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Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18
2 Corinthians 10:1-11
The Earth is the Lords 011912
Psalm 139 is a near perfect song of praise. It is also poetic and intensely spiritual and intelligent. It is the song of a singer, but a singer who has thought deeply about life and God.
It is a song perhaps of someone who feels as if they’ve known God for a long time. In Judges 2:6-15 we are reminded of a key fact about Israel. The land which the Hebrew nation was given by God, still belonged legally to God. It could not be sold in normal circumstances, and upon Jubilee, all debts upon land were in effect cancelled, and the land returned to the family that owned and to whatever part of the family tree that one was farming or tilling would be returned to the former farmers and shepherds who had lost it.
Since the land belonged to God, one should take care of it, lest the landlord God become enraged at your abuse of the gift of the land. This tells us some things about Jesus—he might have been a (legal) bastard and had no family inheritance of land to share. But there was also a collection of young men with Jesus, and some young women that appeared to be homeless and perhaps also, landless. They were a lost generation.
Maybe we should remember that every little thing we use during our lifetime or think we own really belongs to God. The idea that we could own what belongs to God is really a major invention of the British Commonwealth as it spread around the globe. Natives around the earth previously thought, as did the Hebrews, that God owned the land, and it couldn’t be sold away, or gambled away.
Can we go back to this old idea? For anyone that thinks they own land, we should all realize that we have it wrong. The land owns us.
Pray for peace
1O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
2You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away.
3You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.
4Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely.
5You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.
6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it.
13For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.
15My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed.
17How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
18I try to count them—they are more than the sand; I come to the end—I am still with you.
6When Joshua dismissed the people, the Israelites all went to their own inheritances to take possession of the land. 7The people worshiped the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great work that the Lord had done for Israel. 8Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of one hundred ten years. 9So they buried him within the bounds of his inheritance in Timnath-heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash. 10Moreover, that whole generation was gathered to their ancestors, and another generation grew up after them, who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel. 11Then the Israelites did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and worshiped the Baals; 12and they abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; they followed other gods, from among the gods of the peoples who were all around them, and bowed down to them; and they provoked the Lord to anger. 13They abandoned the Lord, and worshipped Baal and the Astartes. 14So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he gave them over to plunderers who plundered them, and he sold them into the power of their enemies all around, so that they could no longer withstand their enemies. 15Whenever they marched out, the hand of the Lord was against them to bring misfortune, as the Lord had warned them and sworn to them; and they were in great distress.
2 Corinthians 10:1-11
10I myself, Paul, appeal to you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold toward you when I am away!— 2I ask that when I am present I need not show boldness by daring to oppose those who think we are acting according to human standards. 3Indeed, we live as human beings, but we do not wage war according to human standards; 4for the weapons of our warfare are not merely human, but they have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments 5and every proud obstacle raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ. 6We are ready to punish every disobedience when your obedience is complete.
7Look at what is before your eyes. If you are confident that you belong to Christ, remind yourself of this, that just as you belong to Christ, so also do we. 8Now, even if I boast a little too much of our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for tearing you down, I will not be ashamed of it. 9I do not want to seem as though I am trying to frighten you with my letters. 10For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.” 11Let such people understand that what we say by letter when absent, we will also do when present.
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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