Friday, October 24, 2013
The meek shall inherit the earth
THIS week we have had a focus on God’s promise of conferring righteousness on us, and using us creatively as those people made right with Him through Jesus.
So that is either a jolly and slightly exclusive club called church (you might want to insert your denomination in there), or else it is the creation of a mission task-force being assembled to possess the land for the Prince of Peace and see a better kingdom order arise. The blind see, the lame walk, the poor have a new hope – light is shining through us into the darkness, and people who for whatever reason have slithered off in a wrong direction get a helping hand or more to journey with us on the right one.
Modelling mud on Coombe Hill – I was not the only one that slid right off the path
I am reminded of the Good Friday walk some of us undertook, with the remains of the snow and ice still present on the high ground of the Chilterns which made it – challenging. Where the path went across the sloping escarpment, the frozen chalk caused a lot of slithering off the path… actually, what path? It was good to be in a group to pull each other up that day.
Jesus said, quoting Psalm 37:11, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5). The problem is, who wants to be labelled ‘meek’? Even if I tell you that it is also a reference to Zephaniah 3:12 which defines the meek and humble as those who trust in the name of the LORD, it is not a picture of something we immediately want to buy into. Meek means quiet and submissive, which sounds wimpish to us until we consider who empowers us, and who therefore we are being submissive to.
If you had a job in the control room of Hinkley B or another of the new EDF nuclear power stations that are being built, you would have the responsibility of monitoring a source of immense, almost incalculable power – power to generate, or power to destruct. If the process started to go wrong, overheat… we can’t even think about it. But you would have had your training and a manual with strict procedures to follow, and it would be fair to suggest that you would be quiet, attentive and totally submissive to the tried and tested and calculated procedures laid down. If it was a boring watch, would you try turning the wheels and crank it all up a bit to see what those turbines were made of? Possibly not!
This – knowing who we are, knowing who we are not – is the true quality of being made righteous, and we are the ones now being grafted back on to the original root of Judaism with a salvation to make Israel envious (Romans 11:11). We are like new, vigorous shoots being grafted in to save the life of the whole planting – and produce that submitted yet powerful new life which will possess the land with Jesus awareness. The branches who weren’t meek got snapped off – and we, not being Jews, not chosen people, not considering ourselves righteous, but made righteous in Jesus (how humbling is that) have been offered up and we represent the new growth, rather more than 2.5 billion of us.
Let’s respect the might, majesty, dominion and power we are facing into, holding a quiet and submissive attitude as we wait on God and seek to join Him in what is, after all, His mission. God can use us to fulfill His purposes – to the extent that we submit to God’s work, done God’s way.