Kanna shamayim erets
Names of God – part 57
Possessor of heaven and earth
Although my Bible, the ESV, has the Hebrew of Genesis 14:19 as being “possessor of heaven and earth” I do not think that is clear enough from the context here. The context of heaven, or heavens as shamayim is plural, is not that of Heaven the home of God, but of the sky and all that is beyond it. The universe belongs to God.
The implication here for our relationship with God is that if God owns everything then we possess nothing, we merely hold things in trust for God. We must not say, “This is mine, I can do what I want with it,” but our attitude should be to thank God for what we have and offer it back to him. This attitude can be found in the liturgy of the Church of England and others and is taken straight from the Bible, 1 Chronicles 29:14 says, “But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you.”
The context for this name of God comes after a battle and Abraham is with the kings of Sodom and Salem. It is Melchizedek King of Salem who uses this as God’s name when blessing Abram, and Abram, having been promised this land by God refuses to accept anything won through battle, using the same formulation, Kanna shamayim erets, back. Possessions come from God, not from man or through the context of war.
We own nothing. Everything in the universe belongs to God.