INTRODUCTION: According to Bill Farmer's newspaper column, J. Upton Dickson was a fun-loving fellow who said he was writing a book entitled Cower Power. He also founded a group of submissive people. It was called DOORMATS. That stands for "Dependent Organization of Really Meek And Timid Souls -- if there are no objections." Their motto was: "The meek shall inherit the earth -- if that's okay with everybody." Their symbol was the yellow traffic light.
That is the opinion many people have of meekness. They think that Jesus must have meant this when he said that the meek were blessed (happy). What was Jesus speaking of?
I. A MISUNDERSTANDING ABOUT MEEKNESS.
A. Many equate Meekness with weakness.
1. Many associate meekness with an attitude of allowing everyone to run over you because you are afraid of them.
2. This is not meekness. In fact, some of the strongest men who have ever lived have been meek.
B. Look at a list of some people that the Bible says were meek and see the fallacy of such thought.
1. Moses was a great leader. He stood up to the most powerful leader in the world, Pharaoh Ramses. He led God’s people through the wilderness to the border of the promised land.
a. Numbers 12:3 - “Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.”
2. Jesus could stand up to the winds and the waves. He also chased the moneychangers out of the temple twice with a whip made out of chords.
II. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE MEEK?a. Matthew 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.”
A. An understanding of the root definition of meek in the original language and how it was used will help us in understanding what Jesus meant.
1. Greek word praus
a. Used to describe a soothing medicine.
b. Used by sailors to describe a gentle breeze.
c. Used by farmers to describe a broken colt.
2. What do all these definitions have in common? They all describe great power under control.
B. A good working definition of biblical meekness.
1. Strength under control.
2. Some Bible passages that illustrate this definition.
a. Matthew 11:28, 29 - "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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."
1. Just as Jesus the all-powerful took upon himself the yoke of earthly obedience to His Father, so too does Jesus call on us to take on the yoke of submission to His will.
b. Ephesians 4:1,2 - "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;"
1. Meekness means walking according to the precepts of our vocation and controlling our attitudes toward our brothers and sisters in Christ.
c. Colossians 3:12 - "Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;"
1. A look at the context of this chapter shows that we are to bury the old man (submit to God) and forebear and forgive one another.
II. WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THIS BEATITUDE AND THE OTHERS BEFORE AND AFTER IT?3. Thus meekness is curbing the "natural" desires to rebel, fight, have our own way, push ourselves forward, etc. We submit to the Lord in obedience to His will.
A. Notice the first two beatitudes.
1. “Blessed are the poor in spirit” - The person who realizes their spiritual poverty. They understand that they are powerless to save themselves.
2. “Blessed are they that mourn” - This person not only realizes that they are sinners and powerless to save themselves but also act upon that knowledge in grieving over their sinful state of separation from God.
B. Notice the next two beatitudes.
1. “Blessed are the meek” - These are the individuals who understand their spiritual poverty, mourn over their lost condition and are willing to submit their lives to the will of God.
III. SOME BIBLICAL EXAMPLES OF MEEKNESS.2. “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness” - Those who submit their lives to the will of God will naturally desire to learn all of God’s will for them and do that will.
1. He was God’s chosen to be the father of the Jewish nation. Through him the Messiah would come. But he was also meek.
2. Instead of demanding his own rights, Abraham sought to keep the peace between his herdsmen and Lot’s.
a. Genesis 13:7-9 “And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram's cattle and the herdmen of Lot's cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land. And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.”
1. He was God’s chosen to replace King Saul, whom God had rejected because of disobedience. He was a mighty warrior and a great leader. But David was also meek.
2. Look at how he mourned the death of Saul, who had sought repeatedly to kill him.
a. 2 Samuel 1:11,12 - “Then David took hold on his clothes, and rent them; and likewise all the men that were with him: And they mourned, and wept, and fasted until even, for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of the LORD, and for the house of Israel; because they were fallen by the sword.”
C. Jesus bears reference again.
1. This great powerful man who could cast out demons and stand boldly against the religious leaders of his day was also meek.
2. Look at his meekness in the Garden of Gethsemane when he knew that he would die on the cross soon.
IV. THE MEEK “SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH.”a. Matthew 26:39, 42 - “And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt...He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.”
A. Those who are meek (faithful Christians) have an inheritance here in this life.
1. They are truly satisfied. They are content.
2. The wicked, in their rush to possess, usually miss or overlook the best of this world, or else, having seen it, they refuse to pay the price to gain it, or having gained it, they are miserable.
3. Philippians 4:11 - “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”
B. The meek will also inherit that new heaven and earth - Heaven.
CONCLUSION : A.W. Tozer once wrote, The meek man is not a human mouse afflicted with a sense of his own inferiority. Rather he may be in his moral life as bold as a lion and as strong as Samson; but he has stopped being fooled about himself. He has accepted God's estimate of his own life. He knows he is as weak and helpless as God declared him to be, but paradoxically, he knows at the same time that he is in the sight of God of more importance than angels. In himself, nothing; in God, everything. That is his motto."1. Romans 8:17 - “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”
Copyright 1999 by Grady
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