Blessed are the Meek
What the world thinks about blessings, isn't always the same as what God says. Message given on Feb 2nd 2020
Being blessed means that God is active in working in your life, to bring you into right standing with Him
Part 1 - Blessed are the poor in spirit, means that we have an honest view of who we are compared to the perfection of Jesus
Part 2 - Blessed are those who mourn, means that when we mourn over events, our own sin, and the sin in others, God will comfort us in those areas
Today, is part 3
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”
( → → Opening prayer ← ← )
So------- what does it mean to be meek?
Im sure a lot of people will hear that question, and come up with some answers that sound like this:
It means to be quiet
Maybe even “a pushover”
Or a victim
A doormat that people walk all over
When we describe someone, or describe ourselves as “being meek” there is always a strong tendency to paint it with a negative connotation.
So when we read things like “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the Earth” we have some serious questions that need to be answered.
Why does God say that it is the meek who will inherit the earth?
Shouldn’t it be the bold, the strong hearted, self assured, confident, know what they want out of their life and go make it happen people -----that will inherit the land?
Isnt this what history teaches us?
If we look at powerful leaders or conquerors throughout time, they exert themselves, stand firm in who they are, push against whatevers in their way----and end up “inheriting the land”
Isn’t “being meek” the opposite of all the great leaders and CEOs of the billion dollar industries all over the planet?
Don’t they enact their plan, push their will, exert their influence----and because of their headstrong and boisterous identity----they inherit the land?
If these example are true --- what do we think when we read Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:5
What conclusion can we come to, when the things we think in our minds have already been settled----but Jesus’ words don’t match up with it?
A little side note that’s related to all of this:
It’s ok to think that there are things that Jesus says, ----or things in Scripture as a whole-----that don’t match up with the way that I think.
Jesus says things that are counter to the way I think, the way I feel, the way I live, so on and so forth.
Its ok to acknowledge that
In fact-------it CAN BE a good thing to think that way.
If were coming to Scripture, acknowledging that there are things in our hearts and in our minds that dont match what it says------then we have taken a small step towards being meek.
Alright---- back on track:
So---------what then does it mean to be “meek”
Or rather -------- what is God talking about when He refers to someone as “meek” ?
Well---- if we want to know how God defines something----we look at Scripture
(Now this may come off as a bit “teachy” but dont worry, the test at the end of the year will be easy)
With that being said:
In our verse this morning, Matthew 5:5 --- we have the word “meek”
But we know the Bible wasnt written in English, so we go to the language it was written in, and when we do, we see that the word we have in Matthew that’s translated as “meek” is also translated as “humble” in a different verse.
“Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.”
The authors used the same same word for our two english words of “Meek” and “humble”
Now to put this in its appropriate context, Aaron and Miriam, who are like Moses’ closest friends and assistants and such-----are criticizing him.
Theyre questioning his leadership
Theyre grumbling about why he’s the one in charge
Theyre being critical of who he married
Theyre even saying “God has spoken through us----Moses you're not that special”
And then we have this verse “Moses was humble….”
SO ------ part of being meek ----- is being humble.
But when we look at the context, and use a little bit of common sense------ we could say that the only way to know if someone is humble, or meek, is when theyre put into a situation where that is tested.
When were criticized - does we get all defensive?
When were attacked - does we seek revenge?
When were forced to confront something he doesn't match up with what were already think, feel, or believe ---- do we erupt in all manner of emotions?
So we can rightly say that “Being meek” means to be humble in the face of confrontation
When were confronted by adversity ----- if it intentionally comes against us by another person ------- or if it’s just an unforeseen side-effect of our world being broken--------how do we react?
Do we explode in anger and defensiveness?
Are we so full of our selves, that when the slightest amount of heat is applied ---- we boil over like a pot that was too full to begin with?
Do we succumb to the unraveling nature of worry, stress, and anxiety that so many good people have fallen to?
Are we so convinced that we, ourselves, have to be the “everything” for someone else- that when we eventually fail (which we all will) - that our anxiety and stress cripples us?
Do we internalize that feeling and end up believing that we are worthless and will never amount to anything?
Do we think “Of course they think those things about me ---- im a no good, dirty, rotten, useless piece of human garbage.”
Do we train and develop such a hard “outer-shell” of a personality that nothing anyone says will ever make its way to our heart?
Do we think “I can’t be hurt if I don’t let any feelings in at all” ?
How can we be blessed by God, how can we “inherit the land” when part of being meek is to remain humble in the midst of adversity and confrontation?
Shouldn’t we exert ourselves when were feeling attacked?
Shouldnt we rise up, dig our feet in, raise our voices, and let everyone know exactly what kind of a person I am?
Shouldnt we think:
I cant let that person think those things about me!
I cant let that person treat me that way!
Now I am in now way saying that we should just allow ourselves to be abused or hurt. That’s not what meekness is.
I’m not saying that the victim of abuse should stay
I'm not saying that we should be the vessels or the object of someone else's violence.
So what ARE you saying then?
Psalm 37:7-9 “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. 8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. 9 For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.”
We wait on the Lord ---- we acknowledge that He is the one in charge, and that all evil, wickedness, and injustice will be punished.
Remember ----- that doesn’t mean we allow ourselves to be abused or mistreated:
Being meek doesnt mean that we let ourselves be someone’s doormat
But it does mean that the words “retaliation” and “revenge” shouldn’t be in the Christian’s vocabulary
We shouldn’t go around so full of our self and full of our own strength, that when hard times come------we ----ourselves---- are the first place we turn to, to make things right
Thats human nature isnt it?
