Rev. Anthony Martlew, L Th.
Blessed are the meek
Matthew 5:5 - "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth"
It is well that we understand what Our Lord meant by these words. In our modern language, meekness is equated with weakness, - one, who for the sake of a quiet life, will always give in. But such was not the original meaning. It comes from the Greek, meaning "gentle" or "humble". The Ferrar Fenton Bible translates the verse:
"Blessed are the kindhearted, for they shall inherit the earth"
and the New English Bible, thus:
"How blessed are they with a gentle spirit; they shall have the earth for their possession"
So let us forget "weakness", and think instead of "kindness", "humility", and "a gentle spirit". We must also be careful with the word "humble". We immediately think of Dickens' Uriah Heep, who was not humble, but servile. "Humble" originally meant that we shouldn't present ourselves as God's greatest gift to the human race!
I believe that these words of Our Lord have great relevance today. We live in an age when the only thing which seems to matter is wealth. In business we constantly hear the accountants complaining about "cash flow" problems. When a builder comes to your home to repair the chimney stack, he demands "money up front". This attitude is contagious, and if one is engaged in commerce, it is a constant "rat race", which gets faster each year. More and more demands are placed on the salesman, who is told by his sales director to increase his turnover next year by 20%, or else! All this engenders an aggressive attitude, which is necessary in order to survive. This is reflected in peoples' lives generally, and they become intolerant and self-opinionated. Those of you who drive will know exactly what I mean. Everyone must be in front, and I would estimate that nine out of every ten drivers ignore the speed limits, especially in built-up areas. This is merely an extension of their working lives reflected in their driving. No wonder cardiac problems are on the increase!
Generally, nowadays people do not have time to show thought and consideration for others, because their own pursuits dominate them completely. For a community to function correctly, every individual should play their part in helping others. The original concept of the Welfare State was for this very purpose; the idealism was admirable, but it has not worked, because of selfishness and constant abuse.
I think it is true to say that people are not generally meek, or of a gentle,humble spirit.
These words of Our Lord are a prophecy for a time period in the future, as the meek have clearly not inherited the earth yet.
The period in question is the time when Our Lord will have returned to this earth as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, to set up His Kingdom and rule the nations with a rod of iron. Although, at this time, Satan and his angels will be chained, the spirit of rebellion against God and His Anointed will still be in evidence. The work of the saints will be to bring those nations which are tools of Satan at present into Christ's Kingdom. Eventually, the meek shall inherit the earth. These words of Our Lord give hope to a weary world in which greed has the upper hand. Humanly speaking, things cannot change for the better, because man's nature is such that he goes from bad to worse. The Scriptures tell us that:
(Genesis 8:21) for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth
(Almighty God revealed to Jeremiah very thought provoking statements)
(Jeremiah 17:9) The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Without Divine intervention, mankind is doomed to ultimate destruction, caused by his total disobedience to the laws of his Creator. It is only because of God's intense love for mankind that the great day of the restitution of all things will surely come, when the meek shall inherit the earth.
Notice the following verse, Matthew 5:6:
"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled"
Today, there are millions who hunger and thirst after righteousness, but they find precious little. Unfortunately, the word "righteousness" is equated with "self-righteousness", and it is true to say that such people do exist in religious circles. The word "righteous" actually means "just, upright, virtuous, law abiding".
This is what many people really want, a world which is motivated by right standards, where business deals are conducted justly. If the nation should once more become "law-abiding", the prisons would be empty and the police would be out of a job!
The words of Jesus were prophetic. They clearly show the need of all those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, and the answer to that need is that "they shall be flilled"
The time period for the fulfilment of the second verse quoted is the same as the previous one. It is interesting to consider that one of the meanings of "righteous" is "law-abiding".
Two areas which mark man's activities today are the breaking of God's Laws, and a disregard of man's laws. The whole of Creation is dependent on the Creator's Laws in order to exist; the laws of thermodynamics, light, movement of astral bodies, chemistry, physics, etc. If any of these laws should fail to operate, the Kosmos would cease to exist in seconds. This is a basic fact, well understood by most people, - yet mankind continues to flout other laws of the Creator which He has set for our own good. It is strange that, if a baby should die, or a young person in the prime of life, immediately people cry "Why did God allow it to happen? How can He be a God of Love?" Man thus fails to understand the purpose of life.
Almighty God is a God of Love, and He gave us the laws for health, and all other aspects of life, for our own good, and for our survival; but we ignore them and pay the inevitable penalty, then have the effrontery to blame God!
It is not only the people who flout God's laws who suffer, but also those who try to keep them. The entire world, the whole ecology, is now so far removed from God's original concept that we are paying the price collectively. The deterioration has accelerated considerably during the past century; we have polluted the seas and rivers, and the atmosphere surrounding the earth. We shall eventually reach a point of no retum, (if we are not already there), even though efforts are now being made by many governments to call a halt to the massacre of the earth. Man has been a poor steward, especially when we consider the abundance of natural resources that are being denuded by our greed and selfishness.
If God were anything other than a God of Love, He would have given up on mankind thousands of years ago. In His foreknowledge He looked down through the ages and saw the Babel saga, the disobedience of his people, Israel; He saw the agony that His only Son would suffer, He saw wars and the wrongs of history. He foresaw that humanity,which had been bought with His Precious Blood, would turn away from Him and follow Satan. He saw all this, and yet He placed on record that the time would surely come when gentleness, meekness and righteousness would become a reality on the earth.
This promise for the future was given by the mouth of the Saviour of mankind, the Lord Jesus, who will return as King of kings and Lord of lords, to bring in a genuine New Age upon the earth, not as in Satan's counterfeit New Age.
Back To Archive Contents