Listen:  93 Question 4

In Matthew, chapter 5, we have what is commonly referred to as the Sermon on the Mount.  This is where the Lord Jesus went to a mount and taught the great multitude that was following Him.  During this Sermon on the Mount, the Lord pronounced eight different blessings on those who were experiencing various conditions.  This is what is commonly referred to as the Beatitudes.  The word ‘beatitude’ comes from a Latin word meaning “happy.”  In each of the different beatitudes, the word ‘blessed’, really means to be happy.

Let’s read Matthew 5:1-12, “And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  In this part of the Sermon on the Mount, we see blessings assured to the poor in spirit, those that mourn, the meek, those that hunger and thirst after righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and those persecuted.

Now let’s look the term ‘poor in spirit’, which is found in Matthew 5:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  It is often the ungodly that prosper in this world as we read in Psalms 73:12, “Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.”  However, it is to the poor and downtrodden that the Lord continues to promises His blessings.  Let’s read James 2:5, “Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?”  To the believer on the Lord Jesus Christ, we realize that to be rich in grace is much more valuable than being rich with the world’s goods.  We often find instances of the Lord’s help to the poor in the Old Testament.  We read in Psalms 40:17, “But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.”  Isaiah 41:17 says, “When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them.”

Even though the Lord’s people are often referred to as being poor and needy, this doesn’t always seem to be in reference to their worldly goods.  It was the great King David who wrote in Psalms 69:29, “But I am poor and sorrowful: let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high.”  He certainly did not lack in material possessions.  The same word that is translated ‘poor’ here is also translated ‘humble’ in Psalm 10:12, ‘meek’ in Psalm 22:26, and ‘lowly’ in Proverbs 3:34.  To be “poor in spirit” then is to be conscience of our real needs.  It is to realize our poverty without Christ.  It is to be humble, meek, and lowly in a world that can, at best, offer temporary gain.  It is the ‘poor in spirit’ that truly depend upon the Lord for all their needs…physical, spiritual, and emotional.  To those that depend on Him, the Lord always provides.  King David wrote in Psalms 37:25, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”

The Apostle Paul describes believers in 2 Corinthians 6:10 with these words, “As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.”  We then read of the great, great wealth that believers possess in 2 Corinthians 8:9, “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.”  As believers on the Lord, we have riches beyond telling or knowing.  We read in Romans 8:16-18, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

So, how precious it is to know that to those who are poor in spirit, or to those who know their true needs and have cast them upon the Lord, ours is the kingdom of Heaven.  We are heirs of God.  We are joint-heirs with Christ.  We have been made rich with the true riches of God, which the world cannot take away.  (93.4)