Kingdom Truth - What is the Kingdom of Heaven in the Bible?
Chapter 8, Part 3
Blessed are the Gentle
What is the meaning of gentle? Does it mean walking with head bowed, speaking with a trembling voice, smiling when abused or rolling with the punches? These are not the Scriptural meaning of being gentle! Matthew recorded the example of the gentleness of Jesus: "Say to the daughters of Zion, behold your King is coming to you, gentle and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden." (Matt. 21:5) The Lord Jesus is the King, He could enter into Jerusalem with great pomp and pageantry but instead "He did not claim what He deserved". He gave up His right. He entered into Jerusalem "humbly mounted on a donkey." This is being gentle. Thus, the simple meaning of gentle is: for the sake of the Kingdom, one gives up what one deserves. Genesis 13 tells us how gentle Abraham was. The quality of the grazing land has a definite effect on the growth of the flock and herd animals. According to Near East traditions, the elder has the right to choose the better grazing land. However, Abraham was willing to let his nephew Lot to choose first. He also said, "Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me: if to the left, then I will go to the right; or if to the right, then I will go to the left." What gentleness this is! In the end, even though Lot chose the better grazing land, God told Abraham, "For all the land which you see, I will give it to you and your descendants forever. Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth; for I will give it to you." (Gen. 13:15, 17) The gentle shall inherit the earth. God's promise is always reliable. Praise the Lord!
When I was young, I read a story called the "The General by the Tree". This story tells of a Chinese general in the old days. In every battle, he always led his troops up front. But when it came time for rewards, he was always found standing under a large tree to let others claim their rewards. Being gentle is a willingness not to claim what one deserves. This general excels over many church leaders who would elbow their way to the front to be seen. But when the time comes to fulfill responsibilities, they would stay behind! What a difference! In today's church, many people love to be called elders or directors, but as far as Bible knowledge is concerned, they don't even know how many books there are in the Old or New Testament. Even though they are absent in 90 per cent of the time in church work, they claim to be "experienced". ( or corrupted?) A country degenerates when too many of its citizens are after fame and fortune and too few are fulfilling their responsibilities. I often say to the Americans, the United States is not like what it was. My first trip to the United States was 48 years ago. I was so impressed by the diligence and efficiency of the United States government workers that I said to myself, "With people like that, it is natural that they are a strong and powerful nation." At that time, the Chinese government workers were lazy and greedy. All they knew was how to be a yes man and get rich. They have no understanding about what constitute fulfilling responsibility! When I applied for my Chinese passport in 1947, nothing happened for six whole months. So, I asked a Christian official to inquire and they could not even locate my application form! Finally they found my papers and issued my passport. If I did not inquire through an official, I doubt if they would have ever issued my passport! But now, the United States is also going downhill. Except by God's grace, the future of the United States will not be too bright. So, not only are the countries of this world like this, so too is the Kingdom today. Unless God raises up a whole generation of gentle believers, it is doubtful if the Kingdom personnel quota can be filled!
...for They shall inherit the Earth
When I was younger, whenever I read this verse, I could not understand it no matter how hard I tried. What is the meaning of the word "earth" or "land"? Does it mean that a gentle person will become a real estate magnate? One day I was reading Isaiah which says, "But he who takes refuge in Me shall inherit the land, and shall possess My holy mountain." (Isa. 57:13) Then I understood that earth or land in the Scriptures refer to the government center of God. For in this verse, the phrase "shall inherit the land" has the same meaning as "shall possess My holy mountain". In the Old Testament, God's holy mountain often refers to God's government center. (Pss. 2:6) To inherit the earth or land is to inherit God's government center. For those who are willing to give up what they deserve today, they shall one day inherit the Kingdom prepared since the foundation of the world.