Daily Devotional – The Beatitudes by Thomas Watson Part XXXII

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Image Depicting Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount

The Beatitudes

by Thomas Watson

An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12 

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
“Blessed are those who are persecuted, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

Christian Meekness (Continued) 
Remembering the overall theme is meek people are blessed people.

Meekness towards MAN; Continued:

I shall lay down several MOTIVES or arguments to meeken the spirits of men.

6. Consider the great promise in the text. ‘The meek shall inherit the earth’. This argument perhaps will prevail with those who desire to have earthly possessions. Some may object, ‘If I forbear and forgive, I shall lose my right at last and be turned out of all.’ No! God has here entered into bond, ‘The meek shall inherit the earth’. The unmeek man is in a sad condition. There is no place remains for him but hell, for he has no promise made to him either of earth or heaven. It is the ‘meek shall inherit the earth’.

How do the meek inherit the earth—when they are strangers in the earth? (Hebrews 11:37).

The meek are said to inherit the earth, not that the earth is their chief inheritance, or that they have always the greatest share there—but:

[1] They are the inheritors of the earth because, though they have not always the greatest part of the earth—yet they have the best right to it. The word ‘inherit’, says Ambrose, denotes the saints’ ‘title to the earth’. The saints’ title is best, being ‘members of Christ’, who is Lord of all. Adam not only lost his title to heaven when he fell—but to the earth too; and until we are incorporated into Christ, we do not fully recover our title. I do not deny that the wicked have a civil right to the earth which the laws of the land give them—but not a sacred right. Only the meek Christian has a Scripture-title to his land. The saints hold their right to the earth in their head, Christ, who is ‘the prince of the kings of the earth (Revelation 1:5). In this sense, he who has but a foot of land inherits more than he who has a thousand acres, because he has a better and more juridical right to it.

[2] The meek Christian is said to inherit the earth, because he inherits the blessing of the earth. The wicked man has the earth—but not as a fruit of God’s favor. He has it as a dog has poisoned bread. It does him more hurt than good. A wicked man lives in the earth as one that lives in an infectious air. He is infected by his mercies. The fat of the earth will but make him fry and blaze the more in hell. So that a wicked man may be said not to have what he has, because he has not the blessing; but the meek saint enjoys the earth as a pledge of God’s love. The curse and poison is taken out of the earth: ‘The meek shall inherit the earth and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace’ (Psalm 37:11), on which words Augustine gives this gloss: ‘Wicked men’ (says he) ‘may delight themselves in the abundance of cattle and riches—but the meek man delights himself in the abundance of peace. What he has he possesses with inward serenity and quietness.’

When it is said the meek shall inherit the earth, it does not intimate that they shall not inherit more than the earth. They shall inherit heaven too. If they should only inherit the earth, then (says Chrysostom) how could it be said, ‘Blessed are the meek’? The meek have the earth only for their sojourning-house: they have heaven for their mansion-house. ‘He will beautify the meek with salvation’ (Psalm 149:4). The meek beautify religion, and God will beautify them with salvation. Salvation is the port we all desire to sail to. It is the harvest and vintage of souls. The meek are those who shall reap this harvest. The meek shall wear the embroidered robe of salvation. The meek are lords of the earth and ‘heirs of salvation’ (Hebrews 1:14)

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