1. Meekness and being poor in spirit are two sides of the same thing.
Being "poor in spirit," means being broken over sin and brings us the second Beatitude which is "mourning" over our sins.
Meekness focuses on God. It recognizes who God is, in all His Greatness, and sees us in comparison.
Meekness is defined as being poor, weak and afflicted, humble, and lowly. A person who is meek is not given to pride. Meekness is how one sees one's self in comparison to another. It is how one reacts to another.
ILLUS: In 1961, the Army sent me to Germany after I had finished sixteen weeks of training at Fort Jackson, SC. They put a group of us on a bus and took us to the New York harbor to get on a troop ship to take us to Europe. For nine days, we traveled across the vast Atlantic Ocean in very rough weather. I was raised in the North Carolina coastal plain and grew up close to the ocean. However, I had only seen it from the shore. After traveling for nine days, day after day I learned to have a greater appreciation for the size and power of that body of water. As the ship road the waves, it would be in the bottom, between two waved like a valley. I saw the waves at times, in great swells that were higher than the great ship. Moments later, these swells lifted the ship to the height of mountains. I was awed by its size and power. It was humbling and scary to realize how much greater it was than me.
This is in truth a poor and inadequate comparison of the greatness of God, but it does show us how small we are in comparison to God’s creation.
Jesus in his message is referring to how a person's attitude is affected who truly sees God in all His greatest. No man can truly see God and not be changed. In Verse 6, we will find the person who is meek will also seek righteousness.
2. In the world's way of thinking the meek are those who are run over! In addition, in human terms this is truth. In the everyday life, it is meek, meaning being poor, lowly, weak or humble, who are taken advantage of.
Widows, poor people or the uneducated are fair game for a slick lawyer, crooked businessperson, or con artist. Many have lost all they had to these dregs of our society.
In the world's philosophy, it is the strong that survive. In humanistic terms, it is called the "survival of the fittest." The strong devour the weak and thus become stronger. The big fish eats the little fish.
Thus, we see around us the strong and bold, running the world, and not the meek.
3. However in God's plan, it is the meek that are blessed and happy. Jesus was not talking about the strength of men.
He was talking about one's spiritual strength that comes from God. True happiness is for believers who are realistic about whom God is. Jesus is directing us to those who see themselves, in relationship to our Holy and Righteous God. The meek, when they see the righteousness of God, see their frailty and weakness in comparison. Seeing God shows men, their sin and the wise men then repent (mourn) of it.
Thus, meekness is the attitude, which opens the doorway to the power of God in the life of the believer. The meek accepts his frailty and turns to God for his strength.
4. Jesus here was preaching to the Jews. In Israel, there were four groups of Jews who looked for the Messiah:
Jewish zealots wanted a strong military leader and to rule the world.
Pharisees wanted a miracle worker.
Sadducees wanted a Materialistic Kingdom.
Essenes wanted at monastic kingdom.
Jesus was saying the kingdom would not be any of these it will be a kingdom of the meek. Thus, He was saying, the kingdom will be made up of those who see themselves as being dependent on God and not the strong, proud and materialistic.
5. What then is the value of meekness? What is its effect that makes this seemingly undesirable trait an asset that results in inheriting the earth?
The Bible is very clear about this. Those that truly happy see are the ones who see themselves as powerless to defend themselves and thus they totally rely on the Almighty God for their strength, protection and defense.
Those that God used in the Bible relied upon God and saw Him as their strength:
Moses in Exodus 15:2, said, "The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him."
David in 2 Samuel 22:33, "God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect."
David repeatedly expressed his utter dependence upon God in the Psalms.
Psalms 18:1 "I will love thee, O LORD, my strength."
Psalms 18:2 "The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower."
Psalms 19:14 "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer."
Psalms 28:7 "The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him."
Psalms 59:17 "Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God is my defence, and the God of my mercy. Psalms 118:14 The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation."
Jeremiah 16:19 "O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction."
Habakkuk 3:19 "The LORD God is my strength."
The Apostle Paul three times asked God to remove some affliction he had that he called a "thorn in the flesh." In 2 Corinthians 12:9 Paul recorded God's answer, "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." You see the Bible says we are made strong in our weakness.
I. The Biblical Directive.
A. The New Testament:
Ephesians 4:1-2, "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation to which you are called, with all lowliness and meekness."
Colossians 3:12, "Put on, therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, tender mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness..."
Titus 3:2, Christians are, "to speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, showing all meekness unto all men."
B. The Old Testament:
Psalm 22:26 “The meek shall eat and be satisfied, they shall praise the Lord that seek Him; your heart shall live forever."
Psalm 25:9 "The meek will He guide in justice; and the meek will he teach His way."
Psalm 147:6 "The Lord lifteth up the meek..."
