SOVEREIGN AND OWNER OF ALL
Everything in this world belongs to God. This is an undeniable fact of Scripture: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1, NIV), To ensure that this biblical fact is not lost to the reader, the author of Genesis repeated and re-stated the same message in this way: “This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens” (Genesis 2:4 NIV). God, sovereign Lord of the universe, is Owner of everything on this planet on the basis of His creation of it. As Creator, He owns all.
While this understanding of biblical truth is fundamental to the Christian faith, it took personal experience to drive this point home for me. Let me illustrate this. It was the most wonderful experience being with my wife when she gave birth to our two children. Each time, I marveled at creation and the powerful demonstration of God’s amazing grace and His power to sustain human life in the womb, right up to that point when the new born baby takes up life on its own away from the mother and then further. Here then is the biblical truth and stewardship principle that I learned from those two occasions. As humans, we enter this world with absolutely nothing. No clothes, no toys, no money, not anything.
Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised."
GOD IS SOVEREIGN OWNER
The story of Job testifies to God’s ownership of all in a most dramatic way. Job was a very wealthy person and with a large household (Job 1:2,3). He had ten children at the beginning of the story. Most importantly, Job feared God and lived a blameless life. In spite of his personal relationship with God, however, Job lost almost everything in one day except for his wife and his own life (Job 1:13-19). I’ve experienced the loss of my parents, and that was painful. But Job lost all ten of his children at one time. This traumatic experience would have hit him very hard both physically and emotionally. The Bible tells us that Job tore his clothes, shaved his head, and fell to the ground (Job 1:20), a sign of a man in great sorrow.
Given the enormity of his personal loss, both in human life and in material possessions, one would expect that Job would have cursed God and given up his faith in Him, but this was not the case. Instead, Job made a spiritual declaration that showed the depth of his understanding and appreciation of God and life. He said, “Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised” (Job 1:21, NIV). By using the imagery of his own birth, Job made the point that humans own nothing in this world, and when we die, we keep nothing. God is owner of everything.
SUCCESS AND SAFETY IS FROM THE LORD
An interesting and important detail of this Bible account is the involvement of Satan in human life; and in the case of Job it was direct and personal. Targeting the integrity of Job, Satan accused God of His care and provisions for Job and his family, implying that this was the reason for Job’s faith. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land” (Job 1:10 NIV).
While Satan is a liar by nature, on this occasion he spoke the truth because it was God who blessed Job with everything he had. It was God that had protected Job and his family. It was God who had prospered Job. As Lord of the universe, there was no part of Job’s existence and experience that didn’t come under the control of the Creator God. He is the source of all blessings.
The fact is that God is still in control of the affairs of His people, even today. More over, it is God who has blessed our every human endeavor including our families, our business initiatives, our possessions and material wealth. The question is whether we understand the blessings of life as Job did. Does the way we relate to our families, to our possessions and to those around us give us away as unaware of who God is, or does it bear testimony to our God— Creator, and owner of all?