Blessed are the Meek: For They Shall Inherit the Earth
The present general concept of “MEEK” is that the word means: soft, yielding, timid, gentle, effeminate, cowardly and fearful.
In reality the word “meek” in the Scriptures means the exact opposite of the general impression today.
“Meekness” means self control, forbearance, patience, trust in God, humility before God, and complete submissiveness to the Word and will of God; and total resistance and rejection of any compromise with the Word of God, which is sin.
“Meekness” means having the courage and spiritual strength to take a stand for what God says is right, to learn it and to do it, regardless of what others: even what the whole world thinks!
“Meekness” means to have the sound minded self control that God has, through submission to the whole Word of God and the internalizing of the very nature of God, by the indwelling of his Spirit.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
If we are diligently studying the Word of God to learn and keep it; if we are following the Spirit of God as it leads us into a greater zeal to keep the whole Word of God including all the teachings, statutes, judgments and commandments of God; if we are submissive to Jesus Christ and his Word, like a loving wife seeks to please her husband, if we have the courage to say; God wants this and I am going to do it, regardless of what some man, religious organization, our neighbor, employer or government says: Then we are properly meek in the eyes of Almighty God.
True godly meekness is to be courageous for all the things of God! To control ones self to keep the Word of God in spite of any temptation to exact personal retribution or to seek our own ways.
The Opposite of Godly Meekness
The opposite of godly meekness is pride, self-will, stubbornness, hardheartedness and rejection of any part of the Word of God, for our own ways.
We can be the nicest people around, but if we insist on our own ways and traditions when they are proven to be contrary to any part of the Word of God; we do NOT have this trait of meekness and we will NOT inherit the earth.
Godly meekness means to be courageous for keeping the word and will of God, like the men and women of Hebrews 11.
Daniel’s three friends were meek and submissive to God to the degree that they stood up to the great king of Babylon and committed themselves to die for the Eternal.
Daniel 3:16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. 3:17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 3:18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
How many of us are fearful of men? Afraid to be meek before God to do what is right?
Let Us Humble Ourselves Before God
Let us become meek and teachable before our God, like little children are meek before their parents; let us hunger and thirst after the righteousness of the Word of God; let us be zealous and full of courage to take a stand for our Mighty God, to learn and to fearlessly do his will!
The terrible great trial of the tribulation will humble humanity and make all flesh sincerely repentant and submissive; teachable and meek, before the Eternal.
Humanity’s proud hard heart of stone, will be replaced by a sincerely repentant heart of flesh.
Then a meek heart, that will be soft and yielding to the Word and will of God; will make humanity teachable, to learn and keep the whole Word of God, and bring the family of man; into the family of God.
Blessed Are The Meek: For They Shall Inherit the Earth
Jesus tells us in His Sermon on the Mount that it is the meek who will inherit the earth. In other words, He is telling the disciples that this character trait is necessary if they want to be a part of the future Kingdom of God on earth and to enter into eternal life with Him.
What does it mean to be meek and how important is this virtue if it is something that is required in order to be among those that inherit the earth?
“Blessed are the meek” is the third of the Beatitudes right after “poor of spirit” and “mourning” [godly sorrow]; and this character trait of meekness is also included in the list of the fruits of the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Modern day English dictionaries define “meekness” quite differently from what “meekness” meant in Biblical times. The definition given in these dictionaries shows that the word has changed in meaning over the years from when the Bible was written. The meaning of “meekness” in today’s usage generally depicts a person who is weak, shy, timid, fearful, lacking in initiative, or soft.
Today if you say someone is meek, the general impression is one of being weak, tame, mild-mannered, not very ambitious, shy, docile, and perhaps even fearful. This is not the kind of person the Bible depicts when it says that someone is meek, or has meekness as an aspect of his character.
The most predominate feature that comes to mind in modern day usage when meekness is mentioned is “weakness”. But that is not the Biblical definition for meekness.
