What does God own?
You probably answered the question by saying, “Everything.” As I have heard it said before, “He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and the gold in them hills!” This is true. You see throughout Scripture God’s declared ownership. “For every beast of the forest is mine, And the cattle upon a thousand hills…For the world is mine, and the fulness thereof” (Psalm 50:10). He owns more than just the earth and the fullness of it. “Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the Lord’s thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is” (Deuteronomy 10:14). Even the heavens and the celestial bodies are his. “Whatsoever is under the whole heaven is mine…the silver is mine, and the gold is mine…for the earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof” (Job 41:11; Haggai 2:8; 1 Corinthians 10:26). Everything on, in, and above the earth belongs to God.
Through the Creation of man, God did something extraordinary. He desired to delegate some of the ownership. In the Hebrew culture, when you named something you were declaring your dominion over it. God brought to Adam “every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air…to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof” (Genesis 2:19). Then the trouble came. Adam was not content to share this privilege with God. He wanted to monopolize it. Through the events you read in Genesis 3 known as the Fall, you find the power grab is the rotten core of man’s decisions.
There aren’t too many better examples of pride than Muhammad Ali. The big fight was staged and scheduled. Ali was to take on Joe Frazier in 1971. The media was abuzz with predictions and excitement over this champion-level fight. Ali made a statement and this is what he said:
“There seems to be some confusion. We’re gonna clear this confusion up on March 8th. We’re gonna decide once and for all who is the king! There’s not a man alive who can whup me. (He jabbed the air with some left jabs.) I’m too smart. (He tapped his head.) I’m too pretty (He lifted his head high in a revolving profile, like a bust on a pedestal.) I AM the greatest. I AM the king! I should be a postage stamp cause that’s the only way I could get licked!”
Ali lost to Frazier! With the same spirit of defiance, man lost paradise as well. David sends a clear reminder to his people in 1 Chronicles 29. Like so many other passages, he confirms God’s ownership “for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine…both riches and honor come of thee” (1 Chronicles 29:11-12). This is why it was so easy for David to store gold, silver, brass, iron, wood, and precious stones for the spectacular house of God Solomon would build. He recognized who to whom it belonged. David takes God’s ownership one step further when he declares, “Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty” (1 Chronicles 29:11). When man squeaks, “I’m the greatest,” the thunderous power of God rolls throughout heaven.
We always run a great risk when we fail to deflect the glory to God.