“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” Matthew 5:5.
Do you remember the “Most likely to…” pages from your high school year books? You saw “Most likely to become president,” “Most likely to become a millionaire,” or “Most likely to get married and have kids,” etc. Those were always fun to look at, and I wonder how many of those actually played out as predicted.
So far we have seen how the poor in spirit and the mournful are blessed in receiving a heavenly kingdom and comfort. Today, we see another countercultural claim from Christ that the meek shall inherit the earth. What an astonishing statement! Power, wealth, beauty, intellect, and popularity are the names of the game in the world’s eyes, not meekness. If there was a spot in a yearbook out there that read “Most likely to inherit the earth,” it would definitely not be for Mr. or Miss Meek.
What is meekness anyway? Merriam-Webster defines it this way: having or showing a quiet and gentle nature : not wanting to fight or argue with other people. Some other words for being meek are “gentle,” “humble,” “mild.” A meek person holds her tongue when she wants to lash out. She does not have to prove herself. She does not look to pick a fight. She knows who she is and is okay with not always being understood. She is not weak, she is very strong because of the Holy Spirit’s work in her life. A meek person is secure in who she is in Christ. When she is sinned against she does not sin in return. When she speaks or acts out in a way to correct or rebuke, she does so with gentleness and grace. She is not out-of-control, but submissive to God’s control.
When Jesus says that the meek “shall inherit the earth” he is quoting directly from Psalm 37:11. The verse continues with “[the meek shall] delight themselves in abundant peace.” Unsettled anger or resentment do not bring peace. Grudges, bitterness, jealousy and insecurity do not bring peace. Power struggles do not bring peace. A meek person patiently trusts in the Lord to work in the ways that He sees fit. She knows who is on the throne of her life, and it isn’t her.
Jesus was the perfect representation of meekness in His earthly ministry. “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23). He entrusted Himself to Him, speaking of the Father, who judges justly. Isn’t that incredible? Jesus, fully God, willingly gave up His rights in submission to the will of the Father in order to bring about salvation for all who believe. Without meekness there would not have been a cross. Without meekness there would not have been a Savior. Without meekness we all would be sinfully lost in selfish pride.
Is there a battle that you are waging? Have you surrendered your cares to God, or are you striving in your own strength and will? Are you seeking approval? How do you respond when you feel misunderstood or misrepresented? Do you get in tit-for-tat arguments on social media? Meekness is hard. When we humble ourselves before God and repent of personal sin meekness gets easier with the Spirit’s help. This is not a personality thing, it is a spiritual thing and it will take the Holy Spirit to enable us to act against our flesh’s inclination to vindicate and retaliate. We will inherit the earth, meaning that we will have all that God gives us, both now and forever. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 3:23 says, “For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future, all are yours; and you are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.”
So what reason have we to struggle over issues and people if all things are ours in Christ? Friend, let’s rest in Him and learn from Christ’s example. Meekness wins every time, though it may not always feel that way. We do not live for the moment, but for the future reward God promises to those who trust in Him.