Those who are faithful to the covenant are guaranteed a future – both on earth and in heaven. Christians often speak about the promised life to come in heaven. There, eternal bliss and blessings are rewards to the faithful. That message is proclaimed in church sermons, Sunday school classes, and funeral eulogies. Heaven’s reward is the hope of all believers who have endured hardship and persecutions, a better prospect for anyone whose body is racked with pain from injury or disease, and the dream of everyone who has said goodbye to a loved one. Heaven is real; heaven’s rewards are eternal.
Scripture also promises a future of blessing in this life on earth. That message is not as frequently discussed within the Christian community. Nonetheless, the Bible has much to say linking reward to the earth. Jesus declared, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Mt. 5:5). The Lord was delivering the famous Beatitudes when he proclaimed that promise. In context, Jesus had already identified the persons who would inherit the earth. They would be those who recognized that their impoverished spiritual condition lacked any blessing or future. These, having already acknowledged that their non-covenant lifestyle merited only privation and death, were ready to begin a new life. They called out for comfort that can only be found when one connects with God who is the source of all comfort, salvation and provision. The poor ones were ready for a new start.
Starting over meant that they could no longer live under self-imposed ideals, self-serving practices, and selfish agendas. They must begin to live under God-defined truths. They must yoke with God. His yoke would harness their person and strengths so that they could be directed to walk as his companion in covenant pathways. The new way would release blessings not cursing, life not death, abundance not poverty, inheritance not disinheritance.
Jesus was not the first to promise inheritance to the meek. Psalm 37:11 states, “But the meek shall inherit the earth.” Psalm 37 is filled with insight as to who gets the earth, its resources, and authority to manage it. Inheritance of the earth is always the heritage of those in covenant with God. The non-covenant are always disinherited.
In the first verses of this psalm, the reader is admonished not to look at the temporary earthly gain of those who do not follow God as though what they have can be preserved. “They shall soon be cut down like the grass and whither as the green herb” (vs. 2). “Evildoers shall be cut off” (vs. 9). “In a little while, the wicked shall not be” (vs. 10). “The arms of the wicked shall be broken” (vs. 17). “The wicked shall perish” (vs. 20). “They that be cursed of him (God) shall be cut off” (vs. 22). “The seed of the wicked shall be cut off” (vs. 28). “When the wicked are cut off, you (the covenantally faithful) shall see it” (vs. 34). “I sought him (the unfaithful man) but he could not be found” (vs. 36). “The transgressor shall be destroyed together; the end of the wicked shall be cut off” (vs. 38).
Psalm 37 clearly defines that any prosperity or blessing that the non-covenant might accumulate is short term because their end is to be dispossessed and disinherited. Long-term earth management will not be awarded to those who do not yoke with God and work for God. However, the opposite is promised to the faithful in the same psalm. “You shall dwell in the land and be fed” (vs. 3). “Lord with give you the desires of your heart” (vs. 4). “God shall bring forth your righteousness as the light” (vs. 6). “They that wait upon the Lord shall inherit the earth” (vs. 9). “The meek shall inherit the earth (vs. 11). “The Lord upholds the righteous” (vs. 17). “Their inheritance (the upright) shall be forever” (vs. 18). “They (the upright) shall not be ashamed in the evil time and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied” (vs. 19). “Such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth” (vs. 22). “I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed out begging for bread” (vs. 25). “The Lord forsakes not his saints; they are preserved forever” (vs. 28). “The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell therein forever” (vs. 29). “He (the Lord) shall exalt thee to inherit the land” (vs. 34). “The end of that man (the perfect man) is peace” (vs. 37).
The earth is the Lord’s (Deut. 10:14; I Chron. 29:11; Ps. 24:11). God does not acquiesce His Lordship or His possessions to the management of the ungodly, weather they are devils or humans. God rules. His very person guarantees that all authority must answer to Him. He will supersede all unrighteousness and secure eternal peace and safety. He casts out the unfaithful. He rewards the faithful – both in earth and in heaven. Blessed are those who walk with God in his yoke – those who meekly and humbly submit to his covenant – for they shall inherit the earth.