‘Those who trust the Lord will inherit the land’
Psalm 37:9 (NCV)
Jesus said that the meek will inherit the earth, echoing a promise that’s found elsewhere in the Bible. We might read that as inheriting the planet, but it’s actually about land, or soil. And that sounds less exciting – who wants to inherit dirt? That’s like getting a square of turf for Christmas.
Soil is more precious than it looks though. For one thing, it’s hard to make. Natural processes take 500 years to make an inch of topsoil. Take a spade out into the back garden, and you can dig through thousands of years’ worth of hard graft by microscopic creatures, lichens and earthworms.
It’s important too. If you’ve eaten anything today, it will have come from the soil, either directly as a plant product, or indirectly as food for animals. Without the dirt, there’s no life. And soil is bursting with the potential for life. Look how weeds spring up from the tiniest slivers of dirt between the cracks in the pavement. Back in Genesis, God said ‘let the earth bring forth’ plants and seeds, and that’s exactly what dirt continues to do.
So when the Bible says that those who trust in the Lord inherit the land, it’s more than just signing over the deeds to a piece of ground, or being the rulers of a political territory. It’s about sharing ownership in the processes of life. It’s an invitation to be co-creators in the new world that God is shaping.
Today is World Soil Day, which feels like a good opportunity to remember the ground beneath our feet. As you walk about on it today, thank God for it, and for the life that it makes possible. And know that one day, it will all be yours.
Jeremy Williams is a writer, blogger, and founder of Earthbound Ventures, which finds new ways for people to connect with nature. If you need a regular dose of wonder, check them out here.