God's Green Earth.
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God's Green Earth.

The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein Psalm 24:1 NKJV

We are not to think that the heavens, even the heavens only, are the Lord's, and the numerous and bright inhabitants of the upper world, and that this earth, being so small and inconsiderable a part of the creation, and at such a distance from the royal palace above, is neglected, and that he claims no interest in it. No, even the earth is his, and this lower world and, though he has prepared the throne of his glory in the heavens, yet his kingdom rules over all, and even the worms of this earth are not below his cognizance, nor from under his dominion.

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, or usufructuaries: The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof. The mines that are lodged in the bowels of it, even the richest, 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 fullness. The earth is full of God's riches, so is the great and wide sea also. All the parts and regions of the earth are the Lord's, all under his eye, all in his hand: so that, wherever a child of God goes, he may comfort himself with this, that he does not go off his Father's ground. That which falls to our share of the earth and its productions is but lent to us it is the Lord's what is our own against all the world is not so against his claims. That which is most remote from us, as that which passes through the paths of the sea, or is hidden in the bottom of it, is the Lord's and he knows where to find it.

The habitable part of this earth (Proverbs 8:31) 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. All souls are mine, says God for he is the former of our bodies and the Father of our spirits. Our tongues are not our own they are to be at his service. Even those of the children of men that know him not, nor own their relation to him, are his. Now this comes in here to show that, though God is graciously pleased to accept the devotions and services of his peculiar chosen people (Psalm 24:3-5), it is not because he needs them, or can be benefited by them, for the earth is his and all in it, Exodus 19:5; Psalm 50:12. It is likewise to be applied to the dominion Christ has, as Mediator, over the utmost parts of the earth, which are given him for his possession: the Father loveth the Son and hath given all things into his hand, power over all flesh. The apostle quotes this scripture twice together in his discourse about things offered to idols, 1 Corinthians 10:26,28. "If it be sold in the shambles, eat it, and ask no questions for the earth is the Lord's it is God's good creature, and you have a right to it. But, if one tell you it was offered to an idol, forbear, for the earth is the Lord's, and there is enough besides." This is a good reason why we should be content with our allotment in this world, and not envy others theirs the earth is the Lord's, and may he not do what he will with his own, and give to some more of it, to others less, as it pleases him? - Matthew Henry

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