Shall Inherit The Earth
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5
“But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” Psalm 37:11
I imagined for a moment that Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, from which came the Beatitudes, "Blessed are the…" and so forth, was about the future reward of various groups of people. Each receiving its own unique blessing for being in the state they are in while they are in the world. In this scenario there would be a place in Heaven for the Pure-in-heart people and one for the Mourning people, another for the Poor-in-spirit, still another for the Peacemakers and yet another for the Meek and so on. As I thought about this I started to laugh and suddenly received a revelation.
The Beatitudes are not about different people’s personalities, characters or circumstances. They are about all of us who choose to walk by faith and not by sight, trusting God in the midst of every circumstance and choosing to be imitators of Christ as dear little children. In such case we are all subject to being the pure in heart, those that mourn, those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, ones who are poor in spirit, the peacemakers, those who are merciful, the meek, the persecuted for righteousness sake, those who are reviled by men, because we choose to live holy before God, hated by those who hate our God. Yes, we are those who hunger, who weep, who are rejected from the company of those that are rich and powerful in this life.
Indeed, everyone who names the name of Christ and follow Him daily, relying on Him alone for salvation, for provision, for healing, for comfort, for peace and eternal life are all of these things at one time or another throughout our lives.
So consider what it means that the meek shall inherit the earth. What is the Biblical meaning of meekness? One thing we know, it is not a synonym for weakness or the absence of the will to be sure, firm and steadfast. It is an attribute of Jesus’ character. He described Himself so.
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Matthew 11:29
As it relates to Jesus and to us as those who will inherit the earth, meekness is a quality of character that can only be demonstrated in opposition to the pressure to react negatively and with equal or greater opposing force to a personal offense, to be humble in the face of the temptation to gain the upper hand or dominate others, to be patient when the circumstances are threatening and to be longsuffering and steadfast not taking account of the momentary opposition from friends or strangers, or from those we love, being fully persuaded that God hears and will answer our prayers in due time. Meekness is what we choose to exhibit when we could be demanding and controlling, but rather make ourselves submissive for the greater good.
In meekness Jesus made Himself obedient to God unto death for the greater good of gaining our salvation through it. He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Christ.
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
The word has, overtime also, become synonymous with being a spineless push over, or at best someone incapable of exhibiting strength or take-charge authority when needed. But this is not the Biblical meaning of the word.
Jesus is very clear here. The braggadocios, the prideful, the arrogant and haughty, those who are the antithesis of the meek will not have a place in the earth. Certainly not in the world to come, but even here and now the Word declares that the wealth of the earth, though temporarily controlled by the sinner will come to the righteous.
“A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.” Proverbs 13:22
Now, meekness is not synonymous with weakness or softness in any way. It is rather a quality of character that chooses to be humble in face of pride, to be confident without boasting, and strong without domination, manipulation or bullying others. The meek are like Jesus in that they make themselves of no great reputation seeking not the approval of men but only the approval of God.
Those who are meek are characterized by a quiet and steady disposition, recognizing their desperate need for the Lord Jesus Christ, for salvation, for truth, for hope, for grace, mercy and love. They are confidently dependent on Him without fear, without wrath or doubting.
The meek are not seeking great wealth to impose power or influence over others. They do not seek to dominate or rule over anyone or anything, but these things are granted to them because they cannot be swayed by them to the right or to the left. They make no claim to their importance but always and in everything lift up the Lord and worship Him, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit only.
The meek are content in whatever circumstance they find themselves, in plenty or in want. Their circumstance at any given time does not dictate the attitude of their hearts, only their faith and trust in God. The meek shall inherit the earth because they can be trusted to steward it without becoming puffed up because of it. Their one true and overarching desire is to please God and to do His will above all else.
The way of the meek is the way of the Lord Jesus Christ, to seek Him, to know Him, to hear Him, to follow Him and obey Him, to love and most importantly to know that they are loved by Him. The earth becomes their inheritance because their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
“He will not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.” Psalm 112:7