Monday, February 20, 2017

The land below my feet is Yours, Lord!

Wednesday 2-15-17, Modesto, California
Today we read Lev 25, Psalm 25 - 26 and Acts 22
S = Scripture,  O = Observation,  A = Application,  P = Prayer,  SOAP for the soul.

S. Lev 25:23 And remember, the land must never be sold on a permanent basis because it really belongs to me. You are only foreigners and tenants living with me. NLT

O. At God’s command, the Israelites had taken over a land that had been occupied by a people that had polluted the land with horrible, sinful practices, including sacrificing many of their babies to the god of Molech.  God had Joshua divide the land into sections for each of the tribes of Israel. They would live on the land and cultivate it. But now as the Lord presents the concept of the 50th year, the year of jubilee, and he adds this important revelation. “Your land is not really yours. It belongs to me!”

A. My grandfather William Frank Hiatt was granted a section of land by the government as a homestead in the 1880s.  But there were stipulations.  A home and a farm had to be established on the land within a certain time frame. I often have thought, “Who are we to say who “owns” a piece of land?” Was it taken by force from a former resident? I have the comfort to know that the area where my grandfather homesteaded had apparently never been “home” to anyone. It was a thick forest of trees and wild brush that required blood and sweat, axes and dynamite to clear an area for a homestead. He and his eleven sons and three daughters worked hard to make it into a home.  Maybe, as a Christian family, they had read this scripture and recognized that the land was really not theirs, but belonged to God, it’s Creator.

P. Lord, what might happen to our country if we recognized that You are really the owner of our possessions … not only the land beneath our feet, but of all the trinkets that we call “ours”?  Start with me, Lord. This house is not my own, this computer is not mine, my car is not really mine. You have just allowed me to live here like a foreigner, a tenant and a caretaker of Your property.  What a responsibility I have! Please help me to remember Who the real Owner is. I am only Your steward. Amen.


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