I originally wrote this article several years ago, when I posted it on a different website.
Inheriting the Earth and Seeing God?
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5: 5.)
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God?” (Matthew 5: 8.)
The meek and the pure at heart shall inherit the Earth, and see God?
That's what Jesus said, but is that practical or is that even possible? If it's not, what's the point of trying?
What did Jesus mean by "meek"? Did He mean being whimpy? Giving in to everything and everyone, even when it's against our own best interests; just to keep from getting harmed or into trouble?
I remember when I was a small child. My mother was always telling me, "I'll tell Daddy when he gets home."
I think I was seven years old, when I made the mistake of replying, "Oh, you always say you're gonna tell him, but you never do!"
I learned something very important from that. I learned to keep my mouth shut. It's true that there is a time to speak, if you can accomplish something positive. Other than that, if it's just going to make things worse for yourself and maybe for others, it's better to say nothing. I believe that is part of being meek.
I remember reading an article once, by a man who’d read that passage in a French Bible. The word used for "meek" in the French Bible was "debonair".
The "debonair" shall inherit the Earth? I mentioned this to a woman at my Church once.
She laughed. "Cary Grant shall inherit the Earth?"
Cary Grant? How about James Bond? Shall 007 inherit the Earth? He is definitely what the English word "debonair" means; but "The World is Not Enough"?
James Bond definitely does not fit the English definition of "meek". I think the original French definition must be very different from what the word has come to mean in English.
In French, “debonair” is a compound word. The syllables put together literately mean, "Of-Good-Air"; or "of-good-breath". In the Bible the word "breath" is a synonym for "spirit". Could that mean "Blessed are those with a healthy spirit"?
"Those with a healthy spirit shall inherit the Earth"? That sounds right.
Now what does it mean to “inherit the Earth”?
Hitler, Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Pol Pot, and the people who crashed airplanes into the World Trade Center, were all men of unhealthy spirit, who tried to seize the Earth, or parts of the Earth; and they lost everything they had. They caused suffering to many different peoples, and the world has never fully recovered from them; and what is their inheritance?
People sing “Ding-Dong, the Witch is Dead!”
None of them have inherited the Earth.
What does it mean to inherit the Earth?
A former pastor of my Church and his wife, have two teenage daughters of their own. They've also adopted two younger children, around 5 or 6 years old, who both have Downs Syndrome.
Can you imagine that? How many people would actually choose to take on such a task? Raising children without special needs is difficult enough.
Before anyone volunteers to adopt children with Downs Syndrome, he has to ask himself, "Have I got the ability to handle everything that's involved?"
Many good hearted people, with a healthy spirit, would have to say "No, I do not."
However, my former pastor, his wife and older daughters all do have the ability. In this think I see what the Bible means by "meekness".
Now what is their inheritance? The two young children will be raised in a home where they are loved; and all who hear about this will think well of every member of that family. What better inheritance is there?
Now what about “The pure in heart shall see God”?
What does it mean to “...see God”? To look upon His full Glory? That is a mystery, far beyond full human understanding; but we can understand it in part.
When we use the term, “I see” we mean “I understand”. Could it mean that the pure in heart shall understand God?
What does it mean to be pure in heart?
According to Christian teaching, it means having our lives cleansed of the sins that stand as barriers between us and God; so what the entire verse means, is that those who are cleansed of sin, will understand as much about God, as they are able.
Now how do we get cleansed of sin?
According to 1 John: 6-9:
“If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”