“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5)
Does anyone in today’s generation understand what meekness is? From an early age children are taught that they are better, brighter and more beautiful than they really are. Parents push their kids on to TV show because they think they are talented. Nowadays people are generally proud and pushy, thus they have no concept of what it means to be meek. Even if the word is understood, the idea of meekness is rejected by a self-serving people. The word can be translated as ‘gentle’ or ‘humble’, and relates to the spiritual disposition of someone who is undergoing affliction and persecution. While meek people can be found outside of Christianity, in its Biblical setting it speaks of the character of someone who has dedicated their lives to God regardless of painful and adverse experiences which may come their way. No matter their present circumstances, the meek are getting ready to inherit the earth!
There are several promises and blessings for the meek in the word of God. When we read the context of these we find that they are made to those suffering oppression and trouble in their lives, therefore what a comfort they are! In Psalm 22:26 we read that “The meek shall eat and be satisfied”. Psalm 25:9 says, “The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way”. When the such a person stumbles or faints along the way then “The LORD lifteth up the meek” (Psalm 147:6). Those promises are not for the person who thinks the blessing come automatically, instead they are given to those who faithfully trust in the Lord no matter the pressures of life. “Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’S anger” (Zephaniah 2:3). Since godly meekness is not part of human nature, it is only possible to live in it after being saved through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and being filled with His Spirit.
Many preachers, when teaching on meekness, refer to Numbers 12:3 where we are told that “Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth”. Even though Moses was very meek, we do find him becoming angry at times. How can a person be meek (not easily angered) yet exhibit anger? Meekness, though a godly virtue, must be imparted by the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the highest and greatest example of meekness. “I am meek and lowly in heart” (Matthew 11:29). He like Moses became angry at the sinfulness and ungodliness around Him. The overthrowing of the moneychanger’s tables in Matthew 21 is a case in point. Meekness should never be confused with weakness. The wimpy and spineless are not meek, they are simply cowards pretending to be spiritual.
The New Testament is extremely clear about the need for meekness in the Christian life. Paul teaches that it must be in evidence in our fellowship with each other. “With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:2-3). It is something that we must seek after and add to our lives. “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering” (Colossians 3:12). Is the reason why this virtue is missing due to the believer’s unwillingness to submit to the teachings of God’s word? If the Scriptures are not received in the spirit of meekness then it is not possible to live a meek life. “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21).
Meekness must be pursued if we are to inherit all that God has available for us. The worldly Christian thinks that all the promises are his by right just because he claims to be a believer. Is this notion any different from the unsaved person who assumes he deserves a big house, fancy clothes and an expensive car without lifting a finger? Those who are spiritually minded will one day inherit the earth. In that day it will be the meek who will stand up to claim the promise. “For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace” (Psalm 37:9-11).
We might be looked down upon by others. One day we might suffer the full force of persecution from the hands of those who want to rid the earth of Christianity. We might be ridiculed, abused and ostracised, but let us not forget that we are on the winning side! Those who know Christ as Saviour do not react against offences with hatred, but instead they meekly stand firm in Christ. Meekness is a strength that the ungodly can never understand. The meek might be considered to be losers, but how can we lose if we are going to inherit everything? “For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation” (Psalm 149:4). The meek are getting ready to inherit the earth!