I have to fix this // I have to make this right // I have to make the bad go away // I have to put things where they belong
Now there is some truth in this, we do have an aspect of responsibility-----but if our first response is always:
I….I….I….I ------ then we need to remember Matthew 5:5
Not only that, -----
Its hard ----- its exhausting------
When theres injustice that happens around us:
When “people succeed in their wicked schemes”
When we ARE confronted with hurt, be it emotional or physical
When we are faced with ideas and beliefs that we know to be wrong and hurtful, but are celebrated and encouraged
Whenever anything happens, that is contrary to the character and nature of God
We are told to “refrain from anger ----- and turn from wrath”
We are told to be meek ---- and if we are, we will inherit the earth
That doesn’t mean we don’t give voice to issue that are important
We comfort, console, care for, and defend ----- the broken and hurt people in this world; regardless of why they are hurt and broken
We pray and act and work against the forces of evil in our life
We defend the truth, stand up for what is right and wrong
We love others
We act selflessly
We consider the needs of those less fortunate
We DO raise our voices when there is injustice
We DO passionately and vehemently defend the things of God
Allllll the while being calm and even centered
Exercising self control
Choosing our words wisely because we know that they have power
Letting the care and concern we have in our hearts flow through our words, behavior, and body language
Which means we should never use our beliefs to bulldoze or steamroll people.
As in: “Oh I know whats right, so Im going to be an in your face, loud arrogant jerk and push my will against yours becuase I know im right and you're wrong”
But yeah “God is in charge and I do love that person that God tells me to love, thats why Im so ready to pounce at the slightest sniff of something wrong”
Were not God’s hired muscle, ok?
We arent called to have some hyper sensitive hair trigger that causes us to rise up and get in the face of whatever we see as being contrary to God
If you think that, good luck, because we live in a fallen world and you're going to wear yourself out in about a day.
We are called, to be humble, to be meek.
Yes to speak and act and pray against the evil and injustice of this world ----
But with calm, humble, self controlled, meekness.
You see, it’s like this, because the essence of being meek, is to acknowledge that we are Second, and God is first.
Being meek means that we are acknowledging that we are servants. That God is in charge, that we don’t need to worry or get angry to the point that we are overcome.
It means we dont get overcome in the way where we spend decades of our life as some blubbering “woe is me” mess
And it means we dont get overcome in the way where we act like an attack dog waiting for his master to remove our muzzle.
It means we trust Him
His plans // His patience // His timing
It means when those opportunities arise-----where we really really really want to rely on our own strength; where we know what to do; what to say; how to act; and maybe we even have the ability; strength; and intelligence to do so --------
We take a step back, take a deep breath, and repeat the words of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane in Luke 22:42 “....nevertheless, not my will but yours be done”
We put God first, and everything about who we are as a person, in His hands.
We are called to be like Christ, in everything that we do.
Christ - the God of all the universe - the incarnated alpha and omega - the creator of reality - Him who before and above all things - Him who hold the fabric of space-time in the palm of his hand ---- Jesus Christ, God in the Flesh------- is who we are called to be like
And if you didnt know this already ---- Jesus was a meek and humble man.
That verse I just quoted: “...not my will, but yours be done”.....
…...if you didnt know, Jesus was talking about the pain, suffering and humiliation of crucifixion.
To the point of His death, Jesus put His life in the hands of His Father.
He was humble, He was meek.
Matthew 21:5 says: ““Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”
This is the God of all reality! I want to think of Him on a giant massive war horse --- an armor clad stallion; with hooves the size of dinner plates, snorting and raring to go!
Not some lowly stupid donkey!
But thats not how Jesus came the first time.
He came in humility, in meekness, AND
Matthew 26:53 says that He came in a spirit of self control
“Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?”
There were hundreds of thousands of warrior angels at His disposal
He could have exercised His will, flexed His might, and overpowered the entire Roman Empire without so much of a drop of sweat----but He didnt
He didnt coldly and abruptly just lay down laws, He loved people and directed them to His Father
Yes He still stood firm in what was right and wrong
But it was His love that brought them in, not an iron fist
He was humble, submissive to His Father’s will, and exercised self control.
He was meek
So what do we do this?
Well, when we think of being meek, fight against that picture in your mind of some lowly victim that involuntarily is swept along but their circumstances.
That is not what being meek means
Think of Jesus.
Who voluntarily lowered Himself for the benefit of others
Who also rose His voice when people were acting unjustly towards others
But Who ultimately lived His life in complete submission to His Father
Use Him as your Compass for meekness
When injustice came to Him, He plead with His father - but concluded: “Not my will but yours be done”
When naysayers and doubters came to Him --- He was patient and calm
When the religious leaders werent acting how they should, He was rowdy and full of passion----but it was submissive to the father, and full of love and self control
He was meek.
( → → Call up the Worship Team ← ← )
So that is what we must do
We must, no matter what comes before us say “Not my will but yours be done”
Not to be someone’s doormat, while also not holding on to a spirit of retaliation and revenge either.
We recognize that we are second, and God is first.
We are to be meek ----- and when we are ---- we can know that all of creation will be our inheritance after this life
We must, when critics and doubters of our faith attack our ideas:
We don’t lash out
We don’t puff up our chests and browbeat them into our way of thinking
Because no one was ever argued into heaven
We recognize that we are to be humble, calm, respectful, have self control
We are to be meek
We must remember, that no matter what comes before us:
If its injustice because of who we worship…...
If its persecution…..
If its an impassioned plea for someone to abandon their evil ways…...
If its simply a debate or disagreement between friends…...
We are still called to stand firm, and be ready to give an answer for the faith that is in you
Psalm 37:10-11 “10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found. 11 But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.”
It is through our calm, humble, self controlled meekness ----- that a lost and hurting world will get a glimpse of the character and nature of the God of --- who chose to ride a donkey and not a war horse
( → → Closing Prayer ← ← )