“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
We often think of meekness as synonymous with mousy or shy. Sometimes we even associate the word with passivity or effeminacy. And in the face of such thinking, the common phrase “Meekness is not weakness” is certainly true. Scripture names men such as Moses, David, and the LORD Jesus as examples of meekness. Moses, who boldly stood before Pharaoh. David, who tore lions apart with his bare hands and slaughtered giants. And Jesus, who whipped money-changers out of the temple. Surely, such men were anything but mousy or effeminate.
Meekness is better understood as being temperate or self-controlled. Meekness towards men, Thomas Watson says, “is a grace whereby we are enabled by the Spirit of God to moderate our angry passions.” Meekness toward God is marked by a cheerful submission to His word and a willingness to forgo one’s own will or desires for the sake of His glory.
Meekness is strength surrendered to God’s will. It is self-control fueled by submission to God’s control over all things. It is the resolve, the conviction to direct and order your passions toward a God-glorifying end rather than a self-gratifying one. It is a non-anxious state of being that takes to heart in every circumstance the truth that God is the final judge of all and vengeance belongs to him alone. And because of this, meekness knows the wisdom of taming the tongue, of tempering rage, of letting go of bitterness and resentment, of withholding immediate gratification for the sake of far greater pleasures.
And thus we can begin to see why the promised inheritance offered to the meek would be so enticing. As comfort appeals to the mourners and a kingdom appeals to the poor, what might the meek find attractive about inheriting the earth? As the meek continue to put off the immediate gratification of seeking revenge, of withholding from themselves the twisted pleasures of rage and wrath, as they tame their tongues and choose not to speak the spiteful word at the wrong time, what greater promise, what greater hope, could they have than that God would avenge them, that he would put their accusers to flight, and cause them to possess the land of their enemies? Surely, meekness is a great blessing, for by it we come to inherit the earth.
Zach Wilke – January 21, 2024