Meekness Exploring its Meaning?

Matthew 5:5
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

There has been much said about meekness and I aim to explore its true meaning in this article. 

Many claim it is gentleness then alluding it is also in a sense weakness as well, but is that true? 

meekness....  in the Greek it is "Praus"
mildness of disposition, gentleness of spirit, meekness

That seems easy enough to grasp in English but is that word description enough to round out biblical meekness for us? I think not.

To understand what it is fully lets look at some examples of men who were meek. 

The bible says two people were meek ... Jesus and Moses

Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.
Numbers 12:3

We see Moses was the meekest man on earth ( gentle and mild ) but wasn't he also the guy who killed a Egyptian, ordered 3000 Israelites be killed and stood/faced down the Egyptian king? What happened to his gentle meekness?

The scriptures also say Jesus was meek as well...

Matt 11;29
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. 

gentle and mild and lowly.....

But again was not Jesus the one who made a whip to cleanse the temple John 2 and He ripped/scolded the Pharisees with many harsh names in Matt 23?

What happened to his gentle meekness?

We must go deeper.... 

There is an older understanding of meek once used to describe "war horses".
Often Greek to English translations are difficult and not fully informative.
In short it was described as power under control. 
Horses have massive power but it was fully yielded to their masters hand and they submitted to him  ( as we submit to God ) So a horse was known to be meek if he was under total control.

I trained wild mustangs once so this illustration is meaningful to me. They once raged and were brute beasts out of control but once I gentled them to my commands; their power as mighty beast was under my control.
( like we submit ourselves unto God amen? ) 

So to fully understand biblical meekness we must see both side of it qualities.

Moses was meek unto obeying God and Jesus was meek, doing the Fathers will amen? 

The truth is this ... if we combine gentle and mildness with power under control unto the Lord, it fits these godly men perfectly.

Our Jesus and the Old testament Moses were most times meek ( gentle and mild) and always under the direction and power of God. But clearly there was the occasion when God required they act out in that power (still under His direction/control) to do what is not gentle or mild but what was still the Fathers will. ( war/battle, rebuking, defending innocence etc ) 

The fact is you can be meek ( gentle and mild ) as a character trait but NOT always be that way as you act out in the power of God!

How can this be you ask?

A good example is a police officer who drives thru your town. He waves / smiles and helps old ladies across the street.  He is meek and mild amen? But if you rob the bank or start harming someone, that same officer will use his "power under control" and physically take you under His control. At that moment he is not gentle and mild no; but he still has a form of meekness in that he wont beat a criminal once they are in handcuffs. The policeman is under control of the law. Once that event is over he goes back to his general meek spirit of kind and gentle. 

Another example would be a parent about to bring the rod to a rebellious child...
it must be done under control without anger but it clearly is not seen as gentle and mild to spank/punish a child but yet: God commands it!  Prov 13:24

To be clear...
Most of the references to meek in the bible are indeed about this gentle and meek spirit and that is the trait we all should be walking in as a general rule as we serve God.

Lets look at some of those scriptures:

Psalm 37:11
But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

Psalm 25:9
The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.

( there is power under control... teaching God's way ) 

Psalm 147:6
The Lord lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground.

Isa 29:19
The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.

Amos 2:7
That pant after the dust of the earth on the head of the poor, and turn aside the way of the meek: and a man and his father will go in unto the same maid, to profane my holy name: 

(notice the lack of control of those profane men... no meekness )

Zep 2:3
Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger.

1 cor 4:21
What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?

2 Cor 10:1
Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you:

Gal 6:1
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.

Eph 4:2
With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

Col 3:12
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

2 Tim 2:25
In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

James 3:13
Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

1 Peter 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.

In closing lets consider this: 

Apostle Paul wrote 70% of the NT bible and clearly he was a meek man but he also told false teachers to castrate themselves in Galatians 5 and he said pit out the man in sexual sin in 1 Cor 5. 

A clear example of power under the control of God. 

The key to grasping meekness is to see both of its sides in God.  Some people still wrestle with the idea of meek as also being "power under control" and they tend to focus ONLY on the gentle and kind aspects. Mennonites as an example think one can NEVER be bold or act out in a different manner or tone still under Gods power ) I offer up this is a warped view of biblical meekness. Clearly the Prophets were bold as was Jesus Paul Peter and the rest of Gods workers.   

The bible tells us to be bold as well in many places:

The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion. 
Proverbs 28:1

Note: the New testament has the word meek 16 times and the word bold 29 times; for whatever that is worth!

See this article on being bold in Christ:

*I should also say that the meekness role for men and women will vary based on the call God has given each of them in His kingdom. Example: a man is called to teach, protect and rebuke more often or more stern then a woman. But a lady could be involved in those same things as well in her sphere of biblical influence with other woman and children. 

Perhaps this point will help make even more clear the entire meekness issue:

God never asks us to be something He is not. He is holy, just and righteous as we should be as well. So if he asks us to be meek He must be it as well, amen?

God being meek (gentle and kind) still had people killed Numbers 31, He killed people himself after grace had come ( see Acts 5 ) and He will send billions to eternal hell and damnation. 
The Lord acted out in many ways that does not fit the gentle and kind meekness standard alone. I suggest rather then twist its meaning and make God fit into our narrow view of meekness we need to observe who God is, who Christ and Moses were and understand the broader sense of meekness which is most times; a gentle and kind spirit, that is under God's power and control; but ready to do His will even if it requires a harsh action. 

Lets us all strive for biblical meekness that glorifies the Father in all our ways!

I close with this verse:

1 Peter 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


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