The Greek word for “meek” is praus (Strong’s # 4239) and means: mild, gentle.(Strong’s Concordance)
Word Helps clarifies the meaning even further: “This difficult-to-translate root (pra-) means more than “meek”. Biblical meekness is not weakness but rather refers to exercising God’s strength under His control – i.e. demonstrating power without undue harshness. [The English term “meek” often lacks this blend – i.e. of gentleness (reserve) and strength.] (Word Helps)
The Hebrew word that is translated as “meekness” is anav or anaw (Strong’s # 6035), meaning: suppressing one’s own will, gentle in nature; or in circumstances (needy, especially saintly): humble, lowly, meek, poor.
From these definitions we see that to be meek is actually strength, not weakness; but it is strength that is restrained and held in check even in harsh circumstances such as mistreatment and persecution.
To sum up what “meek” means in the Bible; it is to be humble, teachable, gentle, mild; submissive to God with self control; patiently putting one’s full trust in Him. It is to have spiritual strength and courage to do what is right and to take a stand for what is truth and the will of God no matter what others may be teaching, saying, or doing. Sometimes meekness can even be perceived as harshness by those who do not understand what it means to speak up strongly for God and/or to act on His behalf.
We are told that Jesus was a very meek man and yet He chased the money changers out of the Temple on two occasions. He also vehemently denounced the hypocritical scribes and Pharisees for their behavior and for the traditions of men that they propagated (See Matthew 23).
The biblical definition of meekness and what is means to be meek gives us the correct perception of what it meant to be meek for the biblical men and women of God and even Jesus himself, who was the meekest man that ever walked the planet. Jesus is our model of what it means be meek and humble, teachable, gentle, submissive to His Heavenly Father; and to be strong/zealous in the face of sin and of any compromise of God’s truth. This is the kind of quality that the third Beatitude is speaking of when it says that the meek shall inherit the earth.
The words: mild, gentle, humble, are part of what it means to be meek but these definitions just do not seem to portray the full essence of the meaning of meekness when compared to the kind of character traits exemplified by spiritual giants such as Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Moses, Rahab, Ruth, Boaz, David, Daniel and his three friends, Esther and Mordicai, Stephen, Paul, and many, many others, all of whom did exhibit the fruit of meekness in their character.
God counts meekness as per Matthew 5:5 and Galatians 20:23, as a highly desirable virtue and in fact a virtue one must have in order to inherit eternal life and to become a member of God’s spiritual family.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus lists the Beatitude of meekness just after the two Beatitudes: “blessed are the poor in spirit” and “blessed are those who mourn”. Meekness is part of what it takes to think of oneself as poor in spirit; and it takes meekness to see sin for what it is and then to feel sorrow over the sins we and/or others have done. So we see that the Beatitude of meekness blends well and contributes to the previous two attributes and all three work in perfect harmony with each other.
The word “meekness”, as used in Scripture, means humility before God, it means being submissive and teachable by God; It does not mean weakness! Quite the contrary; it means total submission to every Word of God, taking a stand for the Word of God, even if one has to do so alone if necessary; and in this world, that requires the greatest of courage!
Meekness as Exhibited by the Biblical Servants of God
Perhaps the best way to understand the true biblical meaning of meekness is to see how this very extraordinary quality was demonstrated by some of the men and women of the Bible within the context of the Scriptures that record how they behaved and how they reacted to God and men; and also the circumstances in their lives.
Here are just a few examples of some of the individuals who displayed this quality; there are many more, for all of God’s servants (both past and present) would have needed to have this very important virtue to even be a servant of God.
Abraham was called a friend of God (James 2:23) and also the father of the faithful (Galatians 3:16-29). Abraham’s obedience to God, and in the way that he handled certain situations, showed that he was indeed a very meek person.
When Abraham was called by God to get out of his country and from his father’s house to a land that God would show him, the Bible says that Abraham simply departed as the Lord had spoken to him without questioning or arguing; he just did what God told him to do. (Genesis 12:1-4)
When Abraham’s herds and the herds of his nephew Lot grew to the point that there was no longer enough grazing land in their joint vicinity to accommodate both herds, it created a big problem. Abraham’s and Lot’s herdsmen began to quarrel over grazing rights and it became apparent that the two companies would need to separate. Abraham could have exercised his rights as the elder of the two and as the patriarchal leader at the time, and as such, insist that he should have first choice of the land before them. But instead he showed a mature wisdom that displayed a yielding and gracious spirit (or meekness) in beseeching Lot to lay aside their contentions.
