The Beatitudes (Part 5): Blessed are the Meek (Part 1)


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Psalm Reading

Psalm 51:7–12 ESV
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.


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Matthew 5:1–12 ESV
Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


Matthew 5:5 ESV
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
It is NOT being:
Too submissive
“Are you a man or a mouse?”
Never prepared to attack evil or to defend the truth
Unwilling to do anything that will rock the boat
The eighteenth-century British politician Edmund Burke’s famous phrase, ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.’
Blanchard, J. (1996). The beatitudes for today (p. 115). Day One Publications.
God rewarded his people for their courage
God punished those for being spineless
Revelation 3:16 ESV
So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.
Spiritless (weakness)

As Don Carson says, ‘A meek person is not necessarily indecisive or timid. He is not so unsure of himself that he could be pushed over by a hard slap from a wet noodle’!

When we come to look at some biblical examples of meekness we will see that the people concerned were powerhouses, not pushovers.

Not natural niceness
Friendly, good natured, agreeable, pleasant, easy going


(Gentleness / Humble)
Is a matter of Grace not genetics
It is not natural to the human condition
Indication ready for entrance, but of being in a member of the Kingdom of God
Galatians 5:22–23 ESV
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Historical Understanding of Meekness

The Gospel writers used the language of their time.


The Beatitudes for Today Windows on the Word

The Greek philosopher Aristotle taught that meekness was the mean between two extremes, such as that between unjustified anger and the total lack of anger at anything


Psalm 32:9 ESV
Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you.
Horse - wilful and headstrong
Mule - Rigid and Stubborn
Horse headlong in battle ....
Jeremiah 8:6 ESV
I have paid attention and listened, but they have not spoken rightly; no man relents of his evil, saying, ‘What have I done?’ Everyone turns to his own course, like a horse plunging headlong into battle.
Meek/Humble will be taught by God
Psalm 25:9 ESV
He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.
He leads the meek in what is right, and teaches the meek his way.

Opposite of Pride

Pride - delusions of grandeur
King Uzziah (2 Chronicals 26:16)
50 years of success as King of Judah
Thought he had the divine right to ignore biblical direction about public worship of God and to exercise a ministry reserved for priests.
When the spiritual leaders confronted him he swept them aside
within minutes of his arrogant action he was miraculously striken with terminal leprosy and his reign was over.
Lowly-heartedness - the genuine acceptance of one own unworthiness and weakness

True Meekness

Power under control

is rooted in an understanding of God and of ourselves
The Beatitudes for Today Windows on the Word

John Brown is exactly right: ‘An enlightened conviction of the infinite greatness and excellence, the sovereignty, and wisdom, and holiness, and righteousness, and condescension and kindness of God, and of our own insignificance as creatures, and demerit as sinners, lies at the foundation of that meekness which forms an essential part of the character of a genuine Christian.’

Israel tubulant history, was now under Roman Empire rule
Pharisees - sought a miraculous answer
Sadducees - sought a materialistic answer
Zealots - south a military answer
Essenes - sought a monastic answer (opted out of all social responsibility and withdrew from contact with the outside world)
Jesus teaching was revolutionary
The Beatitudes for Today Survival of the Meekest?

A W Pink’s summarized definition of meekness as ‘the opposite of self-will toward God and of ill-will toward men’

Examples of Meekness


Job 1:20–21 ESV
Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Lost 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 1,000 oxon, and 500 donkeys
7 sons and 3 daughts killed in a tornado
Job tore his clothes and shaved his head (total grief)


Jeremiah 26:12–14 ESV
Then Jeremiah spoke to all the officials and all the people, saying, “The Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the words you have heard. Now therefore mend your ways and your deeds, and obey the voice of the Lord your God, and the Lord will relent of the disaster that he has pronounced against you. But as for me, behold, I am in your hands. Do with me as seems good and right to you.
Feerlessly prophesied God’s coming judgement on Judah
was arrested and threatened with summary execution
Jeremiah was concerned for the welfare of others, and not his own


Moses was more “meek/humble than anyone else on the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3)
He took on the most daughting task in history, against Pharoah
He lead the people to the land “flowing with milk & honey”
The people were obstinately uncooperative and rebellious
Moses had to constantly discern the fine line between defending God’s honour and hos own; he did it well.
When they grumbled - he prayed for them
When they quarrelled - he prayed for them again

Thomas Watson says, ‘Though they were in a storm, he was in a calm.’

the eighteenth-century Bible expositor Matthew Henry, ‘He was as bold as a lion in the cause of God, but as mild as a lamb in his own.’


The first martyr
When asked if the charges against him were true
recited the saga of God’;s dealings with his people over the centuries highlighting Abraham & moses
He went on say ...
Acts 7:52–53 ESV
Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.”
While they stoned him ...
Acts 7:59–60 ESV
And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
Summary of Stephen ...

His God-honouring denunciation of his enemies’ sin, coupled with his calm acceptance of his own wrongful murder, confirms that we must never confuse meekness with lack of power.

Meekness is not weakness...

Meekness is not weakness, nor is it impotence. It is power under control, a by-product of that brokenness of spirit which leaves no room for self-pity, has no time for defending or promoting one’s own reputation, and sees no point in turning all one’s rights into claims.


Meekness is the only personal quality Jesus draws attention to himself as having.
Matthew 11:29 ESV
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Picture of perfect meekness...
Philippians 2:6–7 ESV
who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
Accussed of being a drunkard
Matthew 11:19 ESV
The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”
Accussed of Demon Possesion
Matthew 12:26 ESV
And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?
Accussed of Blasphemy
Mark 2:5 ESV
And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Breaking the Sabbeth
John 5:17 ESV
But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”
Before Pilot
Luke 23:9 ESV
So he questioned him at some length, but he made no answer.
1 Peter 2:23 ESV
When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.
Jesus Affirms his Meekness (example of Power under Control)
Matthew 26:53 ESV
Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?
Legion = 6,000
Total - 72,000 angels
2 Kings 19:35 ESV
And that night the angel of the Lord went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies.
Revelation 5:11 ESV
Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands,
Strength in Obedience and unqualified acceptance of God’s divine will
John 12:27–28 ESV
“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”
Luke 23:46 ESV
Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.


Closing Prayer


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