God provides enough land space for all human beings when He tells them to “Increase, multiply and fill the earth” (Gen 1:28). Any use of the land which transgresses the rights of others to live and find life sustenance therefrom is a serious sin of self-abuse and aggression towards others, a violation of their God-given rights and a serious offence against the Creator God.
The story of Naboth and his vineyard (1 Kgs 21:1-16) could have taken place in Africa. Naboth had an ancestral vineyard close to the king’s palace. The palace was not originally his heritage, but a conquered land, unless we see the royal palace as a heritage bequeathed to him by his ancestors (David and Solomon). Heritage was part of the land apportioned to the people of Israel during the settlement. The law of the land strictly forbad any person to sell or alienate the inheritance because it did not belong to the person. It was the property of the entire clan, successively descendants came into it, and they were to use it as trust and pass it on to the next generation. The most stringent sanctions applied to whoever would alienate the heritage of the family and clan. This truth helps us to understand the depth of the sin of the prodigal son when he requested for a share of his inheritance while his father was still alive and sold it out for nothing, thus cutting himself off his moorings for good. Read the full keynote here