Matthew 5:5 says, "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.(D) D. Psalm 37:9, 11, 22, 29; Ro 4:13 (NIV) Experts say Jesus was basing his beatitude on Psalm 37:11. What is Psalm 37:11 referring to?
Matthew 5:2 - 12
ESV - 2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: 3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
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Varying translations of the verse from Psalm 37 referenced in the question (which makes a point similar to Jesus' beatitude) render the word most familiarly translated as "meek" as "lowly", "humble", "poor", "oppressed", and "afflicted". The idea being expressed (particularly in the psalm) is that such people will "inherit" the earth as a result of God executing His righteous judgment against the wicked who have been responsible for treading them down and keeping them in subjection. When the wicked have been removed, only people fitting the variety of adjectives noted above will remain to inhabit the earth and control its affairs (if not in this life, then in eternity).
Who will inherit the land (Psalms 37:9, 11, 22, 29)? --THE GODLESS or THE GODLY? The Hebrew word (ʼeʹrets) and the Greek (ge) words for “earth” can refer to the entire planet or to a specific land area, such as the Promised Land. THE GODLESS plot against the godly (Ps. 37:12, 14, 32). They borrow and do not repay (Psalm 37:21), i.e. they default on debts. OR WILL IT BE THE GODLY—the righteous, who according to Psalm 37:3 trust in the Lord (their trust in God is actually told of in Ps 37:3, 5, 7, 34). They are blameless (Ps 37:18, 37). That is, they are honest and love peace (Ps 37:37), they’re upright (Ps 37:37), and peaceable (Ps 37:37). Also, they are generous and so give generously (Ps 37:21, 26). Too, they speak wisely (Ps 37:30-31). I.e. they know right from wrong. Isn’t the answer obvious? If it’s the meek OT saint who inherits the Promised Land’s blessings in Psalm 37:11. Then what Jesus is saying in Matthew 5:5, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” is probably an inheritance of the new earth (part of the new heavens and the new earth.)
In my view, these verses in Matthew 5:3-10, which introduce the Sermon on the Mount, give us WORD pictures that describe the Kingdom of God. The entire Sermon describes how life in the Kingdom of God is radically different from life in the culture of our world. Each of these 8 introductory verses has a direct or indirect reference to the Kingdom of God. v3 "theirs is the kingdom of heaven" v4 "they will be comforted" - by the God of all comfort v5 "they will inherit the earth" - 1,000 year reign, new earth v6 "they will be filled" - with the Holy Spirit v7 "they will be shown mercy" - by the God of all mercy v8 "they will see God" v9 "they will be called children of God" v10 "theirs is the kingdom of heaven" Jesus is clearly talking about the Kingdom of God. Jesus has chosen these 8 words to create pictures that describe the activity of the Kingdom of God, not 8 random "BeAttitudes" that Christians should aspire to. I believe Jesus is answering 3 critical questions about the Kingdom of God in this 8 verses: 1. How does a person enter the Kingdom of God? 2. How does the Kingdom of God transform a person's life? 3. How does the Kingdom of God transform the world we live in? Verses 3 to 6 give us signposts along the road to salvation, to entering the kingdom of God (heaven). We acknowledge our spiritual poverty (our need for salvation). We mourn our sinfulness, confessing and repenting our sins. We become meek, humbling ourselves to accept Jesus Christ as our Saviour and the Lord of our life. In response to our believing, God fills us with his Holy Spirit to seal our salvation and our place in his Kingdom. Verses 3 to 10 give us signposts along the journey of sanctification from infant Christians to spiritual maturity. Verses 7 to 10 also give us signposts to show us how God uses the church (his Kingdom on earth) to transform the world we live in. Jesus is the prime example of a "meek" person. A pastor once spoke about researching the most common usage of the Greek word for "meek" in 1st century life. It referred to a wild horse that had been tamed. It describes power and strength and great resourcefulness under the complete control of the rider. This beautifully describes Jesus ministry and life. When Jesus became a human being, he was still the Son of God. He voluntarily laid aside his own will, his power and authority, to submit himself to fulfilling the will of his Father in Heaven. Jesus became as helpless as we are, in order to fulfill the salvation plan of his Father in Heaven. And Jesus surrender and obedience to his Father, resulted in the miraculous, awe-inspiring ministry we see depicted in the gospel books, by the power of the Holy Spirit in him. When we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, he also demands that we surrender our will to his will, so he will become the Lord of our lives. He has that right because he purchased our freedom from slavery to sin, so we have become slaves to God. In order for our lives to accomplish Jesus plan and purpose, to build his kingdom on earth, He needs to be in control, not us. That surrender is both a daily decision and a lifetime process. The more willing we are to surrender, the more effectively and powerfully Jesus will use us, to accomplish the good works, that our God of Father has prepared in advance for us to do.
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