Blessed Are The Meek
(The Blessed Family – Part 3)
By Kim Butts
"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5).
Note: It is important for your family to understand that the Beatitudes are to be embraced in their entirety. We are not called to pick and choose which ones we will act upon or take to heart. Jesus defined for us a way of living that mirrors His own. To neglect one or more is to miss out on the fullness of Christ. It is my prayer that your family will cultivate the attitudes of the Beatitudes and receive abundant blessings as a result!
The third beatitude is perhaps the most difficult for those in our worldly culture to accept, because it is such an amazing paradox. The word "meek" often implies weakness and timidity – and yet – Jesus was called meek, and even applied the word to Himself! So, if God wishes to bless the meek, and Jesus, who was neither weak, nor timid, was "meek," perhaps it is necessary to think through the definition of the word more clearly. Please prayerfully consider as a family what meekness is, and consider the blessing that God has promised for those who become meek. May the entire climate of your household change from the old, perishable earth to receive the blessing promised in this third beatitude: the inheritance of a new, imperishable earth.
Perhaps my favorite definition of meekness was written by Chuck Pierce, "Meekness is strength under control.... A meek spirit has no idolatry but is filled with worship." To me, this is the perfect picture of Jesus Christ. The only thing I would say to improve on this definition is that meekness is strength under God’s control. Let’s look at each of these areas carefully to see how they can be applied to our family life today:
Meekness Is NOT Weakness, but Strength under God’s Control
The strength of Jesus, as He walked on earth in human flesh, was that He only did what He saw His Father doing…and only said what His Father told Him to say. God’s strength was His strength. He was completely submitted to the authority of God. Could He have chosen to respond in angry defense to people who attacked Him? Of course. Could He have rebuked the mobs of people who just wanted to be near Him and who crowded around Him constantly? Certainly. Yet, that would have made Him just like…us! Our natural inclinations tell us to defend ourselves, or to let people know when they are getting too close or invading our precious space when we have had enough. Jesus spoke with authority, yet with respect to those who accused Him or questioned Him. When He needed rest from ministering to the crowds, He simply found His way to a quiet place to pray and be refreshed once again.
Generally, our responses to people determine whether or not we are under God’s control, or simply out of control. How often have we said to our children, "Control yourself!"? Perhaps the proper response to a misbehaving young one would be to teach them how Jesus would respond under similar circumstances so that they will have a solid, godly model to follow in the future. When left to control themselves, children, and indeed adults, will often display behavior that is less than Christ-like. Imagine what it would be like if every child was taught to respond in meekness rather than in self-righteousness. Our righteousness is in Christ – NOT in ourselves! Self-righteousness is a response of the flesh.
Jesus Himself expressed "righteous" anger when He turned over the tables in the temple (see Matthew 21:12). His reason was that God’s glory was being trampled upon by man’s greed. The outer court was being used for buying and selling doves, and for the exchanging of money. This could, of course, have been done outside of the temple courts. Jesus was angry because the outer court was the one part of the temple where the Gentiles could come to pray. This is why He responded as He did: "‘It is written,’ He said to them, ‘"My house will be called a house of prayer (for all nations)," but you are making it a "den of robbers"’" (Matthew 21:13). Can you see how He was responding to what His own Father had said? Meekness is NOT weakness, but strength under God’s control. This passage is even more amazing when you read one ironic verse just preceding it that describes Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. "Say to the Daughter of Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle [meek – KJV] and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey’" (Matthew 21:5). Meekness is NOT weakness, but strength under God’s control! An additional paradox takes us back to Jesus’ birth, which was a lowly one…unpretentious and quiet. It was announced by angels…but not to kings and rulers – to shepherds! He was born in a stable to ordinary people made extraordinary by these circumstances of God! Fast forward to His death on a cross…and then His victorious resurrection! Meekness is NOT weakness, but strength under God’s control.
This meek man turned water into wine, healed people, walked on water, calmed a storm, cast out demons, fed thousands with one child’s lunch, raised people from the dead, and has impacted millions of lives for over two thousand years…strength under God’s control!
Adrian Warnock stated, "It (meekness) is dealing with our anger, hastiness and sin and receiving humbly what God says to be true and building our lives on it." "So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls" (James 1:19-21 NKJV). The word of God has been implanted in us…but we must obey it in order to learn true meekness.
If we will learn, as a family, to ask the Lord to teach us how to respond to people in meekness of spirit, He will answer this prayer: "The meek will He guide in judgment; and the meek will He teach His way" (Psalm 25:9 KJV). When we become willing to do things God’s way, He is ready to respond…just as He was always ready to show Jesus what to say and how to act. Jesus was successful in His meekness, because He was totally yielded to the will of God.
Think of ways you can remind yourself and others in your family to demonstrate submission to God in situations when you would rather just respond "naturally." How can you train yourselves to respond in meekness instead of getting your own way, or becoming angry? Hint: spend time in God’s Word! Study how Jesus lived and behaved in different situations. Pray that the Lord will help you to become like Him! "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness" (Ephesians 4:22-24).
A Meek Spirit Has No Idolatry but Is Filled with Worship
The last part of Chuck Pierce’s definition of meekness reminds us that the focus is always upon God Himself…and not upon ourselves. The meek acknowledge complete dependence upon the goodness and grace of Almighty God. This is the part of meekness that is not about how we treat others, but rather, how we revere our Father! It is remembering that our strength does not come from ourselves, but from Him. Bowing our wills before the Lord of the Universe, we must allow nothing to come between our hearts and His! Idolatry in any form is sin and is unacceptable to Him, and must therefore also be unacceptable to us. What are the idols in your home? What takes precedence over worship and seeking His face? Is it work, television, sports, church activities…even "important ministry" for the Lord? What keeps you from Him? Are there other secret sins? Do you harbor pride, anger, untruth, or other things in your heart that you have yet to let go of? Talk together as a family about these things. Confess your sins to one another and receive His cleansing forgiveness! Take this passage to heart: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart" (Hebrews 12:1-3).
As you consider Jesus in light of this passage, allow your hearts to be filled with worship! The joy set before you is eternal life, made possible by the suffering of Jesus, who obediently endured the cross on our behalf because He had a spirit of meekness and submission before God. Is your household joyful? Eternal life is the Christian’s hope, and is cause for great joy that is not dependent upon our circumstances – it is a natural reaction to the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who has extended to us the most precious prize – eternal life!
The Meek Are Blessed Because They Will Inherit the Earth
"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5). We have talked about meekness, but have not yet shared any insight as to the blessing that the meek will receive from the Lord. At first glance, it does not appear that there is much blessing in inheriting this corrupted, troubled earth. Fortunately, the Lord has an entirely different earth for the meek to inherit – the NEW earth! "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true’" (Revelation 21:1-5). Now this is a blessing we should all heartily embrace! However, while anticipating heaven, we are to be joyful participants in life on this earth. Why? Because God has promised the blessing of the new earth to the meek, who are strong under the Lord’s control, who are not stubborn or hard, and who are worshipers rather than idolaters. Make this old hymn by George Rundle Prynne (Jesus, Meek and Gentle – 1856) a prayer for your family:
Jesus, meek and gentle, Son of God most high, gracious, loving Savior, hear Thy children’s cry.
Pardon our offenses, loose our captive chains, break down every idol which our soul detains.
Give us holy freedom, fill our hearts with love; draw us, Holy Jesus, to the realms above.
Lead us on our journey, be Thyself the way through our earthly darkness to the heavenly day.
Jesus, meek and gentle, Son of God most high, gracious, loving Savior, hear Thy children’s cry.
Next Month – Beatitude 4: "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled" (Matthew 5:6).