Beatitude 3: Can the Meek Inherit the Earth?
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5)
If we interpret the words of this Beatitude according to the usual meaning of the words used in it, we would conclude that this statement cannot be true.
“Inheriting the earth” is such a huge promise, it reminds of me the command to subdue the earth God gave to Adam in the Garden of Eden.
When God blessed them, and God said to them,
“Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28)
Like all the other Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount, this is a paradox that catches our attention and, instead of writing it off, we need to seek to understand it.
See the previous posts on the Beatitudes:
THE DICTIONARY DEFINITION OF THE MEEK
A dictionary definition of the meek is someone who is humbly patient and mild, and overly submissive.
The meek are the ones who do not stand up for themselves and therefore are always taken advantage of. This is a character weakness, not a strength. It will produce the opposite result of the blessing of “inheriting the earth” that Jesus promised in this Beatitude.
HOW SHOULD WE RE-DEFINE THE MEEK?
Therefore, “the meek” is a word that Jesus used with a meaning that significantly differs from what we usually give to it. As for all the other Beatitudes and all His teachings on the Kingdom of God, Jesus takes a spiritual rather than a behavioral perspective and defines the meek according to the Word of God.
THE MEEK DEFINED ACCORDING TO THE WORD OF GOD
Jesus defined the meek on the basis of our relationship with God rather than with others. The meek are those who are not proud in their mind. Instead, they are open to the instructions and corrections from the Word of God.
My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor detest His correction; For whom the LORD loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights. Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding; For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, And her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her. Length of days is in her right hand, In her left hand riches and honor. (Proverbs 3:11-16)
Here, the meek are the opposite of the fool as defined in Proverbs.
- The meek are prudent
A fool despises his father’s instruction, But he who receives correction is prudent. (Proverbs 15:5)
- The meek are teachable
A scoffer seeks Wisdom in vain [for his very attitude blinds and deafens him to it], but knowledge is easy to him who [being teachable] understands. (Proverbs 14:6)
- The meek trust the Lord
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones. (Proverbs 3:5-8)
These verses do not mean that we should be clueless, and not seek to understand things. This is the meaning that those who do not want to take responsibility for their actions choose to believe. Rather, the Word teaches:
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. (Proverbs 4:7)
We should seek understanding above all things and we should go to God and His Word to get it and not just use our reasoning.
JESUS’ DEFINITION OF THE MEEK
Jesus’ definition of the meek based on the Word of God:
The meek are those who are open to the Word of God and teachable. Therefore, they learn and grow in understanding. They are not self-abasing but are continually growing. Jesus Himself is the best example of “The Meek.” (Matthew 11:25, 21:5 KJV)
THE POWER OF THE MEEK IS IN THE WORD OF GOD
From the definition given above, we can see that the Word of God is the source of success for the meek.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly nor seats in the seat of the scornful but his delight is in the law of the Lord and he meditates in it day and night … and whatever they shall do shall prosper. (Psalm 1)
Meditation on the Word of God is how you renew your mind to make it conform to the mind of Christ.
When your mind is renewed, the Word of God releases in you God’s spiritual and physical blessings.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
The meek depend and go continually to the Word for instruction, and direction, and continuously grow in wisdom, understanding and true success. Their success is not superficial and worldly but comes from the prospering of their soul.
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3 John 2)
THE 10 BLESSINGS THE MEEK RECEIVE FROM THE WORD OF GOD
The Word of God reveals God’s promises to you. From them, you receive all that you need for life and godliness.
As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Peter 1:3-4)
The following ten blessings are just some of the benefits you can receive from the Word of God:
- Your sins are forgiven. (Colossians 1:14, 2:13)
- You are born-again. (1 Peter 1:23)
- You enter the Kingdom of God. (John 3:3-6)
- You receive God’s wisdom. (Proverbs 2:6, Colossians 3:16)
- You become a son of God. (Galatians 3:25-27)
- Your mind is transformed by the Word. (Romans 12:1-3)
- You receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:8)
- You have power and authority. (Matthew 28:18-20)
- You are righteous. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
- You reign in life. (Romans 5:17)
You can see how different this spiritual description and experience of the meek are from the usual definition and experience given in the dictionary.
THE MEEK ARE SONS OF GOD
Because the meek depend on the Word of God, they believe in it. This is the definition of faith. To have faith is to believe in what the Word of God says. By believing the Word of God, the meek can receive all the promises of God and do the same works that Jesus did.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12-13)
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:26-29)
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. (John 16:12-14)
The sons of God will have the power of the Holy Spirit working in their life as Jesus did.
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. (Acts 10:38)
All the Sons of God have authority, power, and the commission:
- to minister to those who are not children of God,
- to overcome the kingdom of darkness, and
- to expand the Kingdom of God.
WITH POWER ALSO COMES THE TEMPTATION TO BE ARROGANT
Often power produces arrogance – this is a temptation.
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18 )
Jesus was tempted at the beginning of His ministry, but He overcame His temptations with the Word of God (Matthew 4:1-11). As Jesus did, the meek will use the Word of God to overcome arrogance and all other forms of temptation. This is how the meek will succeed in all they do and will inherit the earth.
THERE IS NO ARROGANCE IN THE AUTHORITY OF THE MEEK
Never compare yourself with others because it only produces problems:
- If you judge them inferior to you or not being where you are, you have the wrong spirit, and you cannot minister to them.
- If you judge yourself as inferior to them, you lose all the authority you have received and give it to them, and you cannot minister to them.
- You must die to yourself. Everything you have is from Christ. All that you are is Christ in you, the hope of glory, who can minister through you.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:24-26)
CALLED TO SERVE, NOT TO BE SERVED
Like Jesus, the sons of God are called to serve others, not to be served.
But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for man. (Matthew 20:25-28)
We can look at Jesus as the best example of the meek. He was the Word made flesh (John 1:14).
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind [Ampl. attitude] be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider to be equal with God something to be grasped, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:3-8)
Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)
The meek will be blessed and shall prosper in all they do as they allow the Word of God to direct their path rather than follow their way.
HOW TO RECEIVE THE BLESSING IN THIS BEATITUDE
This Beatitude when properly understood gives us a simple and powerful spiritual concept for unlimited success:
“Let the Word of God guide your life in all the areas of your life, and you will have success.”
This is how Jesus walked. Being continuously guided by the Word of God is the secret for walking in the spirit.
To apply this concept to your life:
- Study and meditate on the Word of God.
- Make all your decisions based on the Word of God.
To answer the starting question: “Can the meek inherit the earth?” Yes, they can! Because they have the power of the Word of God on their side.
SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE
Does your experience confirm this spiritual principle? Share in a comment how it has worked in your life.