“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
What a message for any age, but especially now, today. With so many voices vying for earth’s ownership, Jesus names a most unlikely group of folks to take title,— the meek.
Our in your face, confrontational culture, would have, in no way, accepted such a message. Nor will they now. But, isn’t it just like Jesus to throw a monkey wrench into the world’s thinking and plans. Meekness is totally counter to the aggressive, assertive, blustery spirit that permeates our modern society. We cannot control all the intensity of chaos that is manifesting around us, so Jesus offers an unexpected alternative,—meekness.
We look around us today, and see a world locked in chaos. It would appear to be coming apart at the seams. There are people in the streets screaming and threatening and looting and destroying. Every voice is demanding it’s own rights to the exclusion of the rights of every other voice. So many people demanding their own way, demanding that their cause be heard above all others. Each one wants it’s piece of the pie, or, more accurately, each one wants a whole pie of it’s own. So each grievance clamors all the more to gain our collective attention. The sound of it all has become deafening, confusing, even maddening.
This out of control aggressiveness is the complete opposite of what Jesus was saying would bring blessedness. Even if some were to get what they are demanding, it will never satisfy or bring joy, nor will they find rest. For the most part, it is a dead end street. Jesus knew that when He offered up meekness as an option.
“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.”
Meekness is not a virtue generally sought after. As a matter of fact, most people see it as weakness, and distain the thought of being considered meek. But meek is not synonymous with weak, or timid, or shy or indolent. Jesus and Moses and, later in his life, even Simon Peter, of all people, were said to be meek. Whereas, “poor in spirit “ and “mourning “ involve us looking at ourselves and then responding accordingly (repentance), “meekness” is a true attitude about ourselves and how we relate and react to God and those around us within this new life.
Meekness does not take all it’s rights as claims, but operates on the principle that “you don’t HAVE to do something just because you CAN.” The meek will be aware of the rights and needs of others around them, as long as it does not tread on the eternal verities of God’s will and purpose. But note, if that line is crossed, meekness can very quickly become aggressive, or even militant. Take note of Jesus driving the money changers from the Temple. At that moment “meek” was the last word they would have used to describe Jesus. There He was, with whip in hand, violently removing them from the sacred place. At that point, meekness was the very thing motivating Him.
When confronted with uneasy conflict, meekness will neither run towards or away from, but will measure it’s responses on what is righteous, rather than on what is expedient. Meekness sees no need to demand it’s own way, even if right. A meek spirit before the Lord will operate in a space of total trust in God, knowing that He is in control. With that trust, there is no need for the meek to be defensive or aggressive with those who disagree with them, or to retaliate against those who wrong them. Meekness is strength grown tender. It is might with a gentle caress.
Meekness is not caught up with self. Therefore, we will neither think too highly of ourselves, or too lowly of ourselves. We measure everything, both our strengths and our weaknesses, against the power and grace and mercy of God’s presence in our lives. So, both arrogance and false humility, are stricken from the life of the meek. We will be persistently submissive to God’s will in our lives, teachable through His Word.
These are the ones who will inherit what so many others are struggling to possess.
To close let me leave you with few characteristics of the meek:
-Considerate of others
-Does not boast of achievements
-Strong- strength not in thunder, but in lightning
-Meekness is leaving everything; our rights, our cause, our lives, our entire future, in God’s hands.