“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” – Matthew 5:5
As we continue to consider God’s blessings in the Beatitudes, we come today to His blessing of those who are meek. It’s common today, when we read or hear a person described as “meek”, to connect that with “weak” in our minds, maybe even effeminate, someone who is pushed around, or cowardly. However, such an understanding is inaccurate as we consider what our Lord Jesus speaks to regarding meekness.
A good, biblical understanding of meekness is a person who is peaceable, not easily provoked, gentle, humble, kind, mild, not sharp on the edges. The one who is meek is one who has been affected by divine grace. He is the one who is humble and patient in doing good as he waits on the Lord. (Psalm 37:11)
What does the person who lacks meekness look like? They’re prideful, haughty, arrogant, angry, hot tempered, and unapproachable. Undoubtedly, we all honestly struggle with being meek vs. being arrogant. All of us can struggle with being gentle and kind vs. being short fused, hot heads. It shows itself in the details in different ways in our lives, but the temptation and battle is real. How does this ring true in your life?
Considering our challenges with this, how else does God encourage us about the necessity and blessings of meekness and gentleness in Scripture? God gives us instruction and examples. Here are a few to consider:
- In Psalm 25:9, God teaches us that the meek are those who are not only approachable, but are also teachable. They are willing to learn from others. We read in verse 9, “Good and upright is the Lord; Therefore He teaches sinners in the way. The humble He guides in justice, and the humble He teaches His way.” I encourage you to commit Psalm 25:9 to memory! His instruction and guidance in sinners like you and me is so wonderful.
- We see godly meekness in Moses. In Numbers 12:3, we’re told that Moses was the most humble man on the face of the earth at the time. When we consider Moses’ humility, we find that he wasn’t a weak, spineless man. However, he was gentle and approachable. Over and over again, when Israel sinned against God and were judged and chastened, they would come to Moses and ask him to pray for them. Moses never told them to go away, leave him alone, there was nothing he could or was willing to do. The people never said they wanted to go to Moses, but couldn’t. No, they came to him, Moses listened to them, and he prayed for them.
- Jesus Christ is our supreme example of godly meekness and strength. The Apostle Paul urged the saints in the “meekness and gentleness of Christ” in 2 Corinthians 10:1. Jesus is gentle. He is humble. He came not to be served, but to serve. In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus speaks to this attribute when He says in verse 29, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Now, some may ask the question, “Considering all of this about gentleness and humility, does this mean that those who are meek will just be spiritual or societal doormats?” Not at all. Meekness isn’t acquiescence to evil in silent submission. Rather, it’s undisturbed confidence in the character of God and His sovereignty and justice. In the face of adversity, when things are going awry, we have a peace that passes understanding and press forward for the glory of God. We have strength of character that displays itself in a calm courage and devotion to our duty to Christ’s kingship.
What blessing does Jesus promise the meek in Matthew 5? “for they shall inherit the earth.” What does this mean? I think John Calvin says it well when he comments, “For the children of God, on the other hand, I answer, that though they may not plant their foot on what is their own, they enjoy a quiet residence on the earth. And this is no imaginary possession; for they know, that the earth, which they inhabit, has been granted to them by God. Besides, the hand of God is interposed to protect them against the violence and fury of wicked men. Though exposed to every species of attack, subject to the malice of wicked men, surrounded by all kinds of danger, they are safe under the divine protection. They have already a foretaste, at least, of this grace of God; and that is enough for them, till they enter, at the last day, into the possession of the inheritance of the world.”
Beloved, grow in a biblical knowledge of meekness, knowing that the meek are blessed by God. See it as good, especially as you consider meekness in the character and life of your Savior. Remember that gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit, a fruit that Christ calls and equips you to display. Therefore, pray that God would work in you what is well pleasing to Him in smoothing off the harsh edges, calming any ungodly heat in your heart, putting pride in all its forms to death, all the while growing meekness and gentleness in you for His glory.