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

This third of Christ’s beatitudes has always seemed paradoxical because those who now rule the earth seem anything but meek. It has always been the strong and aggressive who control the world, not the meek of the world.

Christ, however, was confirming an ancient promise given through David: “But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace” (Psalm 37:11). Surprisingly, there are also four other promises in this psalm describing those who are to inherit the earth:

“Those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth” (v. 9). “For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth” (v. 22). “The righteous shall inherit the land |same word as ‘earth’|” (v. 29). “Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land |i.e., ‘earth’|” (v. 34).

It is Jesus Christ, of course, who ultimately will receive “the uttermost parts of the earth for |his| possession” (Psalm 2:8). However, we also (if we are among the “meek”) are “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17), and thus we also shall inherit the earth with Him.

But how does this quality of meekness equip believers for such an exalted future? In the Bible, meekness does not mean “weakness,” of course, nor is it even an innate mildness that may characterize some unsaved people. “The fruit of the Spirit is . . . meekness” (Galatians 5:22-23), which means that meekness is not a natural human trait at all. It is best defined as the character of Christ Himself, for He said: “I am meek and lowly in heart” (Matthew 11:29), and Paul measured his own actions “by the meekness and gentleness of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:1). In Psalm 37 it was seen that “the meek” (our text) are synonymous with those who “wait on the LORD, and keep his way” (Psalm 37:34). HMM

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