Abraham said to his nephew “Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdsmen and the herdsmen; for we be brethren” (Genesis 13:8), and then proceeded to offer Lot first choice of the land that laid before them.
Lot then chose for himself the most fertile land; the plain of Jordan where the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were located, (Genesis 13:10-12)
Instead of demanding his rights to the most fertile land as his position as leader and uncle to Lot, Abraham graciously submitted to Lot’s choice of the parcel of land that he (Lot) preferred.
Abraham did not fight (or even try to coerce Lot) for first choice as Lot’s elder, but displayed meekness on his part even though by right he could have demanded that Lot defer to him. It is just after this incident that God appeared to Abraham and gave him the promise of much larger lands and abundant blessings for himself and his descendants that would last forever. Just after Abraham offered Lot to choose the that land he wanted, God gave this promise to Abraham:
Genesis 13:14 And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: 13:15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.
It seems that Isaac inherited his father’s meekness and gentle spirit, for Issac, too, choose not to quarrel with the Philistines that were living in close proximity to him.
The Philistines were envious of Issac and repeatedly caused trouble for him by stopping up his wells with dirt and clay. Whenever Isaac dug wells, the Philistine’s herdsmen strove with Issac’s herdsmen and claimed that the wells belonged to them. Isaac acquiesced to them and kept moving on until he came to an area that he would later call Rehoboth where he dug another well. After digging several wells in his wanderings, it was finally there at Rehoboth that the Philistines no longer demanded that the wells he dug be given to them.
Genesis 26:14 And he removed from thence, and digged another well; and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth;
Genesis 26:22 and he said, For now the Lord hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.
In these situations, Isaac behaved in a yielding and meek manner toward those who were envious of him and were trying to take advantage of him. Just after this happened, we read that the Lord appeared to him just as He did with his father Abraham, and reiterated the promise of lands and possessions that the Lord had promised to Abraham.
Genesis 26:24 And the Lord appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham’s sake. 26:25 And he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the Lord, and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac’s servants digged a well.
Numbers 12:3 Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.
This was Moses, the mighty man of God, spoken of in Hebrews 11 as one of the great men of faith.
What aspects of Moses’ character led the writer of Scriptures to say that Moses was the meekest of men and what can we learn from reading and studying about Moses?
First, Moses was totally submissive to God and to His every command, never compromising with any part of God’s law or God’s Word; except for the one mistake of striking the rock (but who among us can say that we have made only one mistake since our calling).
Second, Moses was always ready to listen to advice no matter who it was; and third, he rejected any hint of personal vengeance but rather relied totally on God to take care of his enemies.
Moses was raised in Pharaoh’s court as the very son of Pharoah’s daughter, but at the age of forty Moses was forced to flee Egypt after killing an Egyptian task master who was beating a Hebrew slave. Moses spent the next forty years in obscurity, working as a shepherd for his father-in-law Jethro the priest of Midian, watching over his flocks.
When God appeared to him and called him to go back to Egypt to petition Pharaoh for Israel’s release from bondage, Moses was at first hesitate. It seems that by that time Moses saw himself as a lowly person and said to God, “Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11)
Moses did not feel that he was qualified to do what God was asking him to do, to speak to the most powerful ruler of the mightiest country on earth! Even though he had been brought up as an exalted prince in Egypt, Moses’ long years working as a lowly shepherd in the wilderness had humbled him.
Despite his feeling of inadequacy, Moses eventually accepted the mission for which God had chosen him for, and God was able to use him as his instrument in performing mighty works in the deliverance of the children of Israel from bondage in Egypt.
Through all these events, and then later facing the great demands involved in leading the Israelites through the wilderness, a special relationship developed between himself and God; and this relationship with God was the source of Moses’ meekness.
As the years unfolded he continued to draw closer in his relationship with His Lord and in his desire to understand God more fully, on day he asked God if he could see His glory (Exodus 33:12-18).
Moses deepening knowledge and understanding of the ways of God gave Moses an even more humble view of himself, contributing to his sense of humility and meekness. Because of this realistic perception of himself compared with the greatness of his Creator, he did not let his leadership role go to his head despite all the mighty works.
One day when Jethro saw how weary Moses was becoming from the day-long judging of the court cases for the Israelites, he suggested to Moses that his administrative burden could be vastly reduced through the appointment of qualified officials that could rule over the lessor affairs of the people.
Moses graciously followed his father-in-law’s suggestion displaying that he was meek and humble enough to accept the wise counsel of someone that was under him. (Exodus 18:17-26)
In another incident, God provided further help for Moses by granting the Holy Spirit to seventy of the elders among the people. When two of the elders (who were not present but had remained in the camp) were reported as prophesying elsewhere, Joshua urged Moses to stop them. Moses, however, remained calm and undaunted; having no desire to be the only one that prophesied, he stated his wish that God’s Spirit would be on all of the children of Israel. Moses did not perceive the prophesying of the two elders, Eldad and Medad, as any threat to his authority.
Numbers 24:28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. 24:29 And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!
When Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married, and also expressing their desire for greater leadership roles for themselves, there is no record of Moses having rebuked his siblings. Moses did not try to defend himself rather it was God that intervened on Moses behalf to defend him.
In Numbers 12:7 God came down in the pillar of the cloud and He, Himself, defended Moses from the accusations of Moses’ brother and sister.
Even though Miriam had challenged his authority, Moses still had compassion for her when God struck her with leprosy because of her accusations and he prayed to the Lord that she would be healed in spite of the contention she had caused. (Numbers 12:12-13)
When God threaten to destroy the rebellious Israelites and start a new nation through Moses, Moses was more concerned for God’s reputation and the welfare of the people than for a grandiose position for himself. He responded at least on two occasions by interceding on Israel’s behalf when they rebelled against Moses and against God’s commandments.
Moses was so humble and meek that he intervened for the sake of the rebels even after they had challenged his authority, falsely accused him, and even threatened to stone him. (Exodus 32:9-12, Numbers 14:10-14)
Just these few examples alone in the life of Moses demonstrate that he was an unusually meek and humble servant of God. Moses exhibited and practiced the Beatitude virtue of meekness as he obey God’s command to govern and lead the grumbling, rebellious children of Israel through the wilderness on their journey to the Promised Land for forty long years.
David also matured into being a humble and meek servant of God that God could use to rule the nation of Israel; and David will be a meek and humble ruler under Christ in the Millennium over all Israel.
When we read through the historical books of the things that David endured from Saul who hated him and wanted him dead, we can see that his experiences in the wilderness helped to prepare him to rule with meekness.
In Psalm 131, David speaks of the meekness that developed as a result of what he learned from his many experiences and the trials that he had to endure.
Psalm 131:1 Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me. 131:2 Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child. 131:3 Let Israel hope in the Lord from henceforth and for ever.
Samuel died while David was living in the wilderness hiding from Saul, (1st Samuel 25:1) therefore it may have been David’s scribe that wrote the rest of 1st and then 2nd Samuel. If David dictated the events of his life, that means it was he, himself, that wrote his own story with the many honest details about his own failures. That in itself, shows how he cared more that the lessons his his own story would teach others down through the ages than he cared about having his sins covered and not exposed as they are for all to read. Most people would just as soon as have their past sins forgiven and forgotten and to protect their sinful past, but evidently David was meek enough to not be overly concerned with what others would come to know about him if it meant that they could read, consider, and learn from the mistakes he had made, and perhaps not make those same mistakes as he had.
In the Book of Esther, Mordicai takes in his young cousin Esther when she lost her parents and brought her up as his own daughter.
When she was among the maidens gathered together unto Shushan and subsequently chosen to be the new queen, Mordicai was still concerned for her (Esther 2:11-17) and watched daily to know what should become of her.
Even after she became the wife of the King and was chosen as his queen, Esther did not forget her roots and maintained her loyalty to the one who had been her father figure throughout her childhood, “but did the commandment of Mordicai, like as when she was brought up with him.” (Esther 2:20)
It was because of her meekness in submitting to Mordicai and retaining a care and concern for her people, the Jews, that she was willing to risk her life in order to petition the king on behalf of her countrymen.
Even though she was the king’s favorite wife, she must have had some trepidation in approaching her husband, which would involve stepping outside her bounds even as the Queen .
She requested that Mordicai and his Jewish associates, along with herself and her servant girls, fast for her as she made the decision to “go in to the king, which is not according to the law“, yielding herself to whatever the king would decide for her. (Esther 4:16)
As a result of her courage and the wisdom in carrying out a plan to invite the king and Haman to her banquets and reveal to the king what Haman had conspired against her people, she was able tell the king who she really was and to plead on behalf of the Jewish community (her own countrymen) that they should not be destroyed. (Esther 7:1-6)
Later in Esther 8:3-6, Esther again approached the king, and the king held out his golden scepter toward her. She then presents an appeal to reverse the letters devised by Haman; and the king acquiesced to her request to do what he could to allow the Jewish people to defend themselves.
It was because Esther was of a meek and gentle spirit that she could be used and was able to save her countrymen from wicked Haman’s scheme to destroy all the Jews that lived in the provinces under King Ahasuerus’ reign.
These are just a few of God’s people in the Old Testament that exhibited the quality of meekness and because of this trait they could be used of God to do mighty feats. And there are many examples of God’s servants in the New Testament who exhibited meekness in their lives as well. Here are just a few:
John the Baptist was a humble and meek servant of God (“I must decrease, He must increase.” John 3:30).
Mary, the mother of Jesus, accepted her role in God’s plan to bring the Messiah into the world as a newborn babe (“Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word”…Luke 1:38).
And there were all of the the apostles, including the apostle Paul; and Stephen, the first recorded martyr for the Christian cause (Acts 7) and many others.
All of God’s servants had this trait of meekness for without it they would not have been used to do the things that God called them to do. They were gentle and mild but when it came to submitting to God and His plan for their lives, they were great men and women of faith who were strong in the face of danger and opposition. When called upon to do what God wanted them to do, they were willing participants and fulfilled the roles that God appointed for them.
The Meekness of Christ
Following are just a few Scriptures that show the meekness of our Savior and how He emptied Himself of His glorious divinity in complete submission to His Father to die so that others could be saved. This includes all who are called out now; and eventually will include all of mankind that will be called in the future when it is their turn to come to the full knowledge of God’s truth and way of life, and if they repent and embrace all of His ways.
Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Isaiah 53:1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? 53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
Christ definitely shows us that meekness is not the same as weakness; meekness does not use its power for its own defense or selfish ends. Meekness is controlled strength or power completely surrendered to God’s Word and will.
Peter records our Lord and Savior’s example of meekness that we are to follow:
1 Peter 2:21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 2:22 Who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; 2:23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously.
As shown in these Scriptures, Jesus did not attempt to defend Himself nor did He return evil for evil even though He was accused and suffered unfairly (and even though He was God). This is a very powerful example of meekness, Brethren, exhibited by our Lord, Himself. If we will only follow the Savior’s steps along this narrow and straight path, we will be blessed now in this life and forever throughout all eternity, just as the Beatitude tells us!
Why Will Those Who Are Meek Be Given The Earth For An Inheritance?
Jesus Christ was the meekest man ever to have walked this earth and we are to become as He is in all of the same godly attributes and virtues that were part of His character as God living in the flesh here on earth.
We are to practice in our physical lives now, by following the example of how Christ lived for we are in training to rule the earth under Him when He comes to set up His Kingdom in the not-too-distant future.
As our Lord and Master who will be King of kings in that kingdom, He is not harsh or overbearing, but is meek and gentle. His laws are also reasonable and are not a burden; in fact they are very good, just, and righteous, and they bring all that is good and beneficial for those who keep them. When all mankind is keeping them, there will be total peace and harmony on earth. For this cause, God is quick to forgive the sincerely repentant, but will not tolerate any unrepentant willful compromise with the Word of God, or any sin; because sin brings suffering upon all it touches.
Because of the way Christ governs, we begin to see why meekness must be a virtue of those who will receive the Kingdom and who will be given rulership over others. Because God governs the repentant in meekness, His children must do so also.
The meekness that is gained from life’s experiences, including from our painful trials, equips the future kings and priests to rule in God’s kingdom with the sympathy, empathy, and sensitivity that will be needed to help others who have endured similar trials.
Hebrews 5:1 For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: 5:2 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.
There are many Scriptures that show the kind of rulers that Jesus wants to have with Him in His Kingdom; rulers with qualities that will enable them to assist Him in properly governing His subjects with firmness but also with kindness.
