Psalm 24:1, 2 says,
“The earth is the LORD’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.”
I felt so grasshoppery this morning as I prayed through this Psalm, remembering that I’m a visitor, a brief one, a flower that fades, a mist on the earth, temporarily here, not even my own.
And Matthew Henry’s wonderful commentary spoke to me powerfully as I thought about the Gulf oil spill and all the other ways I contribute to wrecking this, my temporary home, due to my greed and thoughtfulness. And it helped me remember my relative position as I relate to God. Listen in on his wisdom, calling out from the 17th century:
“We are not to think that the heavens, even the heavens only, are the Lord’s and that this earth, being so small and inconsiderable a part of the creation, is neglected, and that he claims no interest in it. No, even the earth is his. When God gave the earth to the children of men he still reserved to himself the property, and only let it out to them as tenants: The earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof.
The mines, the fruits it produces, all the beasts of the forest and the cattle upon a thousand hills, our lands and houses, and all the improvements that are made of this earth by the skill and industry of man, are all his. These indeed, in the kingdom of grace, are justly looked upon as emptiness; for they are vanity of vanities, nothing to a soul; but in the kingdom of providence, they are fulness. The earth is full of God’s riches, so is the great and wide sea also. The habitable part of this earth is his in a special manner — the world and those that dwell therein. We ourselves are not our own, our bodies, our souls, are not.
There’s something so appropriately humbling in realizing God’s scope and my own. There’s such relief in that realization.