The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;
for he founded it on the seas
and established it on the waters.
Psalm 24:1-2I’m old enough that when I was at school I had CDT, or Craft, Design and Technology lessons. The lessons, overseen by Mr Rooth and Mr Hallpike, were always a rather bizarre feature of the week. We’d spend many lessons planning an item to build, and then the class would divide in two, with Mr Rooth taking a metalwork class and Mr Hallpike taking a woodwork class. Despite the fact that I was not particularly good at CDT, I did make a number of items of which I was very proud, including several wooden boxes, a wooden mirror and a metal coat hook. These were usually given to my parents who lovingly looked after them and kept them safe. I enjoyed giving my handiwork to my parents because they always seemed to value my creations very highly and I knew that they were in safe hands.
I love the opening lines of Psalm 24, which always bring to mind a rather cheesy song that we used to sing at church. The simple statements of the Psalmist, as usual, hide a wealthy of thought provoking ideas, that are particularly pertinent today. “The earth is the Lord’s,” David reminds us, as is everything in it.
We live in an age, and in a society, that treasures possessions. Accumulation of wealth, land and ‘stuff’ has become second nature to us, no matter how affluent we are. People crave a bigger house, or the latest phone, or the most contemporary fashions. Yet all of this comes from God. Everything that we think we own we actually borrow from God. Everything on the earth – including everything that we have – belongs to God. We are merely stewards, entrusted with looking after the earth and everything in it for God. I wonder whether you think you individually and we as a global community are doing this well? Do you think that God is happy with the way that we are looking after his creation? Or do you think we have a lot to answer for?
Why does God have a claim on the earth and everything in it? For the simple fact, the Psalmist tells us, that he made it. He created the land on which we stand, having separated it from the water. If God wanted to, he could easily sweep everything under the water, flooding the earth, but he doesn’t, because he loves us.
Do we return God’s love? Do we respect his creation? Do we look after the earth that he has made? Do we act as good stewards of all that he has given us? There’s much to consider within the two opening verses of this Psalm. Maybe we need to reflect on these words in the days ahead and consider our attitude to our planet, our possessions and our money – all of which have been entrusted to our stewardship by God.