The third beatitude is “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5) The world says “Blessed are those who are mighty,” but God says “Blessed are the meek.” Many are chasing after happiness when what they really want is blessedness.
There is much misunderstanding about what meekness actually means. Meekness is not a weakness as most of the world would think. In fact, it is the opposite. Meekness is strength under control. Like a wild horse who has been broken. The horse does not lose any of his strength, but his strength can now be for a useful purpose.
The Bible says of Moses: “Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men who were on the face of the earth.” (KJV) Moses faced the Egyptian Pharoah through the ten plagues that the L-RD put upon the Egyptians. He demanded that Pharaoh let the Israelites go. He fasted on Mt. Sinai for forty days on two occasions. He led the Israelites through the desert for forty years. This certainly does not sound like a weak man.
No man was as meek as Moses until Jesus came on the earth. Matthew 11:29 tells us about Jesus: “Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest unto your souls.” (KJV) Jesus fasted for forty days while being tempted by Satan. He faced ridicule from Pharisees and Sadducees. He was spat on and beaten with forty lashes and was crucified. This is not weakness, but physical and spiritual strength under control.
A man who lives totally for himself without restraint must learn to submit to God after he becomes a believer in Jesus. Meekness is not about having no restraint or no desire. The Buddhist state of nirvana is a state of having no desire. Meekness is about having our desires in submission to God’s will for our lives. Paul says this in Romans 6:19: “I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.”
The first beatitude of being poor in spirit shows us our condition of being spiritually bankrupt. The second beatitude of mourning shows us our need for contrition – our need to repent of our sin. Now the third beatitude shows us our need for submission – our need to give our will under God’s control.
How do we develop this attitude of meekness? First, we must be willing to submit to Jesus as our Lord. Jesus encourages us in Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy ladened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” What does Jesus mean about taking his yoke upon you? The Jewish meaning of “yoke” is the teaching of the law. The Pharisees and Sadducees added extra laws of the Oral Law to the written Law of Moses. These many extra laws made life difficult for the Jews. It was a heavy yoke for the people. Jesus was teaching that his yoke (his teaching) was lighter than the yoke of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
If we take the word “yoke” literally, there is still an important lesson that can be learned. When a farmer is training a young ox who has never worn a yoke, the farmer wisely pairs the young ox with an older experienced ox. The two oxen pull the plow together, but the experienced ox is doing most of the work. The young ox may want to go a different way, but the experienced ox pulls the young one along giving him little opportunity to get out of line. When we become a believer, we are teamed up with Jesus. He does the work of trying to keep us in line so that we do not stray too far. If we are to accomplish His work in our lives, we must submit willingly with meekness. We must learn to walk with Him without fighting against Him.
The second key to developing an attitude of meekness is to be responsive to the Word of God. James 1:21 says: “Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.” This reminds me of Psalm 119:11: “Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee.” As we learn the Word of God and live by it, our response to the Word should be an attitude of meekness and humility.
The third key to developing an attitude of meekness is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Meekness is one of the fruits of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22. Galatians 5:23-26 goes on to say: “Against such things, there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” Conceit and envy are opposites of meekness. We must learn to choose God’s way of meekness if we are to be in submission to Him.
The essence of meekness is learning to submit to a higher power. The wild horse that has been broken learns to submit to his rider. Man’s wild restraint of living in sin and living for himself has to be broken to submit to the higher authority of Jesus and to the Word of God and to the Holy Spirit. Paul says this very clearly in I Corinthians 6:19-20: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” Romans 12:1 also tells us: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.” This submission to God must be done willingly, not grudgingly if we are to have an attitude of meekness.
So what is our reward for meekness? We will inherit the earth. Jesus will be King of kings and Lord of lords, but we will rule and reign with Him on the earth. II Timothy 2:12 says: “If we endure, we will also reign with him.” What must we endure? We must endure that Satan is constantly trying to get us off track of following Jesus. He may come as a roaring lion to terrify us that he will take away all that we have. We must not be fooled. He cannot take away our salvation even if we lose everything else like Job did. If that doesn’t work, then Satan may come as an angel of light to entice away from following Jesus by giving us fame or power or whatever he can use to entice us. We must stand strong and not fall into Satan’s trap. Meekness is our third step in becoming the follower that Jesus wants us to become.
Notes from Dr. Adrian Rogers Taught by Dr. Susie Stiles
The Gifts needs to be RECEIVED. The FRUITS needs development.