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What Does It Mean When It Says That A Person Is Meek

The word “meek” is one of the most misunderstood and misconstrued words in the Bible. Most people ascribe its English meaning to it when they see it used in the Bible. However, the meaning of the word “meek” as used in the Bible far differs from its everyday English meaning. To say somebody is meek is not to imply a person is quiet, gentle and not willing to state his opinions in a forceful way. If this were the case, Moses whom Bible describes in Numbers 12:3, as the meekest of all men on the face of the earth would not have been described as meek. Let us examine Moses’ life briefly. The man described as meek burst out in rage in several accounts recorded in scripture. Leviticus 10:16-17 recounts, “And Moses diligently sought the goat of the sin offering, and, behold, it was burnt: and he was angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, the sons of Aaron which were left alive, saying, Wherefore have ye not eaten the sin offering in the holy place, seeing it is most holy, and God hath given it you to bear the iniquity of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the LORD?” The Hebrew word for “angry” used in the verse above means to be wroth and burst out in rage. Many other times in scripture, Moses is seen livid with rage. (Exodus 16:20, Numbers 16:15 and 31:14).

Again, “…it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren. And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand” . This is not the kind of behaviour society would normally expect from a man considered meek. We see from the above instances that to say a person is meek in scripture is not what the English Language describes meekness to be. What then is meekness? Matthew 5:5 says, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth”. “But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace”. (Psalms 37:11) The meek according to scripture, are the inheritors of the earth; they are the ones that concern themselves with the issue of their inheritance.

Moses, in the days of Israel, was the one that understood the terms of the inheritance of Israel. He was the one God called to deliver his people from Egypt and lead them into their inheritance in the Promised Land. “And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites…Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.” (Exodus 3:7-8, 10).

The Bible says that “By faith Moses when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward. By faith, he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. Through faith he kept the Passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.” (Hebrews 11:24-28) The one who concerns himself with the inheritance is the one ready to embrace persecutions and afflictions for the sake of the promise. Moses, despite being raised in the affluence of Pharaoh’s house, forsook all the comfort to risk his life for the sake of his brethren who were going through affliction. Forty years after that incident, when God needed a meek man to deliver the people of Israel into their inheritance, he found Moses and delivered that assignment to him. In the book of Acts, scripture says, “…that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22) Anyone concerned with matters of inheritance should be ready to endure much tribulation.

Like Peter, the meek is the one who has left all to follow after the inheritance. “Then Peter said, lo, we have left all, and followed thee. And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.” (Luke 18:28-30) The meek may look foolish in the eyes of the world, for he has seen the promise and would give his all towards inheriting that promise.

Jesus spoke a parable: “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” (Matthew 13:44-46) The one concerned about the inheritance counts nothing as too great to lose for the sake of obtaining the inheritance. Just as Moses, the meekest man, gave his entire life towards obtaining the inheritance, so should the disposition of the believer be towards inheriting the kingdom.

Matthew 25:14 declares, “For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey….After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matthew 25: 14-15, 19-21) God would have men to concern themselves with matters of their inheritance; they who do so are they that enter into the joy of the Lord at the end of the age. Matthew 25:34 says, “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world”. It is God’s desire that men come to inherit the kingdom that he has prepared for them from the foundations of this world. However, those to whom the kingdom is given are the meek.

Beloved, to have a meek spirit is of great price to God. “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). Seek to always have your heart on your inheritance in the kingdom, for to do so is to be meek in the truest sense. Shalom!

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