"Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth" (Matt. 5:5).
God said to Adam and Eve, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth" (Gen. 1:28). But their sin cost them their sovereignty and brought a curse upon the earth (Gen. 3:17-18).
The apostle Paul said, "The anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God . . . in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption" (Rom. 8:19-21). Someday that curse will be reversed and God's people will once again inherit the earth.
The Greek word translated "inherit" (Matt. 5:5) means "to receive an allotted portion." The earth is the allotted portion of believers, who will reign with the Lord when He comes in His kingdom (Rev. 20:6). That's an emphatic promise in Matthew 5:5, which literally reads, "Blessed are the gentle, for only they shall inherit the earth."
Many Jewish people of Christ's day thought the kingdom belonged to the strong, proud, and defiant. But Jesus said the earth will belong to the gentle, meek, and humble. Proud, self-righteous people don't qualify (cf. Luke 1:46- 53). Jesus said, "Unless you are converted and become [humble and submissive] like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 18:3).
As a recipient of God's promises, you should be thrilled knowing that you will inherit the earth and reign with Christ in His earthly kingdom. Be encouraged to know that even when evil people and godless nations seem to prosper, God is in complete control and will someday establish His righteous kingdom on earth.
Rejoice in that assurance, and seek to be all He wants you to be until that great day.
Suggestions for Prayer:
- Thank God that all of creation will someday be freed from sin's corrupting influences.
- Praise Him for His mighty power, which will bring it all to pass.
Read 1 Corinthians 6:1-8.
- What issue did Paul address?
- How does the future reign of Christians apply to that issue?
From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.