The Worldview of God’s Law: Spiritual Practice (2)
We are the stewards of God’s promises and blessings.
“The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mind.” Leviticus 25.23
In order to gain the blessings God promised, the people had first of all to take possession of the land of promise. Then, within the land of promise, they would need to take possession of all the good gifts God had prepared for them – cities, farms, fields, cattle, houses, and more. Thereafter, every day of their lives, the people would employ what they had come to possess from the hand of God as tools for practicing justice, love, and holiness before Him.
The promises of God unfold to us in everyday situations and things. This is certainly the focus of Deuteronomy 28.1-14. Possessing the land and its blessings required diligence as stewards of God’s gifts, lest these become corrupted by sinful use. Everything Israel possessed was to be received as a gift of God and put to use for holiness within the framework of His commandments. Thus the people would distinguish themselves as having been separated unto the Lord in every aspect of life.
The earth and everything in it belong to the Lord (Ps. 24.1); we are but His stewards. What is required of stewards is faithfulness, so that, as we possess the blessings of God we may use them to increase a return of blessing for ourselves and our neighbors and glory to God (1 Cor. 4.2; Matt. 25.14-30; Gal. 6.1-10). The practice of stewardship – of possessing God’s gifts according to His purposes and for His glory – requires of us, as it required of the people of Israel, that we be mindful day by day of the Lord’s many blessings, that we take nothing for granted and consider nothing to be our own, and that we continually prepare to make the best use of every good gift of God in a way that will glorify Him (Eph. 5.15-17; 1 Cor. 10.31).
The people of ancient Israel were not their own; God had purchased them for Himself. He had blessed them with deliverance and a land; and He required that they engage all their possessions and opportunities for the sake of loving Him and their neighbors. In the same way, God’s Covenant people today are not their own; we have been bought with a price. For us, possessing our time, treasures, talents, possessions, and opportunities must mean precisely what it did for ancient Israel, that we obey the Lord’s will and use all our possessions for His glory.
For a more complete exposition of the promises of God, order a copy of T. M.’s book, I Will Be Your God, from our online store. Subscribe to Crosfigell, the devotional newsletter of The Fellowship of Ailbe. Sent to your desktop every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, Crosfigell includes a devotional based on the literature of the Celtic Christian period and the Word of God, highlights of other columns at the website, and information about mentoring and online courses available through The Fellowship.