Psalm 100:3 (NIV): Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
All people on earth belong to God. He created all of us, and we are His by right of creation. For that reason, God cares for the people of the world – giving us food and water; providing the day for work and the night for rest; sending the rain to grow crops and replenish the earth, and the snow in winter so that the ground, too, gets rest. He places people in families to provide love, nurture, and mutual support. All of these things He does for people all over the world because we are His.
However, He also disciplines the people of the world, of individual nations, and even those in individual areas for the same reason: they are His. When we refuse to acknowledge and worship God as He has clearly and faithfully revealed Himself; when we willfully disobey His commands, and even the dictates of our own consciences, God will withhold the rain and snow. He will pull His hand of protection away from a nation, from a state, a city, so that the sin-brokenness of the world will begin to invade and to gnaw away at the blessings that He has given. He will take His power away from us, so that we begin to experience battles internally and externally that result either in very costly victories or in strong defeats. He does these things both as punishments for the sins of a people, as well as a way to get the attention of His people in that nation or area, so that they will begin the process of repenting and seeking His face anew.
It is not a question of someone getting to decide whether or not they will belong to God; whether or not they will obey Him and follow His commands; whether or not they will believe in Him. God owns ALL people by right of creation. The only choice people get to make is whether they will live under God’s Lordship voluntarily, submitting themselves to His authority, and enjoying life in His presence for all eternity, or whether they will rebel against God, making themselves into their own god and lord, living in defiance of the only true God and His commandments, and ultimately choosing a life separated from Him for all eternity.
Through the gift of Jesus, God has made it possible for us to choose to submit ourselves to Him and His authority over our lives. And to those that do choose to recognize His right as our owner and Lord, He gives the right to become much more than His servants – we get to become His children.
Father, You created the heavens and the earth, the sea, the dry land, and all that inhabit them. We are Yours, ALL of us, by Your divine right of creation. Thank You for making the way through Jesus for us to break loose from our sin and rebellion, and instead to surrender ourselves entirely to You; the power to willingly place ourselves under Your authority. And thank You for the multiplied blessings that You give us when we do. I have lived in rebellion, and I have lived in full submission to You. And now that I have experienced the blessed life of complete submission, I will never go back! Amen.