Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5 (ESV)
Now we come to the third attitude of a Kingdom Citizen. Of all the attitudes presented in this text, I think this is the most misunderstood. Today, we are going to look at meekness.
So, what is meekness? Many people seem to think meekness is the same thing as weakness. Because of this, it is greatly frowned upon in today’s masculinity driven cultures. We are to be strong and tough, not weak.
However, meekness doesn’t mean weakness. It’s the opposite in fact. The best definition I came across in my study was, “strength under control.” Southern breeders who specialize in racehorses would say that a meek horse was a winning horse. That horse is not weak, just under control.
From a spiritual side of things, meekness is when we put our trust in God. We surrender our will to His. We put our strengths under His control to use how He wishes.
Something else I came across is that within the Greek word there is also the idea of how we handle the trials we face in life. Basically, it is responding to injury with the knowledge that God will vindicate us. We don’t seek our own revenge, but rather wait on the Lord. It is also the idea of accepting what we cannot control in the world around us.
Whether it is putting our strength under control, or controlling our anger, it is all about restraint.
Restraint is the key to understanding meekness. We are to be restrained in all we do. We don’t seek our own revenge. We don’t try and change people or the world to suit our own desires. In all things we leave room for God to work. It requires that we surrender to God. It requires that we slow down. I know from personal experience that this is in no way easy. (I’ll be honest, I still have a very long way to go with this.)
But there is one other aspect to this that can make it even harder. This is because of the reward associated with this attitude.
Let’s look back.
The start of each one of these verses is, “blessed are those…” Remember, that the word here is the idea of being filled with joy because of what God is doing. In other words, we adopt these attitudes and God will bless us with a reward.
The first is when we recognize our spiritual bankruptcy. Our blessing is that when we come to God with this state of heart, we gain salvation. In this instance it is a onetime event that affects us for all eternity.
Next, we see that we when are broken hearted because of our sin, God provides us with comfort. This is an ongoing blessing. The only way we stop being comforted is if we stop feeling sorrow over our sin. That is a topic for a whole different study.
This one changes things up. We adopt an attitude of meekness and as the verse says, “we will inherit the earth.” Sounds great doesn’t it?
Here is the catch. This is not something that happens right away. In fact, for the vast majority of Christians, this won’t happen in their lifetime. This is because Jesus is not talking about the earth here and now. He is talking about the new earth as described in Revelation 21.
Remember, the Kingdom that Jesus is talking about, the one that we are to be citizens of, is not found on this earth. It is not a kingdom that has borders and a physical location. It is spiritual. But this will not always be the case.
There will come a time when this universe is destroyed and a new one is created. One that will be the way God intended all along. As Christians, citizens of God’s Kingdom, we will have a place in this new world. We will receive our own allotment. We will have an inheritance just as the ancient Israelites did in the promised land.
Because this is a promise that is yet to be fulfilled, it can be hard to stay the course.
But Jesus says that we are blessed now because of this future inheritance. How does that work? It comes down to trust.
We find joy in this future reward because we trust that God will come through in the end. We trust that He will keep His word. We can have joy because we know that God will do just what He says. He will keep all His promises. That no matter what we go through now, what He has instore for us will make it all worth it.
We don’t have to strive to bend the world to our will because we have adopted God’s will as our own and know that He will make all things work out. We trust God. We surrender to God. We walk a restrained life knowing all we need to do is let God work in us and through that the world will be changed.
As you go about your day, slow down and make sure that you are demonstrating the restraint and meekness befitting a Citizen of the Kingdom. When you fail, seek God’s strength and forgiveness and start over.
- I want to reinforce the idea that this is not saying we earn our salvation. What Jesus is presenting here are attitudes. It is a state of the heart, not actions. When our heart is in the right place, then God provides the blessing.
- You could add that after death, when we are in heaven with God, there will be an end to our tears so we will no longer need comfort. There will be an end to our sin so we will no longer have a need for sorrow. The issue is when we no longer feel the sorrow and remorse while we are still sinning.
Originally published at http://garyoswald.wordpress.com on July 19, 2020.