God is in the process of diligently training the children of the Kingdom who are called now, getting them prepared and qualified for whatever position God assigns to each one for rulership according to how well they exemplify these qualities, including meekness.
As we know, humans are not born with inherent meekness. It is a fruit that comes as a result of having God’s Spirit dwelling within us and is developed as God is molding and fashioning us through the outflow His Spirit. If meekness is a fruit of the Spirit what, then, is our individual responsibility in the development of this character trait and how are we to grow and to become even more meek as God is preparing us to be His kings and priests?
Meekness means that we need to be focused on God and how we can serve Him and others, rather than seeking self-recognition. We must not contend with others for the best seats and to be always striving with one another for position so that we can be looked up to and be highly esteemed among the brethren. Rather, God wants us to have our hearts pure with motives that seek to serve rather than to be served.
Jesus instructs us as to how to be a servant rather than always seeking the highest positions for ourselves. He tells the disciples that:
Matthew 23:11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. 23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. 23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
Luke 22:24 And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. 22:25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. 22:26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.
David learn this important principle as well for any that would be called to rule over others:
2 Samuel 23:2 The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. 23:3 The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.
Note what Moses was inspired to say about how a king (or ruler) is to conduct himself and how he must remain small in his own eyes no matter what responsibilities he has been given. One of a king’s duties is to write out God’s laws, keep them beside him and meditate on them every day. This is a useful prescription for meekness!
Deuteronomy 17:14 When thou art come unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me;
17:15 Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the Lord thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.
17:16 But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the Lord hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.
17:17 Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.
17:18 And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites:
17:19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:
17:20 That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.
In Psalm 45, meekness is listed right up there with truth and righteousness as to the qualities that bring prosperity and glory to Almighty God.
Psalm 45:3 Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty. 45:4 And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.
Jesus leads the called out who are faithful to Him with gentleness and meekness but also with strength and justice: Here are the ways that Christ leads His flock, not only now but in the future.
Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Isaiah 40:10 Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.
Ezekiel 34 11 For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. 34:12 As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. 34:13 And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. 34:14 I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. 34:15 I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God. 34:16 I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.
Paul, who himself, was a picture of what it means to be a meek leader of those whom God had placed in his care, instructs us in both of his letters to the Ephesian and Colossian brethren:
Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 4:2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 4:3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 3:14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
Throughout the ages men have fought each other, wrought wars to conquer other nations and to take those nations’ lands. It is the way of Satan to make war and to take. In our modern age, wars are still being fought to take over someone else’s land, property rights, resources, oil fields, gold mines, and the people as their own subjects; or even as slaves. In James 4, we are told what is really behind all such wars, strife and competition. There will be none of these things in the Kingdom of God.
James 4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? 4:2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
The world favors and admires those in leadership roles; those who seem to be strong in the worldly ways; those who are competitive, arrogant, aggressive, assertive, boisterous, and who appear to be the “successful” mighty ones in this world. In this present age, it is these kinds of people that become the shakers and the movers; they rise to the top as leaders, kings, and dictators; and they are the ones who tend to receive recognition, admiration and accolades for their strength, power, and prowess in accomplishing great things.
Yet their greatness and their acquisitions are only temporary for they all die; eventually their power over people, lands, and countries will all be taken away. And that is why Satan hates the meek so much, for it is the meek of the earth that are going to take over his territory soon when Christ returns and sets up His glorious kingdom. The earth will ultimately be given as an inheritance to the meek of God after Satan and his minions are taken out of the way.
It will be the meek who will rule the earth with equity under Christ and their rule will last forever. The meek are humble and submissive to God, yet in the power of God they are strong in fighting the spiritual war against sin with the help of God’s Holy Spirit given to them according to their faithfulness; and God will give them possession of the earth to replace Satan some day.
God is going to give the meek the earth to rule, to restore, to tend, to beautify and to enjoy, because they will have proven in their lifetimes that meekness [submissiveness to God and the way of life eternal] is the way to properly live; and because they have learned how to be meek in all their interactions with God and men.
