I have been continuing to process the promises of the Beatitudes through the three dimensions of our salvation, our justification (past), sanctification (present), and our glorification (future). At the moment I have been meditating my way through what it means that the meek inherit the earth.
Since the earth is the Lord’s, and we are his children, in our justification we are already heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ Jesus, meaning the earth is our inheritance. However, in our sanctification we are presently growing up in Christ as strangers in a foreign land. I appreciate the picture of Abraham living in the Promised Land himself, but as a stranger to the land because it was not his time to possess it. That’s us now.
In our glorification, something like children who have grown up and now fully experience their inheritance, we will have the earth as our inheritance, but in the Promised Land kind of way (perfectly, of course) where we enjoy it as our possession, never messed-up by enemies invading or attacking or in any way making life miserable for us in our land.
Here are some Scriptures that really ministered to me about this: Peter wrote, “But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” Our inheritance is not to receive the present earth and heavens in their deteriorating condition. That would be like Gramps leaving us his car that was nice when he bought it but is run into the ground by the time we get it. Instead, our inheritance is the new version of the earth, something that is purged of all evil, renewed, and given to us as an eternal home.
What struck me today is the way God spoke of this about twenty-seven centuries ago in prophecy, and then pictured it twenty centuries ago in the book of Revelation, describing what it will look like in its fulfillment.
“For behold, I create new heavens
and a new earth,
and the former things shall not be remembered
or come into mind.
But be glad and rejoice forever
in that which I create;
for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy,
and her people to be a gladness.
I will rejoice in Jerusalem
and be glad in my people;
no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping
and the cry of distress.
There was something about reading this as a prophetic description long before Peter spoke of it. He said that our view of “waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells”, is “according to his promise”. This includes what God stated in Isaiah, that he will create a new heavens and a new earth. Since he already promised it (and we know he cannot lie), we look ahead to our inheritance, knowing that we will enjoy something of what we enjoyed of the present heavens and earth, but in a perfection that presently defies our best imagination (since the present earth has overwhelming evidence of destruction from the flood and we don’t really know what the renewed earth will look like).
When we look to the book of Revelation, we discover that the description of the new heaven and new earth that we love so much is actually worded after the description given to Isaiah.
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.”
· Isaiah quoted God as promising to create “new heavens and a new earth”. John, “saw a new heaven and a new earth”.
· Isaiah stated that “the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind”, and John said that “the first heaven and the first earth had passed away,” and that, “the former things have passed away.”
· Isaiah described how God would “create Jerusalem to be a joy, and her people to be a gladness,” where God would “rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in my people”, and John saw the “holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband”, with the declaration that “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.”
· Isaiah quote God as promising, “no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping an the cry of distress”, and John wrote, “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”.
It is of great interest to me to now interpret Old Testament Scriptures with this view of our glorification into the new heavens and the new earth as our eternal inheritance:
In just a little while, the wicked will be no more;
though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.
But the meek shall inherit the land
and delight themselves in abundant peace.”
While this clearly spoke of a scenario in which Israel experienced peace in their land because they were walking with God in obedient faith, look at what this means when we receive the new heavens and the new earth as the home of righteousness where there will NEVER be any wicked people messing things up!
So, because God promises that, “The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son”, we heed Peter’s encouragement that, “according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”
In our present experience of sanctification, growing up in Jesus Christ, this is our eternal hope, that we who meekly accept we cannot fix ourselves, and trust in Jesus for our salvation, inherit the earth because it belongs to God our Father. He created it, and he will recreate it. We live in our Promised Land now, as strangers and aliens who cannot yet lay claim to what is already ours; and we look to that day when not even Trudeau can take away our rights and privileges, or tax us on what is rightfully ours.
So, yes, “we are waiting”, but in the same hope as our brothers from under the old covenant:
Wait for the LORD and keep his way,
and he will exalt you to inherit the land;
you will look on when the wicked are cut off.”
The land we inherit is the new heavens and the new earth, and the wicked will indeed be cut off from this land as never before experienced so purely and completely and permanently. Therefore,
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the LORD
more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning.
© 2017 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8 ~ email@example.com
Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.)
 Matthew 5:5
 Psalm 24:1
 John 1:12-13
 Romans 8:17
 Hebrews 11:13
 Hebrews 11:8-10
 II Peter 3:13
 This has to be part of what Jesus meant when he said he was making a home for us and would take us there at his return (John 14:1-6).
 Isaiah 65:17-19
 Revelation 21:1-4
 Psalm 37:10-11
 Revelation 21:7
 Psalm 37:34
 Psalm 130:5-6