'Land' In Bible Times & Now: A Pragmatic Analysis Of Gen.1:1 & Ps.115:15.
Updated: May 10
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." (Gen.1:1). "May you be blessed by the LORD who made heaven and earth." (Ps.115:15).
The subject of land is so important that looking at it from Economics standpoint does not obliterate the fact that God was and is still the brain behind the formation of the entire land mass all over the world.
Economics as a subject teaches us that land is the first factor of production. Others are labour and capital. In some cases, entrepreneurship is considered to be one of such factors. However, for the purpose of this discourse, a brief insight into what makes land distinct among other factors of production will be examined.
Land is a free gift of nature, with God as the Giver. Land is fixed: immovable. Land does not depreciate. Those who have insights and the wherewithal of the non-depreciation of land do buy lands and hold for future sale with the primary intention of making profits . Land is so important to man that from the birth of an individual till he goes back to the maker, he has a 'constant contact' with land. The term land consists of all natural resources used to produce goods and services. Few of such natural resources are : water, oil, copper, natural gas, mountains, creeks, coals, and forests.
Land could be bought, leased, or inherited. It could also be transferred generationally or be given as a gift. Aside from individuals striving to acquire land(s) for personal use and investments, religious organizations like Churches, Mosques and Traditional Worshippers aspire to have so much land that would serve their various worshippers and adherents.
On the flip side are Organizations, Businesses, and Corporations that compete in structures and edifice to showcase their competitive edge in their conglomerates. Hence, the world is evolving virtually almost everyday with imposing edifices and skyscrapers that display architectural aesthetics relevant to our modern day world. What a beauty to behold !
Farmers are not left out as they get a fair share of their part of the blessings of land. With modern day mechanized farming, this is becoming the world for farmers that could integrate such mechanism to make food available to consumers . Their efforts are naturally blessed by God, anyway - "For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God." (Heb.6:7).
However, beyond this, humans would wonder as to what force is behind these natural formations and establishments on land. That is no other person but GOD, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, as seen in our main texts above. The importance of land or earth , as it were, was so uppermost in the mind of God that, it was the very first thing He created; meaning that He was not unaware of the comfort it would bring to man. Obviously, since man would NOT exist or live in the thin air, hence the need to place him on a solid surface or platform that would serve as a springboard for all other necessary activities that would make life meaningful to him.
Interestingly, the provision of food for man was the first thing God made available to man. The scripture says: "the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put man whom He had formed." (Gen.2:8). It was also a way of providing job for man so as not to be idle, since the garden had to be tendered. And from the Biblical stand point God owns everything on the land, be it humans, vegetations, or natural resources. Ps.24:1 says "the earth is the LORD's, and its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein." Truth be said, it does not matter how much of the land we lay claim to in our lifetime, it's just for the time being since we "did not bring anything into the world, and we cannot take anything out of it" (1Tim.6:7) .
Events from the scriptures would convince us that we need to be guided by God even before we purchase parcel(s) of land. This is best explained in the sense that 'not all that glitters is gold'. By the time Abraham and Lot were to part ways, Lot used his human instinct to choose a land that "was well watered like the garden of the LORD" (Gen.13:11), not knowing he was choosing a land set aside for doom. As for Abraham, he waited on God to be directed . God literally chose for Abraham "for all the land which you see I will give to your descendants forever" (Gen.13:15). A simple but noticeable contrast between the portion of the land 'chosen' by Lot, and 'given' by God to Abraham is that while Lot "Journeyed east" (Gen.13:11), Abraham was commanded to "arise, walk in the land through its length and width, for I give it to you" (Gen.13:17). We see a clear and distinct difference between he that God led and guided, and he that was dwelling in "self" and "flesh". Is God leading you and I to that land?
Land being a free gift of God to nature is undoubtedly good even in its 'commercial' conversion, as it obtains in our world of today. Hence, almost every human being strives to get a portion of it and have something tangible at least for the benefit it brings. Doing this is in line with the mind of God. Ps.115: 16 says " The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD's; but the earth He has given to the children of men."
However, the way and manner men strive to acquire land even from Bible days till now, leaves much to be desired. Lands are grabbed and forcefully taken at the expense of others' lives, be it by executive fiat, royal order, or thuggery ! This is becoming a menace to the society in general. The case of King Ahab and his wife Jezebel against Naboth is such a horrible case. For a helpless man like Naboth refusing to give the "inheritance of his fathers" (1Kgs.21:3) to Ahab, the consequence was untimely death ! This was an unfortunate narrative that invariably attracted a curse on the entire house of Ahab. Bible recorded it that " the dogs shall eat whoever belongs to Ahab and dies in the city, and the birds of the air shall eat whoever dies in the field." (1Kgs.21:24). However, God was quick to shift the impending curse on the unborn generation of Ahab since Ahab 'seemed' to have humbled himself before God ! "Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the calamity in his days. In the days of his son, I will bring the calamity on his house."(2Kgs.21:29).
Beloved, the pertinent question at this point is, why do we strive to a level that lives are terminated over material thing that we'll leave behind when the Owner of our lives come for it? Fathers, mothers, watch it ! May God help us. Amen.
Olusegun A Emosu
The RCCG Rehoboth Parish
1879, S Stone Mountain Lithonia Rd,
Lithonia GA 30058
November 13th, 2021