Tag Archives: property

Isaiah 24

Scripture: from verse 3

The land will be…completely empty and plundered,
for Adonai has spoken this word.

Observation:  So that’s cheerful.  I’m not sure which land this refers to, but it hardly matters.

In Genesis 1, we learn that God made the heavens and the earth, and the earth was empty.  With a word, God created energy and matter and form and structure and life.  And now, with a word, He has chosen to undo some of that making.

C S Lewis pointed out that we assume that our time and energy and bodies are our own, and that this is an awfully silly thing to assume.  We did not make our bodies; we were put into them and given life and time by God, without (as far as we know) having any input into the timing or manner of that creation.  We will be taken out of these bodies at a time and place and manner of God’s choosing, and we have no way of predicting or controlling that.

All of these things that we think we control, when all of reality is God’s words.  We work within the framework of what He speaks.

Application:  Remember that He made you.

Prayer:  Yeshua, I praise you because you are the word made flesh.  Thank you for making me and making a framework in which I can live and grow and work.  Help me to recognize the sovereignty of your word.  Amen.

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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.)

Leviticus 5:14-26

Scripture: from verse 24

He is to restore it in full plus an additional one-fifth; he must return it to the person who owns it, on the day when he presents his guilt offering.

Observation: The verse refers to anything that was obtained deceitfully, whether stolen, extorted, “borrowed,” lied about, etc.  The person who took advantage of others is guilty, and a dual restitution is demanded: the guilt offering to be restored to harmony with the Lord, and returning the stolen money or item plus a fine, to be restored to harmony within the community.

God cares about the people around us.  God cares that the community of believers lives in harmony.  We can’t ignore the people around us and expect to be in God’s will.  He loves them too.

Application:  Consideration for others tends to be one of my shortcomings, though at least in practical matters like this I think I’m getting a better.  (Considerate and positive words tend to be a little tougher for me.)  But, easy or hard, keep the peace.  Work to stay friends with others unless there’s a very good reason not to.  Build the community, don’t tear it down.

Prayer: Father, thank you for loving the people around me.  Help me to love them too.  Help me to notice when I am hurting others and find ways to restore the relationship.  Amen.

Ephesians 4:30-32

Scripture: verse 30

Don’t cause grief to God’s Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit), for He has stamped you as His property until the day of final redemption.

Observation:  We tend to thing of our relationship with God as something we have to do well at: if we please God, He will keep us.  We have to spend all of our time watching ourselves and looking over our shoulders, afraid of screwing up.

But that’s not the case.  God has claimed us as His.  With the exception of refusing His offer, nothing we can do cancels His claim.  He’s already made that decision.

And in making that decision, He gave us the power to make Him sad.  My mom has repeatedly pointed out how incredible that is – that the Maker of the Universe would make Himself vulnerable to us.  But He did.  Because He loves us.

Our job isn’t to work to please Him.  It’s to smile up at Him, so that our DaddyGod smiles back.

Application: Smile, I guess.  Praise God for who He is, and thank Him for what He does.  And love others, because He loves them too.

Prayer:  Holy Spirit, help me to see your love as a real thing in my life, so that I remember to smile up at you instead of worrying all the time.  Amen.