8 Woe to you who add house to house
and join field to field
till no space is left
and you live alone in the land.
9 The LORD Almighty has declared in my hearing:
“Surely the great houses will become desolate,
the fine mansions left without occupants.
10 A ten-acre vineyard will produce only a bath of wine,
a homer of seed only an ephah of grain.”
You Live Alone
The American dream has always revolved in some way around land and real estate, and has been so for centuries. This Dream is that you can have valuable land that will provide for you, and is a place all for yourself. We seal ourselves away from one another behind gates and fences, and God forbid if a person encroaches on this land – in some places, you have the right to shoot them!
And to some degree, it is this mentality that Isaiah addresses here.
The American dream is isolationism, but this is not the way of the Kingdom of God. Jesus revealed his way when he was on earth, a way of openness and engagement and relationship, not of isolation. As Christians, are you using your riches and resources and education to isolate yourself from other people? Are you creating a little island haven for yourself to find rest?…or do you trust that your rest is in God alone, not in any plot of land?
Real estate is also intertwined with money. Real estate is an investment which is supposed to yield a return. When we buy real estate, it is supposed to be an asset which gets more and more valuable, yielding us more and more money. In this way, we have to realize that real estate is not very much different from money.
And so the same care and consideration that we take with money, we need to take with our land and real estate – how is it being used? Are your hopes wrapped up and around it? Is your kingdom more important than God’s eternal kingdom? Let all the riches of your life, money, talents, education, even real estate, give glory back to God, and serve to build up his kingdom rather than your own.
1. Do you feel like you know your neighbors, at work, at home, at school? In what ways can you be more involved in the lives of those around you?
2. How do we find rest in God, rather than in things of this earth?
3. In what ways can your choice in housing or real estate be used to serve God’s kingdom and purposes?