The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth

The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth
December 22, 2019
Passage: Matthew 5:5
Service Type:

The question is where will the redeemed be in eternity. Some say this verse means that the meek will inherit in eternity and live on this earth.

  • Matthew 5:5
  • John 14:1-3

Jesus has left this earth to prepare a home for the saved Where He is, is where we are going to be. 

Some say the heaven we long for doesn’t exist, or that we will not live in Heaven with Him, but rather on this earth, and that God will restore this sin cursed earth to the former state before Adam and Eve sinned 

Peter wrote that this world and everything that God made is going to pass away.

  • 2 Peter 3:10-13

Everything on this earth will be gone. Yet pre-earth advocates hold to the same teaching the pre-mellinialist teach.

They say that they will live on the earth forever. 

Many of the Jewish nation thought they would reign on the earth forever. 

Matthew was written to the Hebrew Jews. 

He called the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven. The Kingdom of Heaven is not a kingdom of the earth, but a spiritual kingdom. 

What is the Kingdom of Heaven?

In the context of Matthew 5:5 Jesus is speaking what has been come to be called the Sermon on the Mount.

Jesus had been preaching “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”

  • Matthew 3:2
  • Matthew 4:17, 23

The listeners recognized that it was “his doctrine…"

  • Matthew 7:28-29

All of  the Blessings are Spiritual

Sermon on the Mount is about the kingdom. The blessings of these beatitudes would come when the kingdom came.

  • The mourners would be comforted.
  • The spiritually hungry would be filled.
  • The merciful would obtain mercy.
  • The pure in heart would see God.
  • The peacemakers would be called the children of God

There are 8 beatitudes in this sermon. The first and last of each beatitude begins with an attitude and ends with a promise the kingdom. All the blessings for the beatitudes are spiritual. 

“Jesus did not promise a spiritual blessing for the poor in spirit and slight the meek with an earthly one…” — Bill Boyd

The Earth as a Metaphor

Jesus is using he earth as a metaphor in this passage. Jesus is using the language of Psalms 37:11. 

"But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace." — Psalms 37:11 KJV

Understanding the metaphor in the Psalm helps us to understand the metaphoric earth in the beatitudes.  In Psalms, the meek would dwell in the land promised to the nation of Israel. 

  • “Fret not... neither be thou envious...” (v.1)
  • “Trust in the LORD, and do good...” (v.3)
  • “Delight thyself also in the LORD...” (v.4)
  • “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him...” (v.5)

Psalm 37 Explains the Meaning of Meekness

  • “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself...” (v.7)
  • “Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any way to do evil” (v.8)

Meekness is Not Weakness

  • The meek “trust in the Lord” and would dwell in the land and receive their inheritance. Psalms 37:3
  • The promise is repeated throughout Psalm 37. (Vss. 3, 4, 5, 9, 11, 18, 22, 29, 34.)

When David sang, “The meek shall inherit the earth…,” he was not telling the Jews that they would rule the whole world. He was using “the earth” as a metaphor to assure them that they would have all of the promises God had made to them.

He’s giving the meaning of meekness. The meek trust in the Lord and would dwell in the land and receive their inheritance.

Jesus used the same “inherit the earth” metaphor to assure his disciples that they would enjoy all the spiritual blessings they were promised.

Heaven is Always Greater than the Earth

  • The reward of the prophets was in heaven. Matthew 5:11-12
  • Our reward will be there too. Matthew 6:19-21
  • Jesus is not teaching heaven on earth – We cannot lay earthly treasures up for ourselves in heaven.

Our reward is not earthly. Heaven and earth shall pass, Matthew 5:18. But, the spiritual blessings of the spiritual kingdom will endure.

  • Matthew 5:19-20
  • Matthew 6:10
  • Matthew 7:21-23

We do not expect God to leave His throne in heaven and sit with us forever on His footstool. There is a sense in which we “enter the kingdom of heaven” when we obey the Gospel, because that is when we are added to the church which is the kingdom. But in the immediate context of this passage there are eternal consequences in view.

Jesus was not advocating an earthly hope in the Sermon on the Mount. In the context of spiritual blessings, the “meek” would “inherit the earth” in “the kingdom of heaven” that was “at hand.”

All these blessings are spiritual blessings. The meek shall inherit the earth, the blessings promised to those who are the children of God. If we remain faithful throughout our lives those blessings will be ours for eternity with God in Heaven.

  • John 14:1-3

Christ is sitting at the right hand of God in Heaven. He has prepared a place for the faithful, there in Heaven. This world and everything in it will be burned up and all that will be left is the spirit. The spirit of man goes back to God.

There is no hope for those who are not faithful. If you are not in a saved condition you will not spend an eternity in Heaven. The only way to get in that saved condition is to believe that God sent his son to die on the cross, repent of your sins, confess believe and be baptized to have your sins washed away and then to live a faithful life dedicated to Him. To become a Christian is the only way to be saved, and enter into the kingdom of Heaven.


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