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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."

NIV

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?

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October–December, 2012

God's Treasure