Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.
When you go to google, you will find many quotes on meekness, like this one:
“Meekness is to endure injury without resentment.”
But let us ask Jesus to explain to us what He meant by meekness:
“Blessed are the meek.” The difficulties we encounter may be much lessened by that meekness which hides itself in Christ. If we possess the humility of our Master, we shall rise above the slights, the rebuffs, the annoyances, to which we are daily exposed, and they will cease to cast a gloom over the spirit.
The highest evidence of nobility in a Christian is self-control. He who under abuse or cruelty fails to maintain a calm and trustful spirit robs God of His right to reveal in him His own perfection of character. Lowliness of heart is the strength that gives victory to the followers of Christ; it is the token of their connection with the courts above.
“Though the Lord be high, yet has He respect unto the lowly.” Psalm 138:6. Those who reveal the meek and lowly spirit of Christ are tenderly regarded by God. They may be looked upon with scorn by the world, but they are of great value in His sight.
Not only the wise, the great, the beneficent, will gain a passport to the heavenly courts; not only the busy worker, full of zeal and restless activity. No; the poor in spirit, who crave the presence of an abiding Christ, the humble in heart, whose highest ambition is to do God’s will, — these will gain an abundant entrance.
They will be among that number who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. Revelation 7:15.
In Greek meek is called praeis, singular praüs, “mild,” “gentle,” “meek.” Christ spoke of Himself as “meek [praüs] and lowly in heart” (ch. 11:29), and because He is, all “that labour and are heavy laden” (v. 28) may come to Him and find rest for their souls.
The Hebrew equivalent of praüs is ‘anaw, or ‘ani, “poor,” “afflicted,” “humble,” “meek.” This Hebrew word is used of Moses, who was very “meek” (Num. 12:3).
Numbers 12:3 (Now the man Moses was very humble, (ani – meek) more than all men who were on the face of the earth.)
It appears also in the Messianic passage of Isaiah.
Isaiah 61:1 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; (ani – meek) He has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
Isaiah 61:2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn,
Isaiah 61:3 To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”
Meekness is the attitude of heart, mind, and life that prepares the way for sanctification.
Listen to Peter’s take on meekness:
1 Peter 3:1 Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives,
1 Peter 3:2 when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.
1 Peter 3:3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—
1 Peter 3:4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet (praus – meek) spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.
“Meekness” is often mentioned by NT writers as a cardinal Christian virtue.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Galatians 5:23 gentleness, (praus – meekness) self-control. Against such there is no law.
1 Timothe 6:11 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. (praus – meekness)
“Meekness” toward God means that we accept His will and His dealing with us as good, that we submit to Him in all things, without hesitation (cf. MB 15). A “meek” man has self under complete control. Through self-exaltation our first parents lost the kingdom entrusted to them; through meekness it may be regained (MB 17). See on Micah 6:8.
Micah 6:6 With what shall I come before the LORD, And bow myself before the High God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, With calves a year old?
Micah 6:7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, Ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly (ani – meek) with your God?
Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.
Listen to what the Psalms say about the inheritance of the meek:
Psalm 37:11 But the meek shall inherit the earth, And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
The “poor in spirit” are to receive the riches of the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:3); the “meek” are to “inherit the earth.” It is certain that the “meek” do not now inherit the earth, but rather the proud. Nevertheless, in due time the kingdoms of this world will be given to the saints, to those who have learned the grace of humility.
Daniel 7:27 Then the kingdom and dominion, And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And all dominions shall serve and obey Him.’
Eventually, says Christ, those who humble themselves—those who learn meekness—will be exalted
Matthew 23:12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
“Blessed are the meek.”—Matthew 5:5.
Throughout the Beatitudes there is an advancing line of Christian experience. Those who have felt their need of Christ, those who have mourned because of sin and have sat with Christ in the school of affliction, will learn meekness from the divine Teacher.
