Blessed Are the Meek
Standard;Mt 5:5 “Blessed are the meek. For they shall inherit the earth.”
First of all, let me say that after preparing this message about the meek, I promise I won't shout at you like I did last week! You know someone has wisely said that when you have to shout in an argument, that means you've already lost it.
I think I was having an argument with myself in the pulpit last week and ended up shouting, “I hate sin!” as if by shouting it, it could become more true in my own life. Truth be known if I really hated it, I wouldn't be so quick to engage in it so often.
I think it would have been wiser to say, I hate sin, but not near as much as God hates sin, and I love the sinner, but not near as much as God does. I don't think anyone can argue with that.
One more thing I would like to add about mourning over sin. Jesus told the Pharisees that after He ascended into heaven His disciples would fast. Fasting, among other things, is a way of expressing sorrow over sin, it is a way to mourn. I am going to commit to fasting this year and I ask you to do the same.
Fasting is a mark of the followers of Jesus. Jesus said we would fast until He returns. I have fasted before. I have fasted for direction, and received it. I have fasted with an eye to receiving an answer to prayer, and to my shame I have often fasted just to lose weight, but I have never fasted with the idea of mourning over the sin in my life and the sins of the church, or the sins of the world.
I set aside one day this week for fasting for the purpose of mourning over the influence of sin in this world and in my own life. When the pangs of hunger came, I contemplated the messes that my own sin have created, and the messes that sin in general have created, I found myself praying for all victims of sin and yearning for the Lord's return to make it all right.
Please join me. Set aside a meal, three meals, five meals, or just do without something that gives you sensual pleasure for a time. And remember, God promises to bring comfort to those who mourn.
All right then, let's get on with this business of the meek. First of all a paraphrase of this verse. “How fortunate are those who submit their strength to God, for God will disperse His estate to them.'”
You begin to see a natural progression here. First of all, in order to enter the Kingdom of God, one must recognize their spiritual bankruptcy, or peasantry. This is acknowledging the richness of Christ, Jesus as King.
Then one must recognize their own sin and mourn over it. This is called repentance and it acknowledges the need for Jesus as Savior.
The next step is to submit your life to God. Put Him on the throne. Let Him rule. It's Jahweh not my way! This is acknowledging Jesus as Lord.
Reading from Max Lucado's book, The Applause of Heaven, I get the sense that he feels the first two beatitudes are admittance of inadequacy and repentance, and that this beatitude is the first step in the process of renewal....it is the realization of spiritual weakness that leads us to look to another source of strength....namely God. He feels that meekness is surrendering one's life to God to be used as His tool.
Blessed are the surrendered.
As I was looking for Greek paraphrases for meekness, I stumbled across an article on the internet by a man named Grady Scott. Using the Greek word for meek (praus) he came up with a couple of good usages. The word “praus” was used by sailors to describe a gentle breeze. The same word was used by farmers to describe a broken colt.
These are calm and gentle, but they don't necessarily have to be. Using these definitions, Scott makes a good case for meekness being “power under control.”
Think about it. Think about the damage caused by uncontrollable wind. Well a gentle breeze is nothing but a hurricane under control. Or think of the power of a stallion, or a Clydesdale. The strength is still there, it's just under control. I suppose we could say the same for nuclear energy. When it's out of control, we're in trouble, but when it's harnessed, it serves us, rather than the other way around.
This explains so much of the self-described meekness of Jesus, who said in Mt 11:29, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am meek (power under control) and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls.”
Wow, does that take put some extra pzazzz into that passage! A yoke connects you to the strength of what is also under the same yoke, Jesus in effect is saying tap into My power and you won't have to exert yourself! “I'll do all the work and you will find rest.
One of the problems we have with the meekness of Jesus is we think of the table overturning incident in the Temple, and the various run-ins with the Pharisees and we wonder aloud, “Where's the meekness in that? But when you realize that meekness is power under control, you can see that His actions were only a small tempest of what He could've done.
Jesus whole life on this earth was power under control wasn't it? Even when that lady with the bloody issue touched His garment, He could feel the power go out from Him. But even that power was controlled and measured by the Father, and she received just enough to heal her. Without being under control, it would have been like touching a high voltage wire and she would've been fried on the spot. Jesus was aware of this allottment of power, He felt it, it was power under control.
As He told Peter after Peter cut off the ear of the servant of the high priest. Why are you relying on your puny little sword, don't you know that I could appeal to the Father and He will at once send Me more than twelve legions of angels?” Power under control.
“Hey if You're the Christ, come down from there”.......power under control.
Then, there's Moses. Did you know that the Bible says that Moses was the meekest man of his day? Num 12:3 says, “Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth.”
Somehow, we just don't equate Moses with meekness do we? Yet think about it He was definitely a living example of power under control. Who's control? God's control. Because He had committed himself to God, he had surrendered his strength to God. And look what strength and power God released through him to deliver His people.
