What do you think of when you think of a person being meek? Oxford Dictionary defines “meek” as, “quiet, gentle, and easily imposed on; submissive.” Does being quiet and gentle mean a person is timid? (Oxford Dictionary defines “timid” as, “showing a lack of courage or confidence; easily frightened“) Does being one who is easily imposed upon mean the person is a weakling?
Jesus stated, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” Once again Jesus’ starting point for his first lengthy teaching seems contradictory to our way of thinking. Meek – Blessed? Meek – Inherit the earth? What on earth (forgive the pun) did Jesus mean?
As I journey, learning along with you, through the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-10), in which these “blessed” statements are made, I have turned to the book, The Gospel of Matthew, Vol One, written by William Barclay. There are a great many commentaries out there which can help a reader better understand the meaning of Bible passages, but I have found this particular one to be very helpful when it comes to these passages in particular. Therefore, I must give credit to the information I am sharing, as we learn from Jesus through his “Blessed” statements.
In William Barclay’s book, we read of there different values that can be attributed to the word “meek” as Jesus used it. First, it seems that the word meek in Greek, praus, spoke of an important moral value. Aristotle, in describing meekness, labeled it as a type of anger that balanced negative anger against positive anger. For example, a person who would not be angry when they, personally, were insulted or injured by another, but would be angered when others were insulted or injured. We call that today “righteous anger”.
The second usage for the Greek word praus was on used to describe animals who had learned to obey a command, and were self-controlled. Jesus used “meek” to mean people who followed the commands of God, or were not self-controlled, but G0d-controlled.
Third and last, Jesus used the word to mean a humility that banishes all pride. Pride is the great destroyer of all who fall under its control. Pride destroys, period. There is no good side to pride.
So, blessed are those who follow God’s teachings, have righteous anger, and are humble. These are the ones God can use to reach the world in love. Moses was just such a man. He lived in the luxury of the Pharaoh’s palace, but he hurt for his people who were slaves. He was filled with righteous anger when he saw an Egyptian slave master beat one of the slaves brutally. However, he took matters into his own hands and killed the slave master. He then had to flee for his life. Moses learned humility as he tended Jethro’s flocks for a good many years.
He had a full-blown case of meekness, and God could now use him. Moses ended up leading the Israelite people out of slavery. It was the moment in time when the Israelites change from a tribe, turned into slaves, to slaves, turned into a nation.
Did God use a king or a president, or a world leader to make this change? No! He used a human man, who was willing to follow his command, and was filled with righteous anger of the hurt done to his people, to move a massive group (believed to be around 500,000) out of Egypt to the land God had promised Abraham.
So, to answer our initial question, “Does meek = timid, weak?” I think we’d have to answer strongly, NO!
If God could do that with one meek man, imagine what he could do with many. We could become world changers. I think God could do almost anything, if we would only be meek.
One thing I know for sure is that if God does it, it is good.
Blessings my friend.