Patience and gentleness under wrong, were not characteristics prized by the heathen or by the Jews. The statement made by Moses under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that he was the meekest man upon the earth, would not have been regarded by the people of his time as a commendation; it would rather have excited pity or contempt. But Jesus places meekness among the first qualifications for His kingdom. In His own life and character, the divine beauty of this precious grace is revealed.
Jesus, the brightness of the Father’s glory, thought “it not a thing to be grasped to be on an equality with God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant.” Philippians 2:6, 7, R.V., margin. Through all the lowly experiences of life He consented to pass, walking among the children of men, not as a king, to demand homage, but as one whose mission it was to serve others.
There was in His manner no taint of bigotry, no cold austerity. The world’s Redeemer had a greater than angelic nature, yet united with His divine majesty were meekness and humility that attracted all to Himself.
Jesus emptied Himself, and in all that He did, self did not appear. He subordinated all things to the will of His Father.
He who beholds Christ in His self-denial, His lowliness of heart, will be constrained to say, as did Daniel, when he beheld One like the sons of men, “My comeliness was turned in me into corruption.” Daniel 10:8.
The independence and self-supremacy in which we glory are seen in their true vileness as tokens of servitude to Satan. Human nature is ever struggling for expression, ready for contest; but he who learns of Christ is emptied of self, of pride, of love of supremacy, and there is silence in the soul.
Self is yielded to the disposal of the Holy Spirit. Then we are not anxious to have the highest place. We have no ambition to crowd and elbow ourselves into notice; but we feel that our highest place is at the feet of our Saviour.
We look to Jesus, waiting for His hand to lead, listening for His voice to guide. The apostle Paul had this experience, and he said, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20.
When we receive Christ as an abiding guest in the soul, the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. The Saviour’s life on earth, though lived during conflict, was a life of peace.
While angry enemies were constantly pursuing Him, He said, “He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” John 8:29. No storm of human or satanic wrath could disturb the calm of that perfect communion with God.
It is the love of self that destroys our peace. While self is all alive, we stand ready continually to guard it from mortification and insult; but when we are dead, and our life is hid with Christ in God, we shall not take neglects or slights to heart.
We shall be deaf to reproach and blind to scorn and insult. “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
1 Corinthians 13:5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
1 Corinthians 13:6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
1 Corinthians 13:7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 ,
Happiness drawn from earthly sources is as changeable as varying circumstances can make it; but the peace of Christ is a constant and abiding peace. It does not depend upon any circumstances in life, on the amount of worldly goods or the number of earthly friends. Christ is the fountain of living water, and happiness drawn from Him can never fail.
The meekness of Christ, manifested in the home, will make the inmates happy; it provokes no quarrel, gives back no angry answer, but soothes the irritated temper and diffuses a gentleness that is felt by all within its charmed circle. Wherever cherished, it makes the families of earth a part of the one great family above.
Far better would it be for us to suffer under false accusation than to inflict upon ourselves the torture of retaliation upon our enemies. The spirit of hatred and revenge originated with Satan and can bring only evil to him who cherishes it. Lowliness of heart, that meekness, which is the fruit of abiding in Christ, is the true secret of blessing. “He will beautify the meek with salvation.” Psalm 149:4.
The meek “shall inherit the earth.” It was through the desire for self-exaltation that sin entered the world, and our first parents lost the dominion over this fair earth, their kingdom. It is through self-abnegation, surrender that Christ redeems what was lost.
And He says we are to overcome as He did. Revelation 3:21. Through humility and self-surrender we may become heirs with Him when “the meek shall inherit the earth.” Psalm 37:11.
The earth promised to the meek will not be like this, darkened with the shadow of death and the curse. “Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” 2 Peter 3:13
“There shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him.” Revelation 22:3.
There is no disappointment, no sorrow, no sin, no one who shall say, I am sick; there are no burial trains, no mourning, no death, no partings, no broken hearts; but Jesus is there, peace is there.
They shall neither hunger nor thirst, Neither heat nor sun shall strike them; For He who has mercy on them will lead them, Even by the springs of water He will guide them.” Isaiah 49:10.
Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.