Summary: Meekness is not laziness or lack of desire or passion, weakness, niceness, or being easy going. Restrained might be another good word for it. Humility or biblical meekness has incredible power because it allows God to work. Pride gets in the way and it be
Have you ever heard of the "Dependent Order of Really Meek and Timid Souls"? When you make an acrostic of the first letters of its name, you have the word "Doormats." The Doormats have an official insignia—a yellow caution light. Their official motto is: "The meek shall inherit the earth, if that’s OK with everybody!" The founder of the society wrote a pamphlet called “Cower Power.”
I. Meekness (5:5a)
As you are aware many words don’t translate well from one language to another. Meek is one of those words. If we just take it at face value it means mild, gentle, or humble. But to take it in the context it was used in biblical times it is so much more.
This word was most often used for horses that had been broken, and in other uses it meant balanced, humble, gentle, not self willed or ill willed, obedient and submissive to God. Or - A. Power Under Control (Ps 37:11; Mt 11:29, 26:53; Gal 5:23)
It is not laziness or lack of desire or passion, weakness, niceness, or being easy going. Restrained might be another good word for it. Humility or biblical meekness has incredible power because it allows God to work. Pride gets in the way and it becomes mere human power, and most of the time God lets us have our own way if we choose that.
The idea of meekness is also found in Ps 37:11 speaking of future rewards to those who persevere in the Lord. “The meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace”. There’s a little clue for later. The OT promise to Israel is now corresponding to the promise for all God’s people. They inherited the promised land, God’s people of today now inherit a coming new earth. But we should all have abundant peace within us, that is the real inheritance in the here and now.
Meekness is a fruit of the spirit often translated as gentleness in Galatians 5. But it’s impossible to accurately translate the word into English especially using only one word.
The best definition and core of meekness I believe is, B. Relinquishing our Rights to God (Mt 26:39, 53; Php 2:3-11; Job 38:1-42:6), not demanding what you think you deserve, and this is why I use the word humble, though meekness is really many other things as well. The humble person knows that he deserves nothing when he sees himself as he truly is in relation to God. Yet he can smile because of the ridiculous grace and blessings that he has received in spite of this.
So rather than demanding our rights, we allow God to give us what He decides is right, and we don’t question it. Therefore, we will also not hold onto something, anything that we have been given, because like Job, we realize that it was never ours in the first place.
If we are suffering, if we see something as unfair, we immediately face it with a quiet mind and gracious spirit because we know we deserve much worse. The only thing that would be fair is death, because God says that because of our sin, that is all mankind deserves on our own merit. This is not low self-esteem, it is simply an accurate awareness of our spiritual state in God’s eyes.
We don’t deserve salvation, a nice church building, children, a house, any of it. All we deserve is death. Anyone who believes other than this is disagreeing with God. Pride is what tells us we deserve anything and Jesus says flat out, if you think you deserve the earth, you will not inherit it. Certainly not the new one I’m preparing for eternity. Remember everything physical, every thing of the earth is going to be destroyed before Christ returns, and only the meek, those who know they don’t deserve it, will inherit the new.
Listen to what we hear from Jesus in Mt 11:29 “Learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls”. Doesn’t that sound like peace as we heard in the Psalm? Meekness is caring more about God and others than yourself, it is selflessness. Perfect submission. Like the broken horse, we stop fighting, we stop trying to buck the rider off, and that is where our souls find rest.
But perhaps the best scriptural description of this meekness is of Jesus himself, our role model in Philippians 2:3-11.
“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be held on to, 7but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.