Worldly Rulers vs Rulers of The World
If I asked you to think of a gentle, honest, and submissive politician, could you? My guess would be no. But even if one did occur to you, I'm sure we could agree they are a rare breed. We all desire those in authority over us to hold our best interest in heart. We all desire them to be honest and genuine, even when no one is looking. This desire is a good one, which I believe exists as a testament to our status as image bearers of God. It is as if something deep within us wants to see the world led by someone strong and self-sacrificing. We are blessed at Covenant Bible Fellowship to have a pastor and denomination who cares deeply for our people. But all too often we get leaders, politicians, bosses, parents, spouses, and clergy with selfish ambition seeking only to glorify themselves.
It is easy to look at those in power over us and criticize them for not living up to the kingship of Jesus. But what we often fail to do is use Scripture as a mirror, allowing it to expose our own shortcomings.
As we continue through the Beatitudes we are met with a statement seen as foolishness to the world. It is this statement we will examine today.
"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." Matthew 5:5
What does this word "meek" mean? It is exactly the ideal we discussed above: a person who is gentle and submissive. Initially one may balk; afterall, we are told many things from childhood which contradict this. "Only the strong survive," and "Life is survival of the fittest," are but a couple of proverbs we continually hear. In turn we seek to be the best in our field, family, and nation at all cost. We insist on our own way or the highway. We trust ourselves above all others and always look out for number one. Our call to have dominion over the earth is corrupted and we seek to have dominion over each other.
But what does this have to do with happiness? Everything. Jesus is telling us that none who seek status, power, and influence by asserting themselves at the cost of those around them will ever achieve what all our hearts long for. And as we have discussed in every post in this series, our hearts long for worshipful communion with God. No amount of empire building (whether work, family, or ministry) can satisfy that need. The proud build up treasures on this earth that will decay, fade, break, and die... never truly obtaining anything. They make idols out of temporary things, chiefly themselves.
Jesus is shining a light on this folly. Not only do those hungry for power in this world die and truly achieve nothing, but the meek -- those humble and submissive servants who follow their Lord and trust in His leadership -- they will be the rulers of this earth in the age to come. Not because they made the perfect plan, executed it flawlessly, and took it for themselves. But because it will be given to them. For the child of God, this world is a shadow of what is to come and what was meant to be.
But practically, what does this mean? It means we submit to the Lordship of Christ and gently love our wives, not insisting on our own way, placing their needs above our own. It means wives submit to your husbands in all things as the head of your family. And with our children? We keep our hands holy and with a servant's heart we show them the love of their Creator.
It is easy to look at those in power over us and criticize them for not living up to the kingship of Jesus. But what we often fail to do is use Scripture as a mirror, allowing it to expose our own shortcomings. One day, beloved Christian, you will inherit this world in perfection. But until then, we have been called to build the Kingdom of God here and now. This begins with meek leadership in our homes. The result, I think, is a little taste of Heaven on Earth.