Matthew 5:5 (NIV): Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
It is absolutely true that the meek are the ones who will inherit the earth/land. The problem is not with the promise, but with the way the word “meek” has shifted meaning since Jesus spoke this truth. Today a meek person is defined as one whom others walk all over; who cannot, or will not stand up for his rights; who is taken advantage of all the time because he has no backbone. Meekness is not seen by the world these days as a desirable characteristic.
But the word translated as “meek” is, at its root, the word for “gentle,” as used by Jesus to describe His own approach to those who choose to follow Him (Matthew 11:28-30), and to describe His coming into Jerusalem to bring salvation (Matthew 21:5). It is also listed, using the same Greek word, as “gentleness,” one of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:23).
To get a fuller look at all the GOD means by “meek,” look at all of the synonyms in Psalm 37:
- · Those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land. (v9)
- · Those the Lord blesses will inherit the land. (v22)
- · The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever. (v29)
- · Wait for the Lord and keep His way. He will exalt you to inherit the land. (v34)
All of these define “meekness” very well. The meek are those who trust in God for their salvation, realizing fully that there is nothing they can do to save themselves. They lean fully on God, and put themselves in the perfect position for Him to bless them. By dependence on God, they become truly righteous (not having ANY righteousness of their own, but only God’s righteousness working powerfully through them). They wait on God, hanging on His every word, waiting, watching, intent on His every movement, so that they can do His bidding the moment He calls on them. In every one of these characteristics, Jesus is the key example. His total dependence on the Father, His complete surrender to His will, all led to His “gentleness” with repentant sinners, unlike the sternness with sinners that was evidenced by those who were cocksure of their own righteousness (and still are today!).
The meek will inherit, not just the land, but the whole world, because their focus is not on attaining the world, but on pleasing God. Those who grasp after the world and its pleasures (the “un-meek”) will inherit only shame and disgrace.
Father, thank You that You have made a way for me to follow You in all righteousness and truth. I was once a grasper, but You have shown me Your love, given me Your righteousness, and made a place for me in heaven. Praise Your name! Amen!