Everything Belongs to God
Yael Eckstein | August 16, 2020
The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it. — Psalm 24:1
In honor of my father, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, and his lifework helping Christians understand the Jewish roots of their faith, I offer you one of his devotional teachings from the beloved Psalms.
The first verse of Psalm 24 reminds us that everything — from the greatest to the least of all creations — belongs to God: “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” It is the custom in Judaism to write this verse on the inside of books, just above where the owner’s name might be written. This serves as a constant reminder that everything we own doesn’t really belong to us. Whatever we possess is simply on loan from God in order to help us reach our goals and fulfill our destiny.
Imagine if we were to write this verse on all of our possessions. How differently might we view the things we have? This desk I am sitting at belongs to God. For what purpose has He supplied me with it and how might I use it well? The phone in my house is God’s, too. He has given me the gift of communication with those far away. How dare I use it to speak badly about His children! How can I use it to serve His purposes? The food in my refrigerator was given to me by God. How can I possibly eat it without thanking Him for it? And how can I not share it with those of His children who are hungry?
Everything is viewed differently when we have a proper perspective.
What if we could write this verse on all of God’s magnificent creations? When we see a tree, we would remember that it belongs to God, so how could we damage it and not take care of it? When we would see majestic mountains that awe and inspire us, we remember that they are the possessions of God Almighty who can do with them whatever He pleases. Knowing that each beautifully designed flower was created by God for our enjoyment should fill us with a tremendous sense of love and being loved by our Creator.
How different everything looks when we know to whom it all belongs!
Finally, let’s imagine this verse surrounding every human being. Our children are God’s and He has entrusted us to guide and protect them. Our spouses belong to God and are a gift of partnership in our lives. Even that person who is so difficult to get along with — he or she is also one of God’s children and must be treated accordingly. Those who ask us for handouts, they, too, belong to God. How can we refuse them?
It would be a privilege and honor for me to take your prayer to the holiest site in all Israel — the Western Wall — and pray for you. Please submit your prayer request today!