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BLESSED ARE THE MEEK

(Matthew 5:5)

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.   Two men are referred to as being meek men in the Bible.

1.    Moses (Num. 12:3)

 

Now the man Moses was very meek above all men which were upon the face of the earth.

 

2.    Jesus Christ (Matt. 11:29; 21:5; II Cor. 10:1)

 

Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:  and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

 

B.   We have been told to follow in the steps of these great men and be meek also.

1.    Matthew 5:5

 

Blessed are the meek:  for they shall inherit the earth.

 

2.    James 3:13

 

Who is a wise man endued with knowledge among you?  Let him show out of a good conver-sation his works with meekness and wisdom.

 

3.    Galatians 5:22-23

 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meek-ness, temperance:  against such there is no law.

 

C.   Meekness is difficult to define and apply.  We will attempt to do this in our lesson tonight.

 

I.             THE DEFINITION OF MEEKNESS

 

A.   When we think of meekness, weakness is often associated with the word.

1.    Some see meekness as a feeble old man who quietly takes his place in the corner of a room never bothering anyone.

2.    Others will often define it using the term humility.

 

B.   What meekness is not:

1.    Although closely associated with humility, it is not humility (Col. 3:12).

 

Put on therefore as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering.

 

2.    It is not the complete absence of anger (Matt. 21:12-13).

 

And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, and said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

 

3.    It does not involve overlooking or compromising with error (Matt. 15:1-3).

 

Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders?  For they wash not their hands when they eat bread.  But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition.

 

C.   How is meekness defined?

1.    One who is willing to submit to the authority of a superior

2.    One who is inwardly strong and confident

3.    Tender strength under control (like a stallion that has been tamed)

 

D.   Meekness is displayed in our relationships with both God and man.

 

E.   Humility comes before meekness.

1.    Humility involves the proper view of self.

2.    It is the opposite of PRIDE that has “I” right in the center of things.

3.    Romans 12:3

 

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

 

4.    Meekness springs from humility.  Without humility, one cannot be meek.

5.    Both of the persons who are called meek in the Bible were also humble.

a.    Moses (Exo. 3:11)

 

And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?

 

b.    Jesus (Phil. 2:5-8)

 

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:  and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

 

II.           THE DEMONSTRATION OF MEEKNESS

 

A.   We have already noted that Moses and Jesus were said to be meek men.  Surely we can see meekness demonstrated in their lives.

 

B.   One willing to submit to the authority of another.

1.    When Moses was called, he heeded the command to return to Egypt as Israel’s deliverer (Exo. 4:19-20).

 

And the Lord said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return into Egypt:  for all the men are dead which sought thy life.  And Moses took his wife and sons, and set them on an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt, and Moses took the rod of God in his hand.

 

2.    Jesus always sought to do the will of God (John 6:38).

 

For I came down from heaven, not do to mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

 

C.   One who is inwardly strong and confident.

1.    Moses displayed this constantly in the wilderness.

2.    Jesus displayed this during His trials and crucifixion.

 

D.   Tender strength under control.

1.    When Moses came down from Mt. Sinai, the children of Israel were involved in heinous sins.  Moses “anger waxed hot” and he broke the two tables “beneath the mount” (Exo. 32:19).  Yet, he also prayed for the people’s forgiveness (Exo. 32:32).

 

Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin: and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.

 

2.    Jesus

a.    Earlier we saw Jesus in the temple.  He cleansed it, but he did not hurt anyone in the process.  He only rebuked them for their transgressions.

b.    During the hours of the crucifixion, Jesus remained calm and never lashed out at His persecutors.

1)    I Peter 2:23

 

Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.

 

2)    He also prayed for his tormentors (Luke 23:34).

 

Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do…

 

III.         THE DISPLAY OF MEEKNESS

 

A.   In order to be right with God, we must be meek.

1.    Psalm 25:9

 

…and the meek will he teach his way.

 

2.    To receive the Word of God, we must be meek (James 1:21).

 

Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word which is able to save your souls.

 

3.    A look at the beatitudes (Matt. 5:3-6).

 

Blessed are the poor in spirit:  for theirs in the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted.  Blessed are the meek:  for they shall inherit the earth.  Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness:  for they shall be filled.

 

a.    Poor in spirit – proper view of self

b.    Mourn – audible weeping over spiritual condition

c.    Meek – a submissive spirit

d.    Seek righteousness – one must obey God’s plan of salvation

 

B.   We must display meekness toward others.

1.    Several verses set forth the time when meekness should be manifested.

a.    When restoring the erring (Gal. 6:2)

 

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

 

b.    In our endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit (Eph. 4:1-3)

 

I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

 

c.    When teaching others the gospel (II Tim. 2:24-25)

 

And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.

 

d.    A believing wife’s life before her husband (I Pet. 3:4)

 

But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

 

e.    When we give an answer to another when asked about our precious hope (I Pet. 3:15).

 

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts:  and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.

 

2.    Each of these situations can be pressure-filled.  The sinners and unbelievers can demonstrate actions that truly challenge the child of God.  We must practice meekness.  We must be inwardly strong and confident, but outwardly display strength under control.

a.    Harsh versus gentle

b.    Lashing out versus patient

c.    Coercion versus persuasion

d.    Rudeness versus kindness

e.    Offensive versus thoughtful

f.     Disdain versus respect

3.    Example:  James and John (Luke 9:51-56, esp. v. 54).

 

And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.   Meekness also has dividends:

1.    The meek shall eat and be satisfied (Ps. 22:26).

2.    The meek shall inherit the earth (Ps. 37:11; Matt. 5:5).

3.    The Lord lifteth up the meek (Ps. 147:6).

 

B.   Zephaniah 2:3

 

Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteous-ness, seek meekness:  it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger.