THE MEEK | They shall inherit the earth
The word “meek” has a different feel in English than it does in its original Greek. The Greek for “meek” is πραεῖς (praus), meaning “mild” or “gentle”. However, gentleness does not necessarily mean weakness. This is a definition taken from HELPS Word Studies (available from: http://biblehub.com/greek/4239.htm)
This difficult-to-translate root (pra-) means more than “meek.” Biblical meekness is not weakness but rather refers to exercising God’s strength under His control – i.e. demonstrating power without undue harshness.
This description reminds me of how we are exhorted to speak the truth in love, to sharpen each other and rebuke in love for the purpose of growing up in Christ.
- [Ephesians 4:15] – “But speaking the truth in love, [we] may grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ …”
- [1 Thessalonians 2:3-8] – “(v2)…we were bold in our God to speak to you the gospel of God in much conflict… (v.4) …but as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts … (v.6-8) … Nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, when we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children. So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us…”
- [2 Timothy 2:15, 19, 24-25] – “(v.15) Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth…(v.19) Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”… (v.24-25) And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth.”
- [James 3:13,17] – “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom…(v.17) But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.”
What does it look like to be meek, but also gentle? I believe there are a few essential ingredients:
1. Put God first.
The purpose of meekness is found in God. We are bold in Him because we know Him and know our identity in Him. This gives us boldness to proclaim who He is, who we are in Him and what He desires. We stand on His firm foundation and cannot be shaken. We are approved by God, and are not ashamed of Him. We understand the truth and the holiness of His Name and live in such a way that makes His light known.
Love comes with humility and if we are to be bold, we must be bold with love. Philippians 2:1-4 describes a unity in humility through Christ. We can be bold in upholding the statutes of God, but this must always be partnered with love and humility – “Therefore, if there is any consolidation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfil my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” [Philippians 2:1-4]
There is a time to speak, and a time to be silent. We need to discern who, when and how to rebuke if the occasion arises. Where is their heart, and what is our role in the situation. We look to God for guidance, we speak in love, and we keep teachable spirits so that we are also able to be corrected in love. After all, the focus is on growing in Christ and in fellowship, we desire to walk with, and sharpen one another.
What does it mean to inherit the earth?
Romans 8:14-17 says this – “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you receive the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” When we receive the Spirit of God, we share in His character and we become sons, and heirs of His inheritance. What is this inheritance exactly? Consider the following passages:
- [Ephesians 1:18-23] – “…the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him and His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to com. And he put all things under his feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”
- [Philippians 2:9-11] – “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
- [Psalm 2:6-8] – “Yet I have set My King
On My holy hill of Zion.
‘I will declare the decree:
‘The Lord has said to Me,
‘You are My Son
Today I have begotten You.
Ask of Me, and I will give You
The nations for Your inheritance,
And the ends of the earth for Your possession…”
- [John 17:14] – “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world
- [Revelation 20:4] – “And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgement was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshipped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.”
Jesus has been given authority and Lordship over all the heavens and the earth. He asks that we would share with Him in His inheritance forever. The meek shall inherit the earth, an inheritance that comes with a promise of eternity with Jesus.
THOSE WHO HUNGER AND THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS| They shall be filled
“Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without price.
Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And let your soul delight itself in abundance.”
What is Jesus talking about here? He is offering a free gift – an abundance of good fare for the soul. We do not need money or riches; all we need is desire. Hunger, thirst – Jesus promises that these desires can be fully satisfied and the answer lies in Him. What does our soul truly hunger for, what does it thirst for? Nothing can satisfy us completely, nothing can ever fill our lives to the fullness of its purpose apart from Jesus. He says, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” [John 10:10]
[Revelation 22:17] – “And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.”
Jesus speaks of “living water” in John 4. A retelling of the story can be found here: (https://lostnowfoundk.wordpress.com/2013/06/29/woman-at-the-well/ ) He says to the Samaritan woman at the well, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” [John 4:10] The gift of God is salvation by grace through faith in Jesus[Ephesians 2:8]. Jesus gives the gift of living water to all who desire it. He explains this gift further in [John 4:14] – “…but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into eternal life.” The water Jesus gives is His Spirit of life which flows through us abundantly and overflows in our lives. In fact, Jesus says the church is the fullness of Him, and He fills all in all [Ephesians 1:22-23]. What do we thirst for, what do we hunger for? How much do we desire the righteousness of Christ?
[Isaiah 56:1-2] – “Keep justice, and do righteousness,
For My salvation is about to come,
And My righteousness to be revealed,
Blessed is the man who does this…”