“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matt. 5:5).
Psalm 78 details the Israelites struggle to keep faith in God as He brought them, through the wilderness, to the land He had promised them. It highlights the faithfulness of God even in the midst of the most blatant, human unfaithfulness. The “land” is significant here, as it has always been in God’s economy since the time of Abraham. (Gen. 12:7, Gen. 15:18-21).
We read in Psalm 78:54-55, “And he brought them to his holy land, to the mountain which his right hand had won. He drove out nations before them; he apportioned them for a possession and settled the tribes of Israel in their tents.”
And, in Psalm 78:69, “He built his sanctuary like the high heavens, like the earth, which he has founded forever.”
In my opinion, Jesus uses this opportunity (the crowd reflecting on the faults and attitudes of their fathers as they attempted to come into God’s promised land of old) to teach them what kind of person will inherit God’s ultimate land – the new earth!
Jesus says, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matt. 5:5) But, what does it mean to be meek?
-We’re BIG on rights in America. For some reason, there are things that we believe we inherently deserve. But, the meek one, the one who has died with Christ, has learned to empty himself of this kind of attitude. He has relinquished all self “rights” for the sake of living unto God, for the sake of exalting Jesus Christ.
-The meek one, the one who has died with Christ, has learned to patiently endure violence and reproach with a commitment to peace.
-The meek one, the one who has died with Christ, finds joy in the shame and powerlessness of the cross. By hanging onto that symbol of violence and injustice (as it pertained to Christ), they have freed themselves to live lives of peace and justice.
-The meek one, the one who has died with Christ, is not politically driven. His calling is so much higher. He holds his peace when oppressed, for the kingdom of God does not come by the sword. (Matt. 26:52)
The Jews wanted a conqueror to crush the Romans, but instead they got a Messiah who said blessed are the meek. They wanted the deliver of Zechariah 14 (Christ’s second coming), but they got the man of Zechariah 9:9-13 (Christ’s first coming), a man seated on a donkey, speaking peace to the nations. At Christ’s triumphal entry, they waved palm branches as a sign of political freedom; a crucifiable offense! But, Jesus wept because they had missed the point. This deliverance was not political. It was liberation from sin and death!
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
“The renewal of the earth begins at Golgotha, where the meek One died, and from thence it will spread. When the kingdom finally comes, the meek shall possess the earth.” (Bonhoeffer)