Who Is Going To Get It All?
A Meditation Chris Kavanagh
The meek shall inherit the earth Psalm 37.11a (AV)
Now the man Moses was very meek Numbers 12.3a (AV)
The meekness and gentleness of Christ 2 Corinthians 10.1 (AV)
There was once a good, old king whose kingdom was very wealthy, and who had reigned long in peace and plenty. His kingdom stretched very far in every direction. And one part of it in particular was very beautiful and special to the king, an area of great natural beauty where the king himself loved to walk and spend time whenever he could.
There were magnificent forests whose trees reached high into the cloudless skies, and whose branches gave shade to the forest animals and flowers. The birds sang all the time in the forest, so much so that it seemed like a permanent spring enlivened the land. The woodland flowers blossomed all the year long, and the streams rushed and gurgled through the forest, around the trees, past the rocky outcrops and out into the sunshine of the meadows.
They flowed from the high, snow-capped mountains that girdled the land, and never ran dry. They splashed and leapt their way down to the meandering river that flowed all through the land, on its way to the distant sea. In the streams you could see the sparkle of flakes of gold in the sunshine, and now and again the flash of rainbow light from an opal or even a diamond.
Even though the king loved this part of his kingdom especially, and would go there himself when he could, he did not keep it locked away from his citizens. They too could go to his beloved land, and spend their holidays there, or recover from illness, or just take their children for a day. Everyone said how wonderful a place it was, and how generous the king was, for he did not stop his citizens taking the gold or precious stones away with them, if they had a good use for them, and many of them would show each other their engagement and wedding rings made from the king's gold and jewels.
Whom Would Keep It Up?
Now when the time came for the old king to die, he began to divide his kingdom among his three sons. When it came time to decide to which one of them he would give his much loved parkland he knew he had to choose well. So he gave orders for his three sons to come to him on a certain day, and each one of them in turn to present their plans to him, and say why he thought he should inherit it.
The first came in to the king. He had big plans for the mineral wealth. He could fill the coffers of the kingdom, and make it the richest in the world; he would start welfare programmes for the poorest of the people with the gold; he would bring the kingdom into the 21st century with new technology from the new wealth. As soon as he could, he would begin to mine the gold and gems. He would get the earth moving machinery in, build towns for the workers, build extractors and smelting plants. The king could picture in his mind's eye the effects of all this. The barren landscape, the spoil heaps, the dead river, the mean rows of shanties, the silent springs ……… . The first son went out.
The second son came in, and he too had plans. He would open up the country for tourism, and make some attractions to get the crowds in. There would need to be decent roads built, six lane highways, and international airports, and enough car parking space for the thousands of visitors, who would come to spend their money in the state operated casinos and bars and night-clubs. The hotels and motels he would build would be the envy of every civilised country. Of course, some of the natural beauty would be preserved, a few trees and a view of the distant mountains kept for the wealthiest patrons of the bars and restaurants. He couldn't wait to get his schemes off the ground. The second son went out from the kings presence.
He passed the third on the way in, but so full of his plans was he that he didn't notice him. The third son, what would he do with his beloved father's well loved country? Well, not a great deal. He would keep it just as his father, the king, wanted it, and knew it. There would need to be some maintenance, of course, but there always had been, and it was achieved with the minimum of fuss and disturbance. Because the king loved the place, and he loved the king, and it was such a marvellous land which he loved himself, just as it was ……… he'd keep it as the king would want it, and not go off with wild schemes of his own. The third son went.
Only One Can Keep It Up!
Dear reader, who has followed the tale thus far, let me ask you - which one do you think of these three sons got the inheritance of the beautiful land?
The meek shall inherit the earth.
They do not deserve the earth - no-one does. They are not being given the earth as a reward for their meekness - that's a ridiculous thought, for meekness never seeks a reward. But the meek shall inherit the earth because they are the only ones God can trust with his creation.
Now the man Moses was very meek.
He had lead God's people out of slavery in Egypt against all the odds, and against the opposition of Pharaoh, into glorious freedom. Moses was the first to admit that it was not by his strength or ability that he had been enabled to do it, but only because the Lord had done it through him. Now in the desert, the same people had proved obstinate, intractable, virtually un-leadable. Yet he was to continue in patience and meekness to shepherd them under God's hand through the desert to the borders of the promised land. Moses was a very meek man, who was made a leader of God's people - not as a reward for his meekness. That could never be, but as a meek leader he was the one God could entrust his precious people to, to lead them in His ways, and care for them as He would have them cared for.
The meekness and gentleness of Christ.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is a King and Shepherd who leads and rules God's people in gentleness and meekness. He is meek in that He rules us always with our good in mind, never for His own ends or plans. He is also meek in that he rules over us for Another, for the kingdom is His, yet He will hand it over to His Father when every cause of evil and every evil doer has been weeded out, and when all His enemies are put under His feet *. We can live in utter security, knowing that the one who rules over us rules in meekness, to do the best good for us however rebellious we can be at times; and to rule on another's behalf, not His own, even God the Father.
* Matthew 13.41, 43; 1 Corinthians 15.24,25.
(Chris Kavanagh is the minister of the Reformed Church of Plamerston North)