Who Will Inherit the Earth?
JESUS answered this question in his Sermon on the Mount: ‘The meek will inherit the earth.’ Centuries earlier the psalmist David had said: ‘The meek will possess the earth.’ Of Jehovah God himself it is said: “The earth he has given to the sons of men.”—Matthew 5:5; Psalm 37:11; 115:16.
When Jehovah created man, He put him in charge of the earth. He commissioned him “to cultivate it and to take care of it.” (Genesis 2:15) Instead, man pollutes it and destroys it. Revelation 11:18 foretold that he would and that only God could stop it. It is God who will “bring to ruin those ruining the earth.” Man is deaf when earth’s beauty cries out in protest, but he hears acutely when money whispers.—1 Timothy 6:10.
But money also is an ultimate victim. An editorial in U.S.News & World Report asks a pertinent question:
“Who are the realists now? For years, citizens concerned about what we are doing to our planet have been derided as idealists, scaremongers and meddlesome do-gooders. It has now suddenly become clear that the ‘impractical’ worriers have been right all along on acid rain, on the erosion of the earth’s ozone shield and on global climate change from our pollution of the atmosphere by carbon dioxide, the greenhouse effect.
“In all three cases, we and our children will pay dearly for the wishful thinking of the supposedly practical men. Their ‘realism’ thwarted pollution controls that would have cost millions at the time, but now confront us with costs of untold billions for irreversible consequences that might yet produce global catastrophe.”
The ones who could have done something about it dragged their feet and packed their purses as people sickened and died. And they are still doing so. Six thousand years of human history has proved the Bible true, when it says: “I well know, O Jehovah, that to earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.”—Jeremiah 10:23.
God gives man the guide he needs: “Your word is a lamp to my foot, and a light to my roadway.” (Psalm 119:105) It leads to happiness: “I, Jehovah, am your God, the One teaching you to benefit yourself, the One causing you to tread in the way in which you should walk. O if only you would actually pay attention to my commandments! Then your peace would become just like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.”—Isaiah 48:17, 18.
But the majority of mankind does not have the meekness to accept divine guidance and thereby reap its benefits. It must assert its independence, must insist on taking the roadway to ruin. Only the meek find “the road leading off into life.”—Matthew 7:13, 14.
Men today have become misfits. First they pollute themselves morally, then they pollute the earth literally. It is this moral pollution that renders them unfit in God’s eyes to inherit the earth. The following article gives two examples of how the immorality of people so polluted the land that they were cast out of it. Both cases reach back into ancient history.