if they don’t come to Jesus, there is a judgment that they will face.
In general, all of those things in that previous paragraph are true, or at least most of them are. But the foundation of the house, the starting point if you will, is faulty. We present the faith as an option, as the best option for sure, but as something that people can take or leave. We try to sell Christianity as if it is a really great deal on a 60″ 4K HDR Smart LED HDTV. You don’t want to pass this one up! But, what if we started somewhere stronger than being good salespeople?
The Bible starts with Creation. Genesis 1:1 stakes God’s claim on the universe. Psalm 24 echoes it. The earth is the Lord’s. Everything in the earth and on the earth and around the earth is God’s. Why? He made it. It belongs to him. He holds the right of ownership over it.
Consider what it means if the claim of creation is true. If God made us, he does not have to offer us a deal. He is, in fact, not one option among many. If God created, God is the only option. Our only choice is to either acknowledge him and be under his care or to rebel against him and face his judgment. And, if creation is true, then God is the only one who has rights in this matter. We are creations. We have no rights—none. We are God’s to do with as he pleases. The Lord has every right to bless us, care for us, or crush us as he desires. We are his property, whether we like it or not.
Thankfully, the same God who created us and owns us also offers us the greatest kindness and fullest joy. God will give those he rescues his grace, his mercy, his love, his joy, and his peace. God will grant those who come to him life and purpose and hope and heaven forever. God proves his character of perfection by perfectly giving grace to all who come to him and perfectly judging in wrath those who oppose him. And every bit of this is completely proper because of the fact that the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.
So, perhaps we need to shift our thinking and not forget the foundation. Sometimes the house we build in our Christian presentation is lovely looking on the outside. We highlight the curb appeal, but maybe it would be good for us to let others know of the strong foundation on which the house is built. We are standing on God’s earth. We are breathing God’s air. We are fashioned out of God’s material. And we have only 2 options, not many: love God or reject him.