The Earth is the Lord’s (Psalm 24:1)


“The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.” (Ps. 24:1).

“Mine” is one of the first words that we learn as children. We are possessive by nature. But in truth, no one except God can rightly say the word; “for all the earth is mine” (Ex. 19:5), declares the Lord. God’s sovereignty extends to every rock and rill, wood and templed hill.

God does not need our permission to act in his universe. He does not need to explain or defend his purposes. The Lord does as he pleases. He depends on nothing, for everything finds its source in him. “If I were hungry,” says the Lord, “I would not tell you, for the world and its fullness are mine” (Ps. 50:12).

While God does not need us, he is not indifferent towards us. In fact, Moses best understood God’s love in light of his exhaustive sovereignty. When pleading with Israel to love the Lord their God, he explained, “Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it. Yet the Lord set his heart in love on your fathers and chose their offspring after them, you above all peoples, as you are this day” (Deut. 10:14-15, emphasis added).

God created us, and it is right that we should serve him. But he has chosen to call us sons instead of servants. Unlike the indifferent and arbitrary gods of the ancient peoples, the one true and living God is a jealous lover of his creation. He does not force himself upon us or exploit his power. He invites us to acknowledge and rejoice in his Lordship.

Our reasonable service as stewards of his creation is to return all things to their source through spiritual worship, and to rejoice that in Christ, “I am his and he is mine.”

Glory be to the Father, the creator and sustainer of all things. Glory be to the Son, to whom every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth. Glory be to the Spirit, who causes us to cry as sons to our creator.