Inherit the Earth
“In a surprise announcement this morning, it was revealed that the Meek have inherited the Earth. The actual change of ownership itself happened three weeks ago, but the spokesperson for the Meek was too shy to contact the press. After much polite cajoling from fellow Meek Persons, the fulfillment of this ancient prophecy has finally come to pass.
A representative for the Meek gave us these comments – “As you know, the Earth was promised to us almost 2000 years ago by Jesus Christ himself, during his famous Sermon on the Mount. We have been blessed for all that time, which was quite nice, but simply had to wait for the momentous event itself. The Earth and all it contains now belong to us. By Divine Command, we Meek have absolute domination over the planet. We hope you don’t mind.”
— Adrian Barnett, 1999
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5)
Given our modern day usage of the word “meek” as signifying weakness, spinelessness, and an inability to stand up for oneself, it is no wonder many cringe when they hear this beatitude. Yet we should take note that the two people who are called “meek” in the Bible are profoundly strong, courageous, and full of conviction. They are Moses (Numbers 12:3) and Jesus himself (Matthew 11:29). This should raise some questions about what meekness means in the Bible in contrast to how we might understand it today.
The Greek word for meek “praus” can be defined as gentle, self-controlled, unpretentious, without malice or desire for revenge. It actually has its root in the idea of taming a horse. A meek horse does not lose any strength, but its strength and will is submitted to its master.
Jesus also taught us meekness when he taught us to pray, “Your Kingdom Come, Your will be done” instead of my Kingdom come and my will be done. Notice that meekness in this passage primarily has to do with a person’s relationship to God, not to others. In the same way Moses and Jesus were strong in their convictions, but totally submitted to God’s will.
We cannot really come to know Christ if we are not meek; if we do not have a sense of our own poverty in spirit, and if we do not have a sense of our own sinfulness. We have to see our need and be humble before God and be open to receive from Him.
Meekness is seeing ourselves for who we are in light of who God is. Meekness and humility go hand in hand. Meekness is not expecting something because we feel like God owes it to us. Therefore, when God gives us a blessing, we are surprised, joyfully so, that God has seen fit to honour those who deserve no honour. Meekness knows who we are in Christ. It is an attitude towards God in light of our poverty through sin, and in light of His provision of grace. Meekness is an attitude, not primarily toward others, but toward God. If we are meek before God, we can be bold in His service. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)
If it is primarily an attitude toward others, then we will bend at any stronger will. It is not compromise; it is an attitude toward God, which bends to His will. Meekness or humbleness of mind towards God sets one free to forget ones’ self, and stand for Jesus Christ.
In Matthew 11:28-30, where Jesus calls himself meek, He invites those who follow him to cast their burdens upon him and He will give them complete rest. This is an invitation to enter into Christ’s bearing of our brokenness that we might participate in his holiness. By the Spirit we can take upon ourselves Christ’s very likeness. We exchange our will for Jesus’ ability to do the will of the Father. Pray for one another and ask that the Holy Spirit would enable us to develop this strong trust in Christ. Pray that as our lives are yoked to Christ, we would experience God’s rest as a reality in the present and know the assurance of God’s promise of a “new heaven and a new earth” that awaits us in the future!
The “meek” shall inherit it all! Meekness is a godly trait to possess. It is also a fruit of the Spirit. As we perform our daily tasks, we should stop to ask ourselves: “Do I possess this supernatural quality? Am I poised to inherit the earth?”