“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” —Matthew 5:5
Apart from the grace of God, fallen man will deny spiritual poverty because he proclaims, “I am!” whereas the poor in spirit cries, “Woe is me! I am undone!”
If, by the grace of God, the natural man receives a glimpse of his utter lack without God’s Spirit, he will not mourn apart from God’s grace. He will work to overcome his lack and cover his shame. He will sew fig leaves together to make himself clothing. Apart from the grace of God, fallen man will deny his need for outside comfort because he proclaims, “I have! and can attain!” whereas he who mourns, smiting his breast with a despairing sigh, cries, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!”
The natural man would be left only to mourn his lost and hopeless condition were it not for the almighty power of God’s love through efficacious grace to reveal the splendor and majesty of Christ to his soul. Unless that happens, what little natural comfort he receives in mourning will not bring him the meekness necessary to submit to God’s work of regeneration, nor will it bring to him the humility necessary to surrender to God’s command of repentance. That only comes by God’s grace through the efficacious work of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit.
True meekness, humility, contrition— these are not the character traits of fallen man. Every son of Adam has a natural disposition and propensity toward pride, arrogance, haughtiness; inheriting that which is the very root of sin manifested in the first fallen creature, Satan:
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” —Isaiah 14:12-15
O! but what grace, amazing grace! when the revelation of Christ’s excellent glory pricks the heart of the mourner. The reality of Christ sitting upon His heavenly throne in all power and eternal authority comforts the mourning sinner with the blessed truth that we have a King, and that the extent of His kingdom reaches even to the depths of every soul given Christ of His Father. The same revelation of Christ as King of all comfort and Victor with all hope casts such a brilliant light in His splendor, and presents such an overwhelming loftiness in His majesty, that it also brings the comforted mourner meekness in godly fear and a humility that must repent of sins before God.
It is only the meek, in the humility that can only come by God’s grace, that the riches of God’s grace, and the blessing of being made partakers of Christ’s inheritance, can be appreciated and enjoyed.