Isaiah 29:19 "The Meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One."
C. Thus Salvation, guidance, blessing and joy are promised to the meek, and they will make up the kingdom of God.
II. What is meekness?
A. If only people who have it will be happy and occupy the kingdom of God, we had better know what it is.
B. It is Gentile: The Greek word for "meek" means being mild, gentle, and soft. It means to be tender hearted. The meek person is patient and submissive. Greeks used word to describe, a gentle breeze, a soothing medicine, and a domesticated colt.
C. Paul in 2 Corinthians 10:1, "Now I beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ.”
Matthew21:5, "Behold thy King cometh unto thee, meek and sitting upon an ass, the colt, the foal of an ass."
D. Eph. 4:26, "Be angry and sin not..."If you become angry, make sure it is for the right reasons. Do not be angry because someone has offended you; rather be angry because God is angry.
Prov. 25:28, "He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls." The bible says control yourself.
Prov. 16:32, "He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he who ruleth his spirit that he that taketh a city."
Being slow to anger is being meek, it means being in control of oneself.
E. It does not mean be a "wimp" spineless, cowardly or without fortitude.
F. It is the opposite of being vengeful or demanding one's right and due.
The meek devoid themselves of pride...thus are not offended when mistreated. The meek person does not defend himself, even when right! He does run around worried that someone else may get credit for what he has done.
Note his meekness is expressed in relation to his own person...not the truth. He boldly stands for the truth. He strongly defends the Bible and God's truth, and exposing those that falsely use and pervert it.
1 Peter 2:21-22, "For even hereunto were ye called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps, who did no sin, neither, was guile found in His mouth."
V23 "When He was reviled; He reviled not again, when He suffered, He threatened not, but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously."
The meek's attitude will be: “I’ll never defend myself, yet I will die in defending God."
Meekness is power under control. It is faith in that we see in truth that God is in Control. Thus, He always has the upper hand. Whatever disappointment or trouble is but temporary... God is the Victory and we are victors in Him.
Meekness is Trust, in letting God guide our steps. In letting God be the driver. (God does not need you in the back seat trying to drive) It is setting back and being content in where God is taking you. When it appears you might run off the road...you realize who is driving! You also know you cannot do anything anyway; you are in the back seat!
Paul said in Philippians 3:3, That he put no confidence in the flesh...in 4:13, he said however, he could do all things...”in Christ"!
III. What Is the Future for the Meek?
A. First they are "Blessed" or Happy! They have a true abiding peace in their heart that is not affected by circumstances.
B. Second, the meek inherits the Earth.
1. In the Millennium, Those that submit to Christ will inherit the earth in a 1000 years of peace on earth and eternally in heaven with the Lord. They will not merit it or win it by their strength. Christ will take it and give it to them.
2. Matt. 18:3, Jesus said, "except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven"
3. After the Millennium, the Bible says there will be a new heaven and earth and it shall be the eternal home of the saved.
When I was a boy, our family had little money, and five children. There were times when my friends when on trips and I could not go. I will never forget the feeling I had. I cannot really describe it. I so longed to go, I felt abandoned and lonely.
However, it was through no fault of myself or my parents who loved me. Circumstances gave me no choice. I wonder how much more intense that feeling will be for those who die in their sins and in Hell realize, they did not have to be there...they could be heaven and all its glory, peace and joy. They will understand and regret for all eternity that the refused to humble themselves before God and in meekness accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.
I wonder too, how terrible it must be for those who traded pride, for heaven. Who thought more of what people around them thought, than of their own soul’s salvation?
They traded the things of this corrupted world for the glories of heaven.
Jesus said the meek would inherit the kingdom of God.
1. It is necessary for salvation: If you do not turn to God to save you, asking forgiveness for sin, you will not be saved. You will spend and eternity in hell, wishing you had.
2. Folks this world is temporary. How many of you can guarantee you will be here in ten years? Alternatively, five? Or even one?
3. Time is against you if you have not come to Christ.
4. It seems a paradox that one could come to Christ in meekness, receive salvation, and then not have a meek spirit.
Two things are possible:
First: One that person was never saved.
Second: They were saved, but let sin; pride and these things take control. They maybe did not live in trust. They let hurt feelings, pride, not being accepted my fellow Christians drive them from fellowship with their Savior. The hardened their heart.... Maybe justly they had a right to be resentful and were treated poorly.
Yet, your Savior, says you must be meek, to inherit the kingdom of God. You are losing reward, losing the privilege to bring honor to your Savior.
I urge you to now confess it as the sin it is, and come back to full fellowship with your loving Savior.
If you are not saved, not sure, if you died today that you would go to heaven, why not right now humble yourselves before your loving God and receive Him as your Savior. He will save you, but only if you will ask and only if you will receive Him.
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