Jesus in introducing the Sermon On The Mount, as it is called, gave us some one line teachings on the ‘spirit’ of life in the kingdom of God. These cover the kingdom heart and mind and attitude and conduct. One of these is....
Matthew 5:5. “Blessed are the Meek, for they will inherit the earth.”
New Testament dictionaries tell us that Prautes (Meekness) is the middle way between two extremes, getting angry without reason, and not getting angry at all.
So a meek person is one who when the situation warrants it gets angry at the right time, in the right measure, and for the right reason. A meek person demonstrates a gentleness of manner not because of weakness but rather because of power under control. Meekness is a sign of strength of character.
A few examples from the bible will help to show meekness in action so that one can differentiate it from weakness and also from self-will.
Moses was a man God tells us was meek yet He was not weak or a pushover. He also had to learn that he could not take matters into his own hands.
Because of committing a murder (thinking he was helping God's will!), he spent 40 years in Midian, but he learned his lesson, so that when God called him he did not think HE was the answer to Israel's prayers as he had thought earlier!
On the other hand when the Israelites worshiped the golden calf and God told him that the Levites were to strap on swords and go through the camp killing the idolaters, Moses did not hesitate to carry out the order. And 3,000 people died.
Moses had learned that God (and for us Holy Spirit) was to be the 'control' for his strength of character.
Now we should not think that all things done by a man of God are according to God's heart and directed by holy spirit, just because God allows it and supports the action.
the case of Elijah and the two companies of 50 men sent to bring him
to the King. Elijah called down fire from heaven and this fire
consumed them. This was perfectly legal under the Old Covenant
because disrespect to those in authority was punishable by death.
It was not in the heart of God to do this though and if we fast-forward to the New Testament times we see that when the disciples wanted to do the same thing when Jesus was disrespected, He told them, 'You do not know what spirit you are of. - Luke 9:55.
In the case of Elijah, God did not direct him to kill the men. He acted within the law since he was disrespected,so God backed him up, but this was not according to the heart of God.
Jesus though was the perfect man of meekness and He shows us the true way. When His character or His mission or His work was attacked Jesus always gave an answer from what He heard the Father say as reported to Him by Holy Spirit.
When He was being tried He did not answer unless Holy Spirit directed Him, because this was all part of the plan of God. His strength was under the control of Holy Spirit to only do what the Father said. This is a lesson for us all.
We must not think that Jesus was a milk-sop though.
On the second occasion that He saw the moneychangers in the Temple grounds blocking the 'Court of the Gentiles' with their tables and wares, Jesus on instructions from God overturned the tables and using a whip made from cords He threw the moneychangers out. God's house was to be a house of prayer for all nations!
But note, Jesus did nothing the first time He observed the market in the Temple court. There was the same wrong use of the court but Holy Spirit did not direct Him to do anything and Jesus did not react from 'self-will'!
Jesus did not stand by and just suffer whatever wrongs were done. But, he acted according to the leading of Holy Spirit.
Matthew 11:29, Jesus links meekness with
Here Jesus is explaining why we should embrace His way of life. As our Lord and Master, He is not harsh, overbearing and oppressive, but gentle in His government. His laws are also reasonable and easy to obey; neither He nor they enslave us. His law is love administered in our hearts by Holy Spirit. We also see this in 2 Tim 2:24-25.
2 Tim 2:24-25 And the Lordís servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance, leading to an acknowledging of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
Jesus has sent us into the world in the same way that He was sent by God, so we are to listen for what the Father says and then say that! We are to watch for what the Father does and only do that.
Holy Spirit will convey the information to us as we follow His guidance. The aim being to give all people opportunity to come to repentance.
From this, we begin to see why meekness must be a virtue of those who will receive the Kingdom and govern. Because God/Jesus govern in meekness, we, His children, must do so also.
This association of humility and meekness is natural, and is yet another facet of the meek person. Humility deals with having a correct assessment of one's own merits, meekness covers a correct assessment of one's personal rights. We let God be that guide as to how we should act.
This means that we will fight for justice for others as God leads and never lower our standards regarding right and wrong.
Meekness can be accompanied by a war to the death against evil, but the meek Christian directs this warfare first against the evil in his own heart as he renews his mind. Then against the works of Satan.
He is an ex-sinner, now repentant and eternally cleansed, and his recognition of this state radically alters his relations with his fellow man.
A sinner who has been forgiven must have a forgiving attitude. One who has been forgiven much will love much.
So, as we see, this does not mean the meek will take everything "lying down." A meek man is as stern as steel but wears velvet gloves!
Because the meek man sets his mind on God's purposes and not his own comfort zone, ambition or reputation, he will offer implacable resistance to evil in defense of God, yet react with patience, kindness and gentleness, when others attack him.
How a meek man reacts depends upon what he discerns God's will is for him within the circumstance. As the Father says, he says. As the Father does, he does.
Paul writes in Titus 3:1-2.
Paul knew there was the possibility of conflict where we come up against authority ourselves. But, we are to be meek, in love.
Some in positions of authority take pleasure in wielding their power, as
Jesus notes in Matthew 20:25.
That is not how the meek are!
A meek person is like a well broken colt.
He is teachable but not bowed down. His strength is under the control of the rider yet he applies it knowingly, not as a robot. When show-jumping he allows the rider to decide the best angle to approach the fence; the best point to take-off from; how much effort to put into the jump, etc.
We are to let Holy Spirit be our control as we approach the obstacles we have
in this life!
Meekness means walking according to the lead of Jesus and Holy Spirit and
controlling our attitudes toward our brothers and sisters, especially
those of the household of God.
meekness is curbing the "natural" desire to rebel, fight,
have our own way, push ourselves forward, etc. We submit to the Lord
in obedience to His will. Our strengths and the power God has placed
in us are to be used at God's bidding.
Best wishes for Grace, Mercy and the Peace of Jesus.