Sermon: The Christian Counter Culture (Part 3) Happy are The Meek Matthew 5:5

The Christian Counter Culture (Part 3)

Happy are The Meek

Matthew 5:5

Truth Taught- The meek are happy because they will inherit the earth


Matthew 5:1–12 (ESV)

Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.

And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

“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.

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Today we are going to take an in depth look at the Christian character trait of meekness. To be meek is NOT to be weak or wimpy. We will discover the exact opposite is true. The meek person is a confident person who is not afraid of others. Jesus tells us that the meek shall inherit the earth. What is it about meekness that God loves so much? Why will the meek inherit the earth? Of all the traits that Jesus desires His people to possess why is meekness mentioned here?

Like so many NT passages there is an OT beginning. This is true for our text today. Let’s begin by looking to the OT to discover this verse’s original meaning and see if that will not open the blinds, so to speak, and better help us understand what Jesus is referring to here in the Sermon on the Mount.

There is no better exposition of Matthew 5:5
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Than Psalm 37:1-11. Psalm 37 is a wisdom Psalm. It’s God explaining life to us as His people. He knows the things we struggle with. He knows how we think and what our default settings are. He knows that we struggle with the success of wicked people. Why should they be so wealthy and have everything they desire when we are the ones seeking to act godly, where’s our stuff?

Probably the best place to begin is in Psalm 37 because it is almost certain that this beatitude is a quotation or allusion to Psalm 37:11.

Psalm 37:11 (ESV)

11    But the meek shall inherit the land

and delight themselves in abundant peace.

In the Greek Old Testament, the words of Psalm 37:11 are almost identical with Matthew 5:5. It says, “The meek shall inherit the land.” And the word for “land” in Greek and Hebrew also means “earth.” So let’s try to see what meekness means in this Psalm and what it has to do with God.

Psalm 37 is about two types of people. It shows us two ways, two times, and two responses.

The two ways to live are the ways of the wicked and the ways of the righteous. The wicked are always out for self and aggressively grab for themselves. The righteous are givers and love justice. The righteous are persecuted by the wicked at every turn. The wicked, while they seem successful now, will one day be cut off. They will not enter the Promised Land. The righteous, on the other hand, are promised the land.

As I read from Psalm 37, notice all the qualities of the righteous. They are meek and many other things that God endorses. So when Jesus uses meek in Matthew 5:5 He, no doubt, has Psalm 37 in mind and all the other qualities that meekness cover. Also notice a constant theme that encompasses meekness, righteousness and Christian commitment to Christ. It’s the theme of waiting on the Lord. The meek are righteous and are those who wait on the Lord. These are the ones who will inherit the earth. Finally, notice what the right response is to the wicked. We are not to worry, fret, or become angry or envious due to their momentary success.

Psalm 37:title–11 (ESV)

37  Of David.

   Fret not yourself because of evildoers;

be not envious of wrongdoers!

   For they will soon fade like the grass

and wither like the green herb.

   Trust in the Lord, and do good;

dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.

   Delight yourself in the Lord,

and he will give you the desires of your heart.

   Commit your way to the Lord;

trust in him, and he will act.

   He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,

and your justice as the noonday.

   Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;

fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,

over the man who carries out evil devices!

   Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!

Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.

   For the evildoers shall be cut off,

but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.

10    In just a little while, the wicked will be no more;

though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.

11    But the meek shall inherit the land

and delight themselves in abundant peace.

  1. What Does Meekness Look Like…Biblically

5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

According to Psalm 37 here is what a meek person looks like.

  1. The Meek Commit Their Way to The Lord
    Commit your way to the Lord;

The Hebrew word for “commit” means literally to “roll.” Meek people have discovered that God is trustworthy, and so they roll their “way” — their business, their problems, their relationships, their health, their fears, their frustrations — they roll all this onto the Lord. They admit that they are insufficient to cope with the complexities and pressures and obstacles of life, and they trust that God is able and willing to sustain them and guide them and protect them.

  1. The Meek Are Confident in God

Meek people begin by trusting God. They believe that he will work for them and vindicate them when others oppose them. Biblical meekness is rooted in the deep confidence that God is for you and not against you. Look at Psalm 37:5
Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.

Meekness, then is confident in God while not exercising confidence in self. Pride is self confidence and meekness is God-confident. So, a meek person is very confident…in God not in himself or herself. Are you confident in God?

  1. The Meek Are Still Before the Lord
    Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
    fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
    over the man who carries out evil devices!

First, they discover that God can be trusted. Then, second, they commit their way to him. And then, third, they wait patiently in stillness for the work of God in their lives.

