Matt S Aug 10th 2016.
Of late, the term “Meek” has been cropping up a lot in sermons, in articles and also in my quiet times where the Holy Spirit will download something, or as a person who is close to me would say just gently “drops something into my spirit”.
So what does the word “meek” mean? The world often uses this word within the common usage of its “sound-alike” word “weak”. You have heard the term “meek and mild”. This brings to mind thoughts of passive, weak, non assertive, submissive, subservient behaviour. So what does the dictionary say (http://www.dictionary.com/browse/meek). It says “humbly patient or docile, as under provocation from others”, “overly submissive or compliant, spiritless, tame”, “Obsolete, gentle, kind” Okay that seems to sound a lot like what is commonly understood to be how the world sees “meek”.
So what does the bible, (the “Word of God”), say about the word meek? Most of us will remember that the word meek is used in Jesus “Sermon on the Mount”, also known as the “Beatitudes”.
Before we look at what the bible has to say about “Meekness” the best definition of meekness I have heard so far is “Strength under Control”. How does this compare to the worlds definition of meek? It sounds a little different I am thinking.
There are at least two people the bible refers to as “meek”. Our Lord Jesus Christ refers to himself in Matthew 11:29 as meek. Moses is referred to as meek in Numbers 12:3. So if we look at the world’s definition of meek and compare it to the biblical use for both Jesus and Moses………… I mean to say! Jesus meek!! Moses meek!! So were Jesus and Moses docile, overly submissive, compliant, spiritless, tame and obsolete? Let’s think about that for a moment. Jesus confronting the Pharisees and calling them out, taking a whip to the money lenders in the Temple raising the dead, casting out demons and finally submitting to being executed in a most horrible way.. Moses stepping up to Pharaoh and then leading the Israelites through the Red Sea amongst all the other things that Moses did. Are these the actions of weak, docile, tame, spiritless men? As Paul would say! “May it never be”!!
So how the world see’s meek and how the bible (Word of God) describes meek, are quite different. So how is it that we have we have lost so much in translation over the years?
This is where I get into a bit of speculation.
Those that translated the bible in many hundreds of years gone by, were extremely careful to make sure that the words were as close as possible to the original text. My speculation is that if satan can’t mess with the translation (I’m not going to get into any debate over recent translations) he may try to mess with word definitions, just a little here or there, water down meanings especially if it messes with the character of the Lord Jesus Christ or a great Godly leader of the bible such as Moses. Before you know it, people will be thinking that Jesus and Moses were meek in the way the world defines it today. Especially if they don’t know their bibles.
It may also mess with the way we see Jesus Sermon on the Mount. If you have the idea that Jesus is meek and that the meek shall inherit the earth, (defined in the way the world would see it) where is the strength and power in that? And its possible there may also be more sinister overtones to creating a counterfeit New Age Jesus as well, but that’s another whole topic in itself.
Satan will use any opportunity to mess with the way we see Jesus and good biblical men and women. He will stop at nothing to pervert and corrupt anything that is good, wholesome, pure, holy and Godly. If satan can get us to think that that Jesus is ineffectual and God’s chosen leaders were weak, it will quietly distort our view of how God really operates.
I am going to give two examples of the “Strength under Control” of Jesus and Moses.
John 18:4-6 relays the account of Jesus being taken to trial prior to his crucifixion. When the officials asked for Jesus to identify himself, he said “I am he”, and with this the officials went backwards and were knocked to the ground. Can you tell me, do you know anyone who has the ability to do that with his words? I know only one and that is Jesus. I have no doubt in my mind that if Jesus had wanted to call on the whole power of his Father in Heaven, he could have with devastating results, but he didn’t. This was a small demonstration from Jesus that I am sure wasn’t lost on anybody who was present for that moment. That was “Strength under Control”.
In Exodus 32 there is the account of where the Israelites have turned away from God and worshipped the golden calf amongst other things and needless to say God has got pretty angry about this. After all He has brought them through some amazing and miraculous situations, and was very much looking after them in their journey to the Promised Land. Thinking about it there are actually probably two demonstrations of meekness here, truth be told.
So Moses intercedes for the Israelites knowing that God could take him out at any moment for even considering such a notion, however this shows that Moses has huge strength of character in his willingness stand in the gap for the Israelites. He could have said to God “Yep they messed up badly, take em out Lord” So was this a display of weak behaviour by Moses? or did it show great strength of character to stand before the living God in this way.
In Exodus 32:14 God relents on punishing the Israelites when he could have reduced them to a smouldering pile of ashes, and in the same way God demonstrates his meekness “Strength under Control” also. It’s pretty clear from this account that Jesus got his meekness from his Dad.
So next time you hear the work “Meek” just have a think about what it really means. My prayer is that God can help us all to be meek in the truest biblical sense always. “Exercising Strength under Control”.