Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The Beatitudes: The Meek

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5)

Who are the meek? The meek are not violent, grasping, cruel, or easily provoked. Instead, the meek are gentle, peaceable, restrained from giving evil for evil. Contrary to popular opinion, being meek is not the same as being hesitant and cowardly. The meek are self-controlled and patient, repaying evil with good. It is natural to be easily aggravated, to strike back, to assert yourself at the slightest injury. This may be natural in our fallen condition, but it is not good, and it is not the way of Christ’s disciples.

Why are the meek blessed? The reason is that they shall inherit the earth. The world thinks the violent shall inherit the earth. You might feel that you cannot risk being meek and merciful. It is natural to think that it is necessary to aggressively assert yourself and grab what you can get, otherwise others will take advantage of you and you will loose everything. People like the idea of being meek, but they cannot risk it in a world of wolves. They think that in this world you have to claw your way to the top and snap at those who threaten you. But Jesus declared that the meek are blessed, for they are the true heirs of the earth.

How do the meek inherit the earth? They inherit the earth now and in the age to come. On the one hand, the meek are gaining their inheritance now through spiritual conflict. Like Joshua, but in a spiritual manner, they are conquering the earth by the gospel of Christ. Like Israel, the meek do not gain their inheritance without a struggle, even though their gospel weapons can look as counterintuitive as the Israelites walking around Jericho. Yet they have "divine power to destroy strongholds" (2 Cor. 9:4). The meek advance not by violence and greed, but through the grace of God. And while they engage the struggle, God cares for their earthly needs (Matt. 6:33). On the other hand, believers look to that final day in which we shall inherit the earth, the "new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells" (2 Peter 3:13). They look to the day when Christ shall return, raise them from the dead, purify the earth from sin and evil, and dwell there with His people (Ps. 37, Ps. 104:35, 1 Cor. 15:20-28, Rev. 20:11-21:8). Therefore they presently walk in their inheritance, knowing that this is their Father’s world which they shall one day fully possess. Abraham is a great example in this respect. He was meek, peaceable, not grasping, and knew by faith that the land he walked in was his inheritance.

With this in mind, are you meek? Do you practice meekness toward your family, or friends, or co-workers? In other words, are you self-controlled, patient, and gentle? Where can you work on being more meek?

Seek after meekness, for it is one mark of Jesus' disciples. His disciples learn, more and more, to be meek. They will learn to be self-controlled, humble, and peaceable. They will trust God to give them their inheritance rather than resorting to sinful practices to get what they want.

And if you are meek, though the world may think you foolish, you are blessed. You are an heir of the earth if you are Christ's (1 Cor. 3:21-23). You do not hold your possessions uneasily as a trespasser in God's earth. You are in your Father’s world, and you shall remain forever. You await a sure and unfading inheritance. Though the wicked prosper for a time, their prosperity is deceptive. Your gain is real and eternal.
"In just a little while, the wicked will be no more;
     though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.
But the meek shall inherit the land
     and delight themselves in abundant peace."
(Psalm 37:10–11)


For prior posts in this series, see:
1. "The Beatitudes: Introduction"
2. "The Beatitudes: The Poor in Spirit"
3. "The Beatitudes: Those Who Mourn"

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