The strength of meekness

In case you’re hungering for more, after my last post’s look into the verse, Matthew 5:5, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”   That adjective for meek (or gentle or humble), the Greek word praÿs, is found in three other places in the Bible.

  • Matthew 11:29 “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
  • Matthew 21:5, “Say to the daughter of Zion, “Behold, your king is coming to you, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.”
  • 1 Peter 3:4, “but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”

Jesus Himself was gentle and humble.  And God wants our hearts to be filled with gentleness and quietness.

This brought to my mind, Galatians 5:22-23 which lists the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  So, yep, I looked that up, and in fact, that word gentleness has the same Greek root as “meek” in Matthew 5:5.   (It is the noun form of the adjective.)  This Greek word for meekness/gentleness is found in:

  •  Ephesians 4:1-2, “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love…”
  • Colossians 3:12-13, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness and patience, bearing with one another and if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”

God wants us to be compassionate and kind, humble and meek and patient, and forgiving – and He is all of these things toward us.  He is not asking us to do anything that He didn’t do first.  He modeled it for us.  He loved us first, while we were sinners – and now He’s telling us to go and do likewise.

  • James 1:21, “Put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word which is able to save your souls,”
  • James 3:13, “Who is wise and understanding among you?  By his good conduct, let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.”

James is pointing out (1) that we should receive God’s Word with meekness and (2) the meekness that wisdom gives us.

In our modern American society, meekness is too often seen as weakness, rather than strength.  Yet, I have learned from the struggles of my daily life what strength it takes to be meek and gentle, that it is actually weakness that causes me to give way to all of those Colossians 3:8 deeds of the flesh (anger, wrath, malice, slander and obscene talk).

Would you join me in praying that God would strengthen us as women, wives and mothers, to have the strength to be meek, and the power to be gentle?

TWIG

Blessed are the meek

When my nephew, Brady, passed away on May 5, 1997, at 16 months of age, God showed Himself so mighty and real and present in a myriad of ways – one of which being in the words of Matthew 5:4, “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.”

You can watch my testimony video on YouTube for a deeper explanation of God’s great ministry through this great tragedy.  (My nephew’s story is told from about the 16-minute to 23-minute mark, if you don’t have time to watch the entire thing right now)

For 21 years now, Matthew 5:4 has been a very special verse for me.  But, this year, on May 5, the anniversary of Brady’s death, I decided to do a little study into Matthew 5:5 which reads, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”  Initially I didn’t see any relevance in this passage to Brady’s death, but as I continued to search and study and meditate on this verse, I’d like to share with you what I’ve found.

That word, “meek,” is the Greek word praÿs (Strong’s G4239).  It is an adjective meaning, “mildness of disposition, gentleness of spirit.”  On BlueLetterBible.com they have a feature called “Outline of Biblical Usage” for many of their Greek words.

Meekness toward God is that disposition of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting. In the OT, the meek are those wholly relying on God rather than their own strength to defend against injustice. Thus, meekness toward evil people means knowing God is permitting the injuries they inflict, that He is using them to purify His elect, and that He will deliver His elect in His time (Isaiah 41:17, Luke 18:1-8). Gentleness or meekness is the opposite to self-assertiveness and self-interest. It stems from trust in God’s goodness and control over the situation. The gentle person is not occupied with self at all. This is a work of the Holy Spirit, not of the human will (Galatians 5:23).

God had indeed comforted my sister, in giving her a second son just one short day before her older son’s passing … and even more so by sending her His Holy Spirit to be her eternal comforter …

But, God has also given her the ability to be meek, to learn to rely wholly on Him, trusting in His perfect goodness and His control over every situation, accepting His dealings with us as good.  Praise His Name.  And Thank Him for His living and active and true and good Word.

TWIG

But at Your Word

How often do we toil all night, like Peter did, and catch no fish?

And how often do we not want to listen to the Lord because we’ve already been toiling so much and we’re worn out from all our striving?

Friends, as we cast all our cares on Him, as we take up our cross and follow Him, as we take His yoke upon our own shoulders and learn from Him, we can be co-laborers with God. Wow!

I pray we would all remember what a great privilege and responsibility it is to be laborers in the Harvest. I pray we would also remember that He is the crew chief, the great Shepherd, the Lord and King over the harvest. He is who tells us where to go and He is ultimately who causes the fruit to grow and the fish to fill the nets.

TWIG