Am I the only one out there that stands amazed at how the meaning of words become diluted through time? This morning, I was curious to see what today’s definition was compared to what the Bible’s definition would be. And so let us begin this next series of devotionals entitled “Morning Manna” and feast upon God’s Holy word.
The Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary describes meek as:
1 : enduring injury with patience and without resentment : mild
2 : deficient in spirit and courage : submissive
3 : not violent or strong : moderate
I was particularly drawn to the second definition. This states that if you are meek, you are submissive and you are deficient in spirit and courage! Is it any wonder that the world does not respect a meek person or even desire to be meek? If the world does not desire to be meek, then they desire to be the opposite. The antonyms for meek are “proud, stubborn and domineering.” Ah yes, this does sound like the world – yes, it sounds like worldly Christians, too.
When you read your Bible using today’s definitions, you get a skewed vision of what God is communicating to us. Merriam-Webster says that the meek person is deficient in courage! The One who was Chief in meekness went to die on Calvary’s cross for our sins. That does not sound like someone who is deficient in courage, does it? Christ tells us to learn meekness from Him. 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. (Matthew 11:29)
I could hardly wait to read what Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary would have to say about this word. I love to use his dictionary because it defines words used in the King James Bible and allows us to glean more from God’s word. Oh what a blessing!! Let’s see what Noah has to say about meekness:
1. Mild of temper; soft; gentle; not easily provoked or irritated; yielding; given to forbearance under injuries.
Now the man Moses was very meek, above all men. Num 12.
2. Appropriately,humble, in an evangelical sense; submissive to the divine will; not proud, self-sufficient or refractory; not peevish and apt to complain of divine dispensations. Christ says, “Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest to your souls.” Mat 11.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Matthew 5.
The Lord sure does portray a different picture of a meek person in the mind’s eye, doesn’t He? This definition portrays a man of great self control and a heart for submission to the will of God. As I meditate on this, I can’t help but think of the dear saints who were martyred for the cause of Christ. I think Jesus Christ, who epitomized meekness to the point of death on the cross for our sins so we can have eternal life through Him. Thank You Lord for not being proud or stubborn when Your Father left our souls in Your very hands!
It took great courage for our Saviour to go to the cross despite knowing what awaited Him! I absolutely love my children! I also believe that I would die for them if I had to. If I could choose the way I die, I would definitely not pick burning or drowning. I think either of these would be a horrible and painful death. I began to wonder if I would die for my children if I knew ahead of time that I had to burn to death in order to save them! Would I still do it? Christ knew and yet He still died for us! Oh what love! Oh what meekness! I can’t even begin to imagine the pain He suffered on the cross. If you want to see a good article on this very topic, please read: Medical Aspects of The Crucifixion Knowing ahead of time that this was His mission, He was meek and submitted to the Father’s will despite of this knowledge!
Practicing meekness as Christ did draws us closer to the Father and increases our joy in the Lord. The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever. (Psalm 22:26) For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation. (Psa 149:4) The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 29:19)
The Lord loves the meek so much that He picks them up in time of need and brings them comfort. The LORD lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground. (Psalm 147:6) He feeds them through His word and guides them in their daily lives. The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way. (Psalm 25:9) He teaches us, comforts us and gives us peace. 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. (Matthew 11:29) The meek are satisfied with what God provides and they praise Him. The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever. (Psalm 22:26)
How does God regard a meek Christian?
1. They are blessed – Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5)
2. They are protected from the Judgment – 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. (Zepheniah 2:3)
3. They will inherit the earth – But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. (Psalm 37:11)
4. He takes pleasure in His children and gives them salvation – For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation. (Psalm 149:4)
5. They are of great value to Him – 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. (1 Peter 3:4)
Oh Lord, help us to draw nigh to You so we can learn from You in this area of meekness. Help us to practice daily self control and to be gentle with others. May our feelings not be easily hurt but may we be forgiving and longsuffering toward those who hurt us. And finally, Lord, may we be submissive to Your will in all areas of our Christian walk. Remove from us our sinful pride and create in us a right spirit.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)