Mine! Mine! Mine!
From the seagulls in the movie “Finding Nemo” to a toddler demanding a toy, “mine” is a universal cry. “I want it.” “It belongs to me.” “Gimme.” As we grow older and hopefully wiser, we still fight the temptation to draw boundaries and claim what is ours. Although perhaps we become a little more subtle and refined about it than a toddler or an animated seagull in a children’s movie. Or do we?
The Year of Jubilee
This week I was reading in Leviticus 25 about the Year of Jubilee. Every seven years God instructed the Israelites to have a Sabbath Year – a year of rest for the land where there was to be no sowing or reaping. After seven cycles of seven years, on the Day of Atonement, the trumpet was sounded throughout the land ushering in the Year of Jubilee. It was a year of rest for the land, again with no sowing or reaping. Those who, due to poverty, had sold themselves into servitude, regained their liberty. Those who had bought property had to return it to the original owners. God instructed that the price of land was to be adjusted according to how many years it was until a year of Jubilee, and how many years of crops there would be.
If the years are many you shall increase the price, and if the years are few, you shall reduce the price, for it is the number of crops that he is selling to you.”
It was year of restitution, of liberty and of rest. I imagine it was also a year of celebration!
As I was reflecting on this, I realised that the Year of Jubilee was a tangible reminder that everything truly belonged to God.
The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine.
We see this truth throughout Scripture.
The earth is the Lord’s and it’s fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.
All things were created through Him and for Him.
Abraham Kuyper put it beautifully: “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign overall, does not cry, mine!”
Mine or Yours, God?
I’m not sure about you, but one of my great wrestles in becoming more Christlike is that sinful tendency to see my time, my resources, my life as belonging to me. I like to control it. I like to own it. I like to decide what happens and when.
God, in His great grace and wisdom, seems to work in our lives reminding us how little we truly control and that it all truly does belong to Him. So often these reminders come in the way of hardship and loss with the call to surrender ownership and control.
If our Heavenly Father was a despotic God, a cruel, tyrannical God who acted arbitrarily and selfishly for His own ends, knowing we belonged to Him would cause us to tremble and live in fear and apprehension.
But praise Him that this is not our God!
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies your with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The Great Thing about Belonging
The revelation that our Heavenly Father is Lord over all, including our very lives, is truly a great comfort. We are chosen and beloved! We belong to the one who is always perfect, always loving, always kind, gracious, merciful, faithful and just. We belong to the one who knows the beginning from the end.
We belong to the one who saw us in our desperate need and sinfulness and worked to bring redemption and restoration, at the cost of His own life on the cross.
Not only that, but we belong to the God who not only extended His grace to us at the Cross of Calvary, but who provides for us here and now, each and every day.
As I read the instructions about now sowing or reaping in the seventh Sabbath year and in the Year of Jubilee, I wondered how the Israelites survived. How did they eat? God knew the Israelites would too, because God promised them provision.
And if you say, ‘What shall we eat in the seventh year, if we may not sow or gather in our crop? I will command my blessing on you in the sixth year, so that it will produce a crop sufficient for three years.
We belong to a God who knows exactly what we need and takes care of us. A God of provision.
Perhaps you’re going through a testing time? Perhaps you’re facing uncertainty or tough circumstances? I find it so easy to focus on my circumstances when things get tough. My natural response is to scramble for control. But I’ve learnt that there is a far better way. That way is to surrender my cares and concerns to my loving Heavenly Father and to keep my focus on Him, not on my circumstances. What a comfort it is to remind ourselves of the truth that not only are we are God’s children, beloved and chosen by Him, but He will keep us, care for us and provide for us, this day and every day of our life. We’re not left to our own limited devices or resources. We are never alone. That’s the great thing about belonging.
Your Care Team pastor,
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