This doesn’t mean they become lazy. It means that they’re free of frenzy and fretting. They have a kind of steady calm that comes from knowing that God is omnipotent, that he has their affairs under his control, and that he is gracious and will work things out for the best. Meek people have a quiet steadiness about their lives in the midst of upheaval. They know that God is sovereign and can have a quiet confidence in God’s decisions, decrees, and timing.
Psalm 46:10 (ESV)

10    “Be still, and know that I am God.

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth!”

Do you have a quiet confidence in God and live free of frenzy?

  1. The Meek Do Not Worry Over the Wicked
    Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
    fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
    over the man who carries out evil devices!

The meek are ones who look at the prosperity and progress of the wicked and have learned from God’s Word that the wicked are not to be envied in any way. They are all bound for destruction no matter if for now they experience momentary prosperity. It’s the fact that the other traits bring about a peaceful trust in God not a longing to have the things the wicked possess.
Notice the Psalmist says the wicked one who prospers in his way, the righteous has given his way to God.

So we see that biblically the meek are confident in God and therefore commit their ways to God and then are at peace and still before God and don’t worry about the momentary success of the wicked. There is one other characteristic the Bible uses to describe the meek person.

  1. The Meek Possess Biblical Wisdom

The Bible explains that a meek person is a wise person.

James 3:13 (ESV)

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.

James 3:17–18 (ESV)

17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Notice that the reason the truly wise person is also the truly meek person is that true wisdom is peaceable, gentle, and open to reason. It is in direct connection to righteousness. But these are the marks of meekness! Isn’t it remarkable that the marks of biblical wisdom and biblical meekness are the same?

Wisdom in the Bible is never a merely intellectual affair. It is a disposition of the heart as well as ideas in the head. And therefore, in a sense, meekness and wisdom are one thing. They are both peaceable, gentle, and open to reason.

Now the Psalmist in Psalm 37 places these people in direct contrast to the wicked and proud. The meek are the ones God has shown His ways and the ones who are practicing what they have learned.

  1. Why Will the Meek Inherit the Earth?

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

The logic behind this authoritative statement found in the OT and found in our Lord’s sermon is that the meek are not like the wicked who strive in pride and arrogance to attain wealth and property instead the meek are satisfied in God’s will for them and are willing to wait, show compassion to others, and are confident in what God has for them. God promises that the righteous, the meek will inherit the earth. Notice Jesus doesn’t say that the meek will secure the earth in their own power but it is an inheritance given to them by God.

The wicked strive after all these things and attain nothing permanent while the meek strive after God and His righteousness and will be given everything.

Matthew 6:33 (ESV)

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

You see the paradox Jesus presents? The world tells us that if we are going to have anything in this life we need to grab it before someone else does. The wicked are takers. The surprise comes when, in the end, it’s not those proud and arrogant who strive after wealth that attain the earth but instead it’s those who wait on the Lord and lay up treasure in heaven who will be given as an inheritance the entire earth.

This is why Jesus draws from Psalm 37 here. His point is don’t be like the wicked, don’t be takers like they are, don’t be manipulators, greedy, and don’t concern yourselves with grabbing everything you can. Instead, be humble, trusting in God, peaceable, wise, and giving. In the end, you will be given all the things you could have spent your entire life reaching for.

Jesus also through David tells us to not look to the wicked with envy. Don’t fret over them and their momentary success but think and concern yourself with righteousness and living a life of trust and dependence on God. He will be the One who gives us the inheritance that we might have been tempted to reach for on our own.

2 Corinthians 6:10 (ESV)
10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.

Matthew 19:28–30 (ESV)

28 Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

2 Peter 3:11–13 (ESV)

11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

When will the meek inherit the earth? When our Lord returns and sets up His Kingdom. When God’s Kingdom comes in its fullness. When God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven. When creation is fully healed from the curse. When the New Heavens and New Earth are fully realized.


God calls all of us as His children to be givers not takers. We must be those who trust God with our finances. We give to those in need, we give regularly to our Church, we go out of our way to help those especially in our local body who need help. We can do this because we understand the promise that the meek will inherit the earth. There is nothing that I can’t give away that I wont receive back a hundred fold in the life to come.

This is our motivation to be meek. We realize that the world to come is to be given to us as God’s people. Based on that promise and if I believe that promise I can be a giver and not a taker in every part of my life. I don’t have to always demand my rights, have the last word, retaliate when wronged, or even get angry because I don’t envy the wicked at all and in fact feel deep compassion for them and pray for them.

When will we inherit the earth?

Revelation 21:1–7 (ESV)

21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.















*Resources Used:

Matthew by D A Carson in the Expositor’s Bible Commentary

A Theology of Matthew by Charles Quarles

A Gospel of Matthew by France

Matthew by Craig Bloomberg

Matthew by Doriani

Matthew by Charles Price

Matthew by Leon Morris

Blue Letter Bible

Psalms by Derek Kidner

Teaching the Psalms by Christopher Ash

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