The meek are not weak

Published 9:07 am Friday, July 13, 2018


When the word meekness is mentioned, the first thought that pops into our minds is weakness. That could not be further from the truth. It does not help that meekness and weakness rhyme. Some dictionaries define meekness as “too submissive; easily imposed on; spineless; spiritless.” This is not the message that Jesus was conveying to us as believers. The 19th century theologian James Strong argued in his Strong’s Concordance #4239 that the Greek word praus means mild or gentle, but it is not suggesting weakness, but instead, the way power is handled. It is “strength under control.” It is demonstrating power without undue harshness.
The English language does not have a word that translates conveying both gentleness and power together, so the translators of the Bible chose the word meekness. The ancient Greeks employed the term to describe a wild horse tamed to the bridle. In the Biblical sense, therefore, being meek describes one who has channeled his strengths into the service of God. I would like to give you a perfect example of the meekness that Christ speaks of, and you can determine for yourself if it is strength under control or weakness.
Jesus had been beaten beyond recognition. His body was marred, torn, and broken. The blood ran down the cross while his accusers mocked and laughed at him. His whole body was in severe pain due to the torture he had endured. He looks down at people despising him for absolutely no reason. He then says in Matthew 26:53-54, “53. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? 54. But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?” One legion is 6,000 angels, so if you simply multiply that number by twelve, you’ll discover that twelve legions of angels would include a minimum of 72,000 angels. But Jesus said the Father would give Him more than twelve legions of angels; therefore, you can conclude that there were potentially many additional thousands of angels available to Jesus that could easily remove him from the cross. According to Rick Renner, “Isaiah 37:36 records that a single angel obliterated 185,000 men in one night. So, if a single angel had that kind of power, how much combined strength would there be in twelve legions of angels? 72,000 angels had enough combined strength at Jesus’ disposal to have annihilated at least 13,320,000,000 men (that is, thirteen billion, three hundred twenty million men) — which is more than twice the number of people living on the earth right now!”
These armed angels stood ready to destroy the entire earth, but rather than call them down he said, “Father forgive them for they know know not what they do.” He had the power to destroy everything by calling down the angel army of God, but instead he chose to plead for the forgiveness of all humanity. This is a perfect picture of the word meekness. When you can harm someone by seeking vengeance and may be even justified in doing so, but rather you choose to show them love, kindness, and forgiveness instead. Now, do you feel this is weakness or strength beyond measure? I am sure you have already reached your conclusion. This is anything but weakness. This is power under control!
Meekness is a fruit of the Spirit as Galatians 5:23 tells us. The point is that meekness is not native to our fallen state. Meekness is not natural, and it is completely foreign to our flesh. When someone hurts us, our flesh wants to hurt them in return. So, in our justification, the meekness of Christ is credited to us by faith alone, and in our sanctification, the Holy Spirit is conforming us to the image of Christ, which includes His meekness. The blessing of this beatitude is that those who look to Christ in faith will inherit the earth because they have been credited with His meekness and have been given the gift of the Spirit, who connects us to Christ and conforms us to His likeness.
Psalm 37:5-8, 11 says, “5. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. 6. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. 7. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. 8. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. 11. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” We can add to our portrait of meekness this: not only does it trust and commit its way to God, and wait patiently for God, and refrain from anger; it also refrains from revenge and defensiveness. Meekness loves to give place to wrath and leave its vindication with God. Meekness is the power to absorb adversity and criticism without lashing back. My friends this is anything but weakness!
(The Solution Column is provided by Pastor Brandon Young of Harmony Free Will Baptist Church, Hampton, and his associate, Hunter Greene.)

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