The Bible makes audacious claims that bristle against our base assumptions. “It’s my life.” “I can do what I want.” “I have a right.” For the vast majority of us in the vast majority of our decisions, we begin with that premise. The Bible begs to differ.
“The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein” (24:1). Everything is God’s. And not just the seasons and the stars and the oceans. “The world and those who dwell therein.” We all think we belong to ourselves. We all are wrong.
Slavery is a repulsive idea in our culture, and for good reason. Given the abuses and injustices of former centuries, we believe slavery to be a serious evil. No human being has a right to own the life of another. I think the logic holds, but I don’t think we typically understand why. I can’t own you and you can’t own me because we already have an Owner. Slavery is not a moral evil because our Creator has endowed us with certain “inalienable rights.” It’s a moral evil because it goes against the nature of things. All life belongs to God. When you or I stake a claim to another human soul, we rob God of his rights. We step between God and what is rightfully his. It isn’t so much a violation of human rights as of divine rights.
You and I belong to God. Our sinful nature squirms beneath that truth, but that doesn’t make it any less true. We belong to God. But we don’t belong to God like a slave belongs to his master. We belong to him as a child to his Father. This “King of glory” (24:8-10), the one who established the earth in infinite dominance over the forces of chaos (24:2), the one who made and rules all things, is our Father.
God owns everything and could treat us however he chooses. He is God and we belong to him. He has the right to do with us as he wishes. And that’s the beauty of the gospel. God has done with us as he wishes. He has accomplished his deepest desire where we are concerned. Christ has redeemed us and secured our redemption and adoption into the household of God. We belong to a God who is not capricious, mean, arbitrary or cruel. He is kind, loving, tender, compassionate, merciful and gracious! At the fall, he could have thrown us out with the garbage (composting), but instead he chose to have his way with us by sacrificing himself for us and redeeming us from the darkness of sin.
God owns you. And that’s the best news you’ll hear all day.