The man or woman of God will recognize that the truly meek person is the one who is strong in God’s eyes for the whole Word of God, who refuses to compromise with His truth, and it is he or she, who truly has a fabulous future, not the evil doers who are currently ruling or those who have tried to rule the earth these past six thousand years of mankind in envy, strife, violence, wars and competition.
To be meek does not mean the meek do not have backbone and take everything lying down, as door mats.
Moses, who was:
Numbers 12:3 “Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth” was the meekest man of his time. Yet Moses was a forceful leader and dealt swiftly with sin and rebellion against God when it rose it’s ugly head. He did not hesitate to order the execution of three thousand idolaters who worshiped the golden calf as he came down from the mountain where he had been with God obtaining the tablets of stone that had the words of how the Israelites were to live written on them.
Moses, in his meekness, was very strong and stood for God no matter what the people thought of him or how much they rebelled. How a meek man reacts to evil depends upon what he discerns God’s will is for taking action against it and he then takes steps to squelch it.
Because the meek man sets his mind on God’s purpose and not his own ambition or reputation, he will offer uncompromising resistance to evil in defense of Godliness and all of God’s laws; yet react with patience, kindness and gentleness when others attack him.
1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 2:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 2:23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
Jesus was our perfect example of the type of strength we are to have when taking action against sin and evil as well. He made a whip and in righteous anger and indignation, overturned the tables and drove out the livestock, the sellers of doves and the money changers from the temple courtyard, because they had turned God’s House of Prayer into a ordinary marketplace by their sacrilege.
Matthew 21:12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, 21:13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
In dealing with the scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees, Jesus always showed wisdom with restraint when they tried to trap Him with their trick questions and twisted reasoning. He was not afraid to tell them what they were really like and what kind of leaders they were in their dealings with the common people.
The virtue of meekness is a strong bulwark against self-righteousness, pride, arrogance, and unjust judgment of others. Yet neither does it excuse or condone sin. Rather a meek person is very discerning; he knows that God is in control of all things, so therefore he has no need to try to control others or to try to manipulate what he thinks should happen.
He will be discerning and understanding of what God really requires, thus his judgment is tempered; he will refuse to react harshly when it is not necessary. Meekness is gentleness and mildness, and a subdued character, but it is not weakness. It is power under control and exercised in a godly manner. A meek person can be very powerful and very much in control, but it is control of himself, his temperament and is of a sound mind as Paul tells Timothy.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
When the millennial Kingdom is finally here on earth, Jesus Christ and the meek shall possess the earth, for it is they who will rule the earth in compassion, justice, and righteousness!
Revelation 2:27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
Psalm 96:13 Before the Lord: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.
Our inheritance of any land is contingent on how we master ourselves and how we have shown meekness in the small sphere of influence allotted to us during our limited physical lifetimes. (Luke 16:10-11) Being given the land (inheriting the earth) ultimately is the reward for humble faithfulness to all of God’s commandments of how we all are to live in that land.
Meekness is an attitude of mind in which all of our thoughts and actions are brought into the perfect control of the Holy Spirit. The courage, strength, conviction, and gentleness of meekness comes from the Holy Spirit of God and is an attribute of Almighty God Himself.
This is not a virtue to look down on just because carnal men consider it to be weakness. It may appear to most people as weakness, but the spiritual reality is that meekness is great strength, one of God’s own attributes and is a wonderful fruit of His Holy Spirit. It is the way of God, and meekness emanates from God the Father and His Son for it is the way they think and the way they operate.
When a person is meek, he displays the fruit of God’s Spirit, and to be meek in all that we think, say, and do, is to exhibit the very meekness that is ultimately the Spirit of Christ Himself. It is so important, that without it one will not be in God’s Kingdom, for the Kingdom will only comprise of meek individuals. Only those who are meek will be there.
Through the prophet Zepaniah, God has a message for those who incorporate the Beatitude of meekness and who are totally committed to living by every Word of God; and within this verse is a promise:
Zephaniah 2:3 Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment [The meek keep the Word of God]; seek righteousness [all God’s Word], seek meekness [humility and submissiveness before God]: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger.
Psalm 37 ~ A Psalm About Meekness
What can we learn from Psalm 37 that relates to being meek as a character trait as spoken of in the Beatitudes?
