Who are the meek who will inherit the Earth? Psalm 37

Who are the meek who will inherit the Earth? Psalm 37 March 6, 2022

I was recently reading Psalm 37 and saw something I had not seen before.  Jesus seems to have been alluding to this psalm in his famous line in the beatitudes “The Meek will inherit the Earth”. This teaching is of course as counter cultural now as it was when Jesus preached or when King David wrote. But what I hadn’t noticed is that David describes the attributes of these meek people who will be blessed, happy, fortunate, and who will be given the Earth as their inheritance:

WHAT WE ARE TO DO:

  • Fret not (V1) (this one is so important it is repeated several times in the rest of the Psalm)
  • be not envious (V1)
  • Trust in the Lord, and do good (V3)
  • befriend faithfulness (V3)
  • Delight yourself in the Lord (v4)
  • Commit your way to the Lord; (v5)
  • Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him (v7)
  • Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! (v8)

Then the Psalmist specifies the kinds of people who will be blessed by God with an inheritance of the Earth:

  •     those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land. (v9)
  •  the meek shall inherit the land 
        and delight themselves in abundant peace. (v11)
  • for those blessed by the Lord shall inherit the land, (v22)
  • The righteous shall inherit the land (v29)

This all seems to be summarised in v35

Wait for the Lord and keep his way,

    and he will exalt you to inherit the land;

This little psalm is surely a wonderful prefiguring of the teaching of Jesus the gentle, meek Son of God.  The contrast with the worlds view of “Might is Right” is remarkable, and which of us can claim to have followed Jesus’ Pattern continuously and wholeheartedly?. May God help us to learn how to follow the instructions of our Master, which were also contained in King David’s marvellous Psalm.

Lord Jesus, I am sorry for he many times I have not followed this framework, your way to abundant peace. Please  help me to learn not to fret, nor be envious, to trust in you, to do good and be faithful.  Please remind me to commit my ways to you, and teach me how to be still before you so that I may truly refrain from anger and forsake wrath. Help me to learn to wait for you and follow your ways.  Amen.

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