Tag Archives: ownership

Isaiah 7:13-25

Scripture: verse 23

When that day comes,
wherever there once were a thousand grapevines,
worth a thousand pieces of silver,
there will be only briars and thorns.

Observation:  “That day” is a day of rebuke and humiliation, not actual destruction – but it’s still vastly unpleasant.

Psalm 50 says that God owns the cattle on a thousand hills.  In Greek mythology, that sort of thing was usually straightforward: the cattle on an island were directly owned by a god or goddess, and the idiots who ate them (and there were always idiots who ate them) suffered divine retribution.

But God doesn’t have special hills set aside for His property.  He doesn’t have very much use for cows, after all.  He doesn’t have bank accounts or investments or deeds in His name.  Instead, He just owns everything.  The only things that God does not own are the people who have chosen not to belong to Him.

The thousand grapevines belonged to God.  He made them, and He made them grow, and He provided the sun and rain and soil to support them.  Humans helped, of course, in the pruning and tending, but if God removes His support there is nothing humans can do to keep a plant alive when it is dying.

God owns everything we have.  We can’t diversify or hedge our investments to protect ourselves from Him.  He owns it all and supports it all and holds all things together.  All we can do is be grateful, every day, that He gave it to us.

As the fanfic* disclaimers say, it’s His world.  We just play in it.

Application:  Be grateful.  God sustains our lives, moment by moment.

Prayer:  Father, please forgive me for the times when I do not remember that everything I have is your gift to me.  I praise you for all that you have built around me and used to teach me.  Help me to use it wisely.  Amen.

(* Fanfiction, or fanfic, is stories written by the fans of a work that incorporate characters or other elements of that work.  Many authors begin with a disclaimer acknowledging that they do not own those elements.  If you are interested in reading fanfic, I recommend AO3 – you can browse for works related to almost any work you can name, and you can find the things I’m working on under the username ladyphlogiston.)

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Isaiah 3:14-26

Scripture: from verse 24

…a slave-brand instead of beauty.

Observation: The women of Israel were being very proud (and greedy and vain and slutty, by the sound of it) and this was to be part of their punishment, along with being stripped of everything else they were proud of.

And it strikes me as interesting because God said in Leviticus that His people are His slaves.  God owns us.  1 Corinthians says that we were bought with a price.

I don’t have any real proof of this, but I think our beauty is a sign of God’s ownership.  He made us, and He made us beautiful.  Ephesians 5 says that God is preparing us to be His bride, pure and without defect.

All of us are owned by God, if we accept His grace.  All of us bear the beauty that is the mark of His ownership.  And if God is our beauty, we don’t have to be afraid.

Application: Ask the Lord how He made you beautiful.  Stand strong in that knowledge.

Prayer:  Yeshua, you have marked me with beauty, inside and out.  Help me to share that beauty with others and not to hide it.  Amen.

Leviticus 25:29-55

Scripture: verse 55

For to Me the people of Israel are slaves; they are my slaves whom I brought out of the land of Egypt; I am Adonai your God.

Observation:  This verse is repeated twice in the passage, and it concerns poverty in Israel: Israelites who became poor could sell themselves into slavery, but they were to be treated well, as if they were an employee or tenant, and they went free during the Jubilee year.  People of Israel were not to be treated as property.

What struck me here is the reasoning: Israelites could not be owned by humans because they were already owned by God.  They had to treat each other well, not just because they were humans, but because they were God’s property and He did not want His things mistreated.  We are God’s treasured possession.

Modern Americans don’t really like the idea of being property.  Cultures change, for the better in this case.  But being God’s possession brings a sense of safety.  If He owns us, then it’s up to Him to take care of us.  He gets all the stress, and we get to belong.

I love it when the feeling of belonging wraps around me like a warm coat.  Knowing that He has me exactly where I’m supposed to be.  Knowing that I’ve been called by name (Isaiah 41:1) and bought with a price (1 Cor 6:20) and I belong to Him.  I don’t have to worry about my identity or my purpose or my worth – that’s His problem.  I belong here in His love.

Application:  You belong to God.  Let Him worry about things.

Prayer:  Yeshua, thank you for making me yours.  Thank you for giving me a place to grow and for taking care of me and polishing me and protecting me.  Help me to trust your love.  Amen.

Leviticus 25:1-28

Scripture: from verse 10

You are to consecrate the fiftieth year, proclaiming freedom throughout the land to all its inhabitants…everyone is to return to his family.

Observation:  The fiftieth year was Jubilee – debts were wiped away and land ownership reverted to the family who originally owned it.  God points out in verse 23 that they are all leasing land from Him anyway.

What struck me is that everyone was to return to his family as part of the year of freedom.  Jubilee was meant to be a year of reconciliation and reconnection as well as a time of rest and returning to God.  The debts to be wiped away were not just financial but also the emotional debts that can stress families so badly.

God wants us to be at peace with others, because emotional debts keep us from knowing God’s freedom.  Old slights and arguments and angry spirals stay in our hearts if we don’t deal with them, and pop up just when we wish they wouldn’t.

Just as God is the ultimate owner of everything we have, we also need to let Him mediate our relationships with those around us.  He knows their hearts, and He is working in their hearts, just as He knows and is working in our hearts.  He will create justice and life and order; we don’t have to.  All will be well.

Application:  To the extent that it depends on you, live in peace with all people. (Romans 12:18)

Prayer:  Yeshua, thank you for being my Peace.  Thank you for offering Peace to everyone I know.  Help me to stay in that peace and extend it to others.  Amen.