Psalms 24:1-2 The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the waters.
The Sermon on the Mount
Christ Jesus was born to this earth, not only to bridge the gap between mankind and Almighty God, and not only to sacrifice his life for us in order for us to have salvation, but also to teach us a new way of life. Christ Jesus lived and died without sin. Christ Jesus set the example for each of us to follow, showing us and teaching us how to live and treat each other. People who encountered Christ Jesus felt the presence of God, and saw that he loved all people, regardless of their sin. When Christ Jesus began to minister, people traveled for miles just to hear him. On this particular day, Christ Jesus taught the Sermon on the Mount, which outlines in very basic terms the behavior that we are to have in order to be blessed.
The Sermon on the Mount describes the Beatitudes which are characteristics that we are each to strive to have. Practicing each of these attributes will lead to development of character. Character is the quality of our standards, which determines the ethical qualities that we have. In my opinion, character can be equated to class. Class is not a matter of money. Class is determined by integrity.
1. And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: 2. And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
3. Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
In verse 3, blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven teaches us that humility is an important aspect of character. Christ Jesus was always humble, even though He was the Son of God. Humility is very important to God. Remember that lucifer was kicked out of heaven because it no longer humbled itself before Almighty God. Humility before God brings Gods blessings, and favor. One example would be 2Chronicles 7:14,
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Lack of humility leads to Gods wrath and anger. God perceives that a lack of humility competes with His authority. There are several accounts in the Holy Bible where the people did not humble themselves before God, and God handed them over to their enemies, usually in a battle. An example of Gods wrath would be 1Samuel 2:10,
The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.
In verse 4, blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted refers to those who have suffered for God, who have been down trodden, who are victims of their enemies. Those people who cry out to God, instead of becoming angry or vengeful, will receive restoration, and be comforted by God. Isaiah 61:1-3,
1. The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2.To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; 3. To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
In verse 5, blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth refers to all those who submit themselves to Almighty God. Those who are completely submissive to God, will be so blessed, so much more blessed, because they have please him. God wants to be the one that we go to for leadership, for help, for all that we need. We are supposed to do all things through Christ Jesus to strengthens us. We are to always be submissive to God. God has promised to be a sword and a shield for us, and to make our enemies our footstool. God intends to promote the meek, not only because of their meekness, but because the meek listen to God and are obedient to Him. Psalms 147:6,
The LORD lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground.
A point that I would like to make here is that God promotes those that He considers to be meek, and that promotion leads to increase. When God needed a leader for the people of Israel, God chose Moses. When Moses told his family that God had spoken to Moses, his family mocked him, and God rose to defend Moses, thereby giving Moses promotion.
1. And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. 2. And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it. 3. (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)
4. And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. 5. And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. 6. And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. 8. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. 8. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? 9. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed.
In verse 6, blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled teaches us that those who strive for righteousness and live a righteous lifestyle will be blessed by God for their righteousness. Being filled means that we will feel fulfilled. God will bless whatever we set our hands to do. Righteousness will lead to increase, usually beginning with blessings and favor from God, and then leading to increase in prosperity and wealth. Deuteronomy 28:1-14 describes the blessings promised to the righteous. Notice that in addition to being prosperous, God promises to act on the behalf of the righteous, defending them from their enemies.
1. And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: 2. And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. 3. Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. 4. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. 5. Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. 6. Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out. 7. The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. 8. The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. 9. The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways. 10. And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee. 11. And the LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers to give thee. 12. The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow. 13. And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them: 14. And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.
In verse 7, blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy teaches us that we should be kind and forgiving to each other. Christ Jesus taught us that as we have judged others, so we shall also be judged. We are to be kind and merciful to each other, regardless of the sin of others. If we judge others, we will be judged by God by the same standards that we have judged others. The forgiveness and mercy that all of us are hoping for may be limited if we have be unmerciful to others on this earth.
1. Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
In verse 8, blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see the face of God refers to the innocence and purity of heart that must be maintained in order to see the face of God. When God met with Moses on Mount Sinai, Moses was not allowed to look directly upon the face of God. God spoke to Moses in Exodus 33:20,
And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.
In verse 9, blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God shows us that those who strive for peace will be rewarded. Peacemakers teach the people to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Peacemakers would also teach people to turn the other cheek, and to forgive and then forgive again. Peacemakers teach people to love their neighbor as themselves as Christ Jesus did. Isaiah 32:15-18 equates living in righteousness with peace.
15. Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. 16. Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. 17. And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. 18. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;
Verses 10 and 11 speak of persecution. All that are persecuted for righteousness are considered to be cherished servants of the Lord. God has promised that no weapon formed against servants of the Lord will ever prosper (Isaiah 54:17). All those who believe on Christ Jesus and live in righteousness are servants of the Lord. Those that live for Christ Jesus, and die for Christ Jesus, are promised that they will enter into heaven.
And now that we have a more complete understanding of the Beatitudes, please go back and read it again, noticing that the Beatitudes that Christ Jesus gave us teaches us what we should strive to be, and at the same time, promises that there are rewards for living in righteousness and maintaining ethical standards, justice for those who have been acted against, and that those are persecuted because they stood for Christ Jesus will enter into heaven.
In the name of Christ Jesus, I pray that people be lead to walk in righteousness, and to believe on Christ Jesus. I pray that each person be strengthen in Christ Jesus as they maintain humility, as they suffer for righteousness and for Christ Jesus, as they live in submission to Almighty God, as they live in righteousness, as they are merciful to others, as they strive for purity and complete absence of sin, as they make peace and lead others to righteousness, and as they are persecuted for righteousness, and for their belief in Christ Jesus, and I pray for Gods justice to be granted to all those who do. We are grateful for your mercy, your grace, and your everlovingkindness. I praise Almighty God and Christ Jesus. Amen.