Wednesday, September 30, 2015

THE POWER OF MEEKNESS

Sermon the Mount (pt 5)
Meekness—a word not often used in today’s world.
"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." (Matt. 5:5)

Most of the other modern translations also use the word “meek,” but a couple use either “gentle” or “humble”—which more accurately convey the thought of the Greek word translated as “meek.”

The idea that is most often considered by outsiders is that of weakness, a Caspar Milquetoast if you will.

Consequently, we have a plethora of statements similar to the idea, “Meekness is not weakness.”

This is, of course, quite true. There is nothing weak about a truly meek person.
That idea only comes from those who do not want to understand or live by the teachings of The Master.

Weakness, whether physical, mental, emotional or spiritual is not a part of God’s plan for true believers, and is spoken against in several places.
  • If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein you trusted, they wearied you, then how will you do in the swelling of Jordan?(Jer 12:5 KJV)
  • He that has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls. (Pro 25:28 KJV)
  • For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2Ti 1:7 KJV)

So, it should be evident that when Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek…,” He did not have any concept of weakness in mind.

The idea of “gentle” or “humble” is the best rendering of the word translated “meek,” but, even then, we may be left with some problems in trying to apply the concept, due mainly to our lack of extensive vocabulary these days.

Suffice it to say that meekness is the opposite of self-assertiveness stemming from self-interest, as the definition below points out. 
Meekness toward God is that disposition of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting. In the OT, the meek are those wholly relying on God rather than their own strength to defend against injustice. Thus, meekness toward evil people means knowing God is permitting the injuries they inflict, that He is using them to purify His elect, and that He will deliver His elect in His time (Isa 41:17, Luk 18:1-8). Gentleness or meekness is the opposite to self-assertiveness and self-interest. It stems from trust in God's goodness and control over the situation. The gentle person is not occupied with self at all. This is a work of the Holy Spirit, not of the human will (Gal 5:23)(BLB)
The best example that we have of meekness is Jesus, and there is a verse that uses the word to make it even more poignant:
  • Tell the daughter of Sion, Behold, your King comes to you, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. (Mat 21:5 KJV) 
He was king.
He was the Son of God.
He was revered as a rabbi.
So, He chose a donkey upon which to sit for His triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

He chose the donkey in direct contrast to what was expected of Him at the time. 

The disciples, and those of the multitude who were excited by their concepts of Him, wanted Him as their conquering king to overthrow the Romans.

The horse is usually associated with war, but the donkey with peace.

Jesus is the Prince of Peace and is symbolically telling His disciples that He was not going to establish an earthly kingdom by man’s normal standards.

This was an act of humility, because He could just as easily have ridden in on a horse in conquering splendor.

The word in the NT translated “humble” carries the idea of “not rising far above ground.” Or, as the dictionary defines it “not proud or arrogant.”

Assertiveness, arrogance, self-importance, looking out for number one, high self-esteem, etc. are all contrary to this kingdom principle of gentleness and humility.
  • Be assertive, and you can get what you want.
    • Be meek, and you will inherit the earth.
  • Look out for number one, because that’s the only way you can get ahead.
    • Be meek, and you will inherit the earth.
  • Proclaim your importance, or no one will know how good you are.
    • Be meek, and you will inherit the earth. (see also Pro. 18:16)

Meekness, especially among men, is looked down upon in this life.

Meekness before the Lord makes one qualified to rule in His kingdom, which does not have to be limited to some future event, but can be a part of your life now.

What will you do to begin practicing the attitude of meekness?

How will you make it a part of your character?

What one thing can you do today and for the rest of this week to begin putting your sense of self into proper perspective?

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2 comments:

  1. I keep going back to Matt 11:28-30. This is the ONLY place I can find where Jesus specifically speaks of his own temperament -- "personality." Meditate on this -- all of it. I personally think this has more to do with our lives as believers than we have a clue of.

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