Psalm 37 is a wisdom psalm and it’s simple message is to maintain patience in the midst of troubles and in the face of when the wicked around us seem to be prospering in this world. To do so is a sign of meekness.
It is possible for God’s people to have such patience when they know that their eternal reward will abundantly surpass their temporary troubles.
To be meek is to look to God’s sovereignty over all injustices and over the inconsistencies that we witness in this world that contradict our own human perspective as to what should be fair.
This psalm teaches us to trust and commit our lives to our Sovereign Lord and to submit to all of His ways; even when we are tempted to want to take things into our own hands and make things right when evil doers are breaking every law in the book and seem to be getting away with it!
But this is not a call to just passively endure, but to faithfully depend on the Lord, trusting Him and waiting for Him to bring deliverance as He sees fit and at His perfect timing; all the while living righteously before Him.
The first two verses tell us we should not fret, [overly worry and/or to become agitated], or to be envious of the evil doers when they seem to be prospering, blessed, and enjoying all the good things in life, perhaps more so than those who are walking in obedience to God.
David, in this psalm, is contrasting the two kinds of people in life: the righteous whom his psalm is directed to; and those who are the evil doers in the earth; and he tells us what will ultimately happen to each group in the future as a result of their conduct now in this lifetime. David teaches us the importance of putting our trust in the Lord and committing our lives to Him and His righteous judgments no matter how well the wicked seem to be doing. The faithful called out of God must have faith that God is going to take care of all injustice, but it will be in His perfect timing which will ultimately benefit all who are involved.
If we can apply God’s perspective (and not man’s) to our lives as outlined in this psalm, it will go a long way in keeping us in a spirit of meekness, knowing that we do not have to fret or live in constant frustration by what we perceive as injustices that are happening all around us. We will be able to have the kind of peace of mind that the apostle Paul talked about (Philippians 4:6-7) if we think the way God thinks in regard to the evils of this present evil world, or even the evils that are directed at us individually.
Psalm 37:1 Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. 37:2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
In this psalm of David, it is his intention to teach God’s people principles for godly living. These verses are based on observations in David’s life about things that he experienced and learned from during his lifetime. He goes on to promise God’s people that it is the meek who will inherit the earth from God if they commit themselves to living God’s Way and entrust Him with their lives, rather than to take things into their own hands and fight for their rights as they see fit.
The theme of this psalm also addresses the promise that is given in the third Beatitude about how the meek will inherit the earth with an abundance of peace, implying that this will be after the first resurrection when the saints will inherit all things with Christ, including the whole earth. This verse must have been on Jesus’ mind for He quoted the first half of it in His third Beatitude in His Sermon on the Mount.
Psalm 37:11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace [after the resurrection to spirit and coming into their inheritance, which is the Kingdom of God on earth].
Later in the psalm David goes on to give more details as to who will inherent the earth (and be in God’s Kingdom), and who will not.
Psalm 37:22 For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off.
Psalm 37:29 The righteous [those who zealously keep the Word and do the will of God] shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.
Psalm 37:34 Wait on the Lord, and keep his way [His Word], and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.
The third Beatitude tells us that it is the meek who are blessed [happy, favored] for they will be given the earth as their inheritance when Christ returns and cuts off (banishes) evil doers from the land.
Psalm 37:37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace. 37:38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off. 37:39 But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble. 37:40 And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.
The psalm began with admonitions directed to God’s people, to trust in God and not to allow ourselves to fret or become angry when the wicked prosper.
It ends with an encouraging promise from David, telling God’s people that God will take care of all injustices and that He will be their strength in trouble and will deliver them from the wicked. In due time, they will be rewarded for waiting for Him and they will be given their inheritance, the whole earth, as their reward for growing in and exhibiting this beautiful virtue of meekness, as written in the Beatitudes and in Galatians 5. What a wonderful promise, Brethren, if we diligently seek to incorporate this third Beatitude into our hearts.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth
1 Timothy 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
Ezekiel 11:19 And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: 11:20 That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.
The righteous man believes in God’s precepts, seeks after them and lives accordingly; and that is why he is meek, because he puts his trust in God and follows Him in all of His ways.
James Malm and Constance Belanger
Note- Constance submitted the original rough draft of this article in 2014, which I then completed for posting.