– Clovis G. Chappell
The Cattle on a Thousand Hills
The Bible declares over and over that “every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills” (Psalm 50:10). If every beast is the Lords, then we are not saying that God owns the cattle on only a thousand hills but that God owns everything, including the hills, that He is a good and gracious God, sharing what He has since He created it all (Gen 1). We might think what we have is ours, but who gave us life to work to draw a salary? Who gave us the capacity to own things that were all created by Him? What is there that we did not receive (1 Cor 4:7)? The answer is we have nothing that was not first given to us by God.
Giver of all Things
Jesus once said that “a person can receive only what is given them from heaven” (John 3:27), so there is nothing we have that we did not receive from God. All we have has been given freely by God, Who is the Titleholder to all created things. That means that He is the absolute and undisputed owner of everything that everyone has; whether they acknowledge it or not doesn’t matter. God says, “I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine” (Psalm 50:11). He declares, “If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and its fullness are mine” (Psalm 50:12). If I came over to your house and you were hungry, what would prevent you from eating something in your own home? Nothing would. That’s because you own all the food in your refrigerator and in your cupboards. In a similar fashion, God owns all the foods, all the homes, all the workplaces, all things in all places, and there is no doubt that He holds the title to your home, your car, your bank account–everything, in fact, including you yourself!
We are Stewards
God expects us to be stewards of what He has entrusted us with. The Bible speaks quite often about stewardship (Matt 25; 1 Cor 4), so what does the world steward mean? It is from the Greek word “oikonomos” and means “the manager of the household,” so does the steward own the house? No, the householder owns everything in the house, including the house, so the steward is only a manger of what is in the household. In a similar fashion, we are stewards, not the owner, of His things, managing what God has given us, so God will expect us to be good stewards with what has been entrusted to us. Jesus will return someday to settle accounts with all of us. He says if you “have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master” (Matt 25:21) and “everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away” (Matt 25:29).
God is so good to His children. He gives us so many things for our pleasure, and it is His will to share these blessings with us, but what do we do with what He has entrusted us? If we are faithful in little, then He can trust us in much, but if we’re unfaithful in little, then little will be entrusted to us at His return. That’s because “God is the absolute owner of all things.”