05 The Inheritance of the Meek

Matthew 5:1-12

Seeing the crowds, He went up on the mountain, and when He sat down, His disciples came to Him. And He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (ESV)

Consider the following:

  1. The Meaning of Meekness:
    The world scorns the weak. Meekness, however, isn’t weakness. Peterson says, “Be a Monster.” We don’t want to be cruel and tough because we think it is evil. But if you aren’t then you’ll be hurt by every cruel person. Meekness is cruelty that is being controlled. Meekness is not for the weak but the mighty. It’s not associated passivity – it is power under control, born out of life (Mat. 11v29).
    It is from the Greek word that meant ‘gentle and kind at first, but later self-controlled’. It is a virtue related to moderation. Remaining calm and composed even when dealing with insults and treating others with kindness and respect. “The silent submission of the soul to all the disposals of Providence having a sweet and calm persuasion that all shall be well.” – John Flavel
    It is a surrender to the power of God. Think of Moses! Num. 12v3 describes him as a very mighty man yet, called the meekest of all men.

    Because it’s a gift of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5v23), it’s a supernatural quality given to us by God as we abide in Him. Meekness is a quiet power – gentleness is more overtly active. Meekness has a broader sense than humility and involves strength. How does meekness manifest?

  2. The Manifestation of Meekness

    a) Towards God
    It’s an attitude and intuition, not an abstract construct. It is evidenced by our willingness to empathise and listen – submitting to God’s will without rebellion and resistance. We naturally have resistance. But we need to also have flexibility to God’s Word to change and not rebel. See how this relates to God first. Uncomplaining to His designs. Meekness disarms our resistance to God and the Scriptures that cut us. “I am the one who lacks. You are right, Father.” It disarms pride and hostility.

    b) Towards men
    This is an active choice to respond with grace and kindness to mistreatment – especially in the body of Christ. To respond with the grace and mercy Christ has shown us (Eph. 4:2-3) – not snapping a broken reed or putting out smoking flax. Before exerting my power, I must consider that I may be wrong… We need to realise that we have these dark things inside us. But we control this. We have the potential to do great harm, especially when we know we are right. Meekness is bearing injuries (Ps. 38) – like a deaf-mute. That is the meekness of David. “Meekness is the bridle of anger.” – Watkins

    c) The Opposite of Meekness
    1) Retaliation – flying off the handle
    2) Malice – planning evil
    3) Revenge – as believers, we don’t do this because the Lord stays our hand. Always the minimum necessary violence. Not showing how strong you are, but gently subduing the opposition so you have his ear with the goal to win the soul.

  3. The Majesty of Meekness
    The meek finds God’s favour (Ps 37v11, 1 Pet. 5v5, Phil. 2v5-8). It is Christ’s attitude. Do you see how meek God is? He has all the power and reason to destroy humanity, yet He takes the Apple of His eye and sends Him to a Cross…
    Most defence forces act as a deterrent. We make so many mistakes in this. Go back and talk, even though you can fight. Think about the cross as a mark of meekness and let it take root in your actions. May we be like our Saviour!