Look at the power God released through Jesus to deliver us from sin, death, and the devil.
David demonstrated meekness in his treatment of Saul. He had every right to wipe him out and he had more than one opportunity to do so, but he waited for and relied on God's strength and timing in the matter rather than his own.
Zeph 2:3 says, “Seek the Lord, all you meek of the land who do His just commands.”
Ooooh, What do the meek do? Seek the Lord and do His commands.
Are you meek? Then you will seek God's will and do God's just commands. It's what the meek do. They don't rely on their own wisdom or strength or the wisdom and strength of the world, they rely on God, and demonstrate their reliance by seeking His commands and doing them.
Part of meekness is to curb the natural desires to rebel, fight, do it our own way, etc. Rather, the meek submit to the Lord in obedience to His will.
James 3:13 says, “Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. (Power placed under the control of God is wisdom)
Time after time in the New Testament, we are reminded to live in the power of Christ under control.
Gal 5:23 – speaking of the fruit of the Spirit....”meekness self, control” it's no accident that this fruit of the Spirit is linked with self-control.
Eph 4:2 - “Walk with all humility and meekness (power under control)
Col 3:12....put on humility, meekness, and patience (power under control, again linked with patience
1 Tim 6:11 “Pursue meekness (power under control)
Titus 3:2 – to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be meek, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. ( talk about power under control!) Who can control the tongue?
1 Pet 3:15, defend the faith with meekness (power under control so no one can slander you.)
Power abused or misplaced in the church is detrimental to the cause of Christ. Just look at the source of church scandals, aren't they almost always caused my misused power?
And in Gal 6:1, 2 Tim 2:25, we are told to correct erring brothers with meekness (power under control) come to them with the correction of a gentle breeze.
And Paul when dealing with the sexual sin in the church at Corinth said, “should I come to you with a rod (a hurricane) or in a spirit of meekness. (power under control) a gentle breeze
Those who are married to unbelievers need to understand the power of such meekness. 1 Pet 3:1-6. “Likewise wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives....when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external....the braiding of hair; the wearing of gold, or the putting on of clothing....but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a meek and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. (He needs to see it in action!) For this is how the holy women who hoped in God (looked to Him for strength) used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.”
I can think of no better term to describe Joanie as she submitted her strength to God in an attempt to bring me back to Christ. It was power under control. She could have rightfully said so many things, done so many things in her own strength....I think she even tried that route for a while, but it wasn't until she let God see her new found harnessed strength in action that He acted, and He acted because her demonstration of meekness was very precious to Him. And if meekness is precious to Him in marital situations, it is precious in other situations as well.
Blessed are the meek, those who have put all their strength under the control of God.
Why would we want to trust anything else but God's power? 1 Cor 1:25 says that the weakness of God is stronger than men.
Paul saw the value of surrendering his strength to God when he was battling a thorn in the flesh
2Co 12:9 And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
This is soooooo important that God personally spoke it to Paul! And it is nothing but a paraphrase of the third beatitude. Blessed are those who become weak and submit their strength to God.
The first-born are symbols of strength and the whole Old Testament system of offerings is about offering the first born, because they are symbols of giving up our strength. Pharaoh wouldn't give up his strength and so God took it from him, when He eliminated their first-born.
And my favorite verse in this matter of meekness:
2Co 13:4 For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you. Blessed are the meek.
Oh beloved, become weak. For when we are weak, we are strong! Surrender your power to God and His control and the sky's the limit.
Let me list some of the other benefits specifically mentioned in the Bible that are reserved for the meek.
Ps 22:26 – the meek shall eat and be satisfied
Ps 25:9 – the meek shall be led in the right way and taught the right way.
Ps 37:11 – the meek will inherit the land and have abundant peace. (Because God is now doing their fighting.)
Isa 11:4, Amos 2:7 – the meek will be vindicated
Is 29:19 - obtain fresh joy
and of course in 1 Pet 3:4 it is the meek spouse who opens the doors of possibility of saving their mate.
How fortunate are those who have surrendered their strength to God, because now, their strength is under His perfect control.
And it is those who have surrendered their power to God who will inherit the earth.
It makes perfect sense doesn't it?
The meek will inherit the earth because they have voluntarily yoked themselves to God, and now everything that is God's is theirs and God owns the earth.....now and forevermore.
The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof. It is in His power to use it in any way He sees fit. He will allot the earth's resources to the meek through His perfectly measured strength and time. Tap into it. If you've already received Christ the gift of meekness is present.......allow God to observe it in your life, and release it. .
A.W. Tozer once wrote, The meek man …..has stopped being fooled about himself. He has accepted God's estimate of his own life. He knows he is as weak and helpless as God declared him to be, but paradoxically, he knows at the same time that he is in the sight of God of more importance than angels. In himself, nothing; in God, everything. That is his motto."
This is what it is to be meek. It is simply to look to God for all your power and strength, and let Him act.