Why does God have the right to tell me what to do? Why does he have the right to say to me how I should live or how I should view the world? Years ago, those would have seemed to be ridiculous questions. But, in our modern culture, some ask them.
David offers us an answer for what gives God the right to do with us whatever he pleases in Psalm 95.
3 For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
5 The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.
What catches my attention there is the claim that God has over the seas themselves. Why? Why does God own the oceans? The text in verse 5 says, “The sea is his, for he made it.” God owns the seas because God is the Creator.
Consider what that means. God created the world out of nothing. It is fully God’s idea. The planets, stars, and all the rest of the universe only exist because God chose to speak them into existence. The earth has material because God gave it material from his will. The world you and I walk on is full of resources because God placed them there.
I often like to illustrate the significance of this point to young ones by asking them about a picture they draw. I will ask them, “If you draw your own picture from your own mind on your own paper with your own art supplies, what then can you do with that picture?” They will usually let me know that, if they made their own picture from their own stuff, the picture is theirs; they can do with that picture whatever they want. Children grasp that, if they make their own art, they have the right of the owner of the art to handle that art as most pleases them.
That, of course is a miniature answer to the question of what gives God the right to tell us what to do. He made us. He created the world. And, according to Genesis 1:27, he created humanity too. We are his pictures, his works of art (c.f. Eph. 2:10). God has every right to tell us how he wants us to behave to accomplish his will and display his glory. God fashioned us for a purpose, and, as our Maker, he has every right to do with us anything he pleases.
But, in case that seems bleak, let us also remember that God has chosen to offer us the opportunity to be ultimately and eternally joyful. God has issued a command to the world that all people should come to him for salvation. God has also designed us so that, when we are forgiven by God, ,we can live to his glory. And God, who created us for his glory, will give us the greatest possible joy and fulfillment when we are actually doing what he designed us for. So the fact that God is our Creator and Owner has the benefit of being the only true path to our soul satisfaction.
What Gives God the right to tell you what to do? He made you and thus has the right of ownership over you. This is good news, as the one who made you is also the greatest, most loving, and most powerful one in existence. God is good. God invites us to be in his family and to find joy in him forever. He knows how to satisfy our souls, because he designed our souls to be satisfied in him. So may we stop fighting against our design and our Designer, and may we find our joy in the glory of our God.