Today's devotion from Leviticus 25.
This is something I know that we all know, but it is striking to see God so bluntly state the truth. "It is Mine." "You are only foreigners and temporary residents on My land." Of course, we know that everything is God's, but I love the context. If it is God's, then it's not yours to sell. It is God's gift for you to occupy, manage, and steward on His behalf. The way this chapter frames it, when the Israelites were buying land, they weren't really buying the land. Instead, they were only leasing it to help out their neighbors. The neighbor received the financial help they needed, and the land was managed for God.
We are ok with the land as God's property, but the Israelites as God's slaves? This isn't the warm and fuzzy description we're used to hearing. Why? Why is this the description that God uses? It's because it's the truth. His people were bought at a price. They were hopelessly bound in horrific slavery until God redeemed them. He purchased them. The reason, if you'll remember, was explained in Exodus 6:7, "I will take you as My people."
We sometimes think too civilly of our God. No aspect of our salvation came easy. He took Abraham from obscurity, and created a nation. He took Israel from Egypt, and claimed a people. He took a rebellious people, and shepherded them to His promise. He took the sins of all mankind, and obliterated them through the bloody work of Christ. Our God is a conquerer. He fights and claims victory. Those that He has freed, are free. No other is to be lord over them because He alone is Lord.
His Lordship is the framework from which we see all else. The land, the people, and everything else is His not by default, but by right. He won it. This is incredibly encouraging to me because that means His victory seals my salvation, not mine. That also means that everyone He saves is equal. There is no better slave than another. There are only different slaves with different responsibilities, but it's His land and His slaves.