Saturday, August 9, 2014

MEEKNESS IS NOT WEAKNESS BUT GREATNESS – PART II

Now, continuing with this series on MEEKNESS, let us examine other Scriptures before we proceed onto what the New Testament, particularly the words and deeds of the LORD Jesus Christ (the latter half of Part II and then Part III).
Finally, let's go through these seven passages from the Psalms on meekness:
We have three consecutive Psalms here in Psalms 22, 23 and 24: they form a kind of trilogy where Psalm 22 looks back to the Cross and the Lamb of God sacrificed for our sins; Psalm 23 is of our present reality, where the LORD is our [Good] Shepherd (As in John 10:11, 14) and we shall have no want; Psalm 24 speaks of that time yet ahead when Jesus returns as King of Israel. Yet even here in Psalm 22 we have this promise and a hope for the meek:
PSALM 22:26
26 The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.
The meek shall partake of the bread of Life, Jesus, and obtain eternal life (JOHN 6th chapter, esp. vs. 51).
PSALM 29:8-9
8 Good and upright is the Lord: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.
9 The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.

LUKE 18:16-17
16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.



The meek, like little children, have an awareness of their ignorance, of not knowing, and humble enough to receive teaching and assume that others in authority are truthful. Small children are typically not skeptical or unbelieving of adults; they readily believe and trust their word. They are meek in this way and for the seeker who is meeker than the world, God will guide them and teach them.


PSALM 37:9-11
9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.
10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.
11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace


How fascinating to me that all the rich and powerful of this world, these financial kings that rule across borders and are able to maneuver nations and global events, who always seek after more power to control as much of the world that they can, will be utterly cast down and left with nothing except the condemnation of God in holy judgment and eternal damnation! While the meek and lowly of the Earth, shall inherit the Earth, as they place their faith in the LORD Jesus! And that's all they have to do! The high and exalted are brought down low in judgment and the lowly are exalted (IS. 40:4; 1 PET. 5:6).
PSALM 69:30-31
30 I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.
31 This also shall please the Lord better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs.
32 The humble shall see this, and be glad: and your heart shall live that seek God


JER. 29:13 states that we shall seek and find God if we do so wholeheartedly; MATT. 5:8 states that the pure in heart will see God. Here again is the promise that the humble (or meek) will live that seek God!


PSALM 76:7-9
7 Thou, even thou, art to be feared: and who may stand in thy sight when once thou art angry?
8 Thou didst cause judgment to be heard from heaven; the earth feared, and was still,
9 When God arose to judgment, to save all the meek of the earth. Selah


The meek have the promise of salvation from the LORD from the coming judgment and the wrath of God that's to be poured out upon all the inhabitants of the Earth!
PSALM 147:5-7
5 Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.
6 The Lord lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground.
7 Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God


Here again the same concept of God casting down the proud and wicked and lifting up the meek and humble.
PSALM 149:
4 For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.
5 Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.
6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand;


Who of us as saints DON'T want to be pleasing to the LORD? The meek are certainly those who are pleasing to Him and He shall beautify them with salvation! “Beautify” here is to glorify, to embellish, to gleam. Same word used in ISAIAH 60:9.

Singing aloud upon their beds, joyful in the glory of God – saints can have a 'spiritual opera' in their bedrooms for the LORD! And the two edged Sword – what is that? The meek, God will teach from His Word and receiving such truth from and learning of Him causes us to rejoice!
Meekness is not something that can be produced by the proud; it is against the nature of sinful man to inherently desire humbleness, humility and meekness. The abasement of self is contrary to the natural inclination for self-exaltation, to acquire power for oneself in fulfillment of the desire to be 'a god'.
It was the very opposite of meekness that led Eve to take of the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The serpent claimed God was 'holding out on them' (Eve and her husband Adam), not allowing them greater power. Yet the serpent promised that they would have their eyes opened to this secret knowledge and become as gods.
1 JOHN 2:16
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
When they accepted this satanic invitation to rebellion and sinned against the LORD, the nature of sin became their own. While we as Christians recognize this as the beginning of evil, sin and death in the human race – the quintessential curse of our world there are secret societies as well as religions such as Mormonism and Hinduism that see the serpent and his promise as a blessing!
This is why pride and meekness are in a sense, opposites:
PROVERBS 16:17-19
17 The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.19 Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.

ISAIAH 2:12
For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:
ISAIAH 13:11
And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
PSALM 147:6
The Lord lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground.
LUKE 18:14
I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
In the Old Testament, the word used for the most part in the Hebrew for “meek” and “meekness” is anayv and it means “depressed, gentle in mind or in circumstances (needy, esp. saintly); meek, humble, poor, lowly, very meek. This word appearing almost exclusively in the poetical passages describes the intended outcome of affliction from God: that is, humility. In its first instance it referred to the objective condition as well as the subjective stance of Moses (NUM. 12:3).”
In the New Testament, the Greek words most commonly employed are praoites and praetes. Praoites simply means, “gentleness; by impl. humility, meekness.”
Praetes means, “mildness, humility, meekness; it consists not in a person's outward behavior only nor yet in his relationship with his fellow men ... Rather it is an in-wrought grace of the soul; and the exercises of it are first and chiefly towards God. It is that temper of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good and therefore without disputing or resisting it is closely linked with humility and follows directly upon it. Eph. 4:2; Col. 3:12. It is only the humble heart which is also the meek, and … does not fight against God [nor] struggle and contend with Him.
This meekness … before God is also [before people], even of evil men, out of a sense that these, with the insults and injuries which they may inflict are permitted and employed by [God] for the chastening and purifying of His elect. Meekness is the opposite to self-assertiveness and self-interest. It is an equanimity of spirit that is neither cast down or elated because it is not occupied with self at all. Meekness is not weakness – but by God's grace employs the strength necessary to follow Jesus:
MATT. 16:24-25
24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

We now turn to the New Testament and see what Scriptures here tell us about what meekness is all about, and what the benefits are in this godly virtue.
First of all, let's consider -
MATT. 5:5
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
The LORD Jesus Christ is delivering the Sermon on the Mount here; specifically the Beattitudes.
Every nation and kingdom has a culture to it: a legal, political, social and even ecclesial structures that form the protocols and structure by which its people are governed. The Kingdom of heaven when it arrives on Earth, with the LORD Jesus Christ assuming the throne of His father David, will have a culture to it as well; one in which meekness shall be highly esteemed and precious – seen as something beautiful and admirable in the eyes of our LORD!
GALATIANS 5:22-23
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.


It's been said before that “love” is the fruit of the Spirit, that is, the singular fruit that the Spirit bears and that all the rest of what's listed here is incorporated into that love. So if one has the fruit of the Spirit: love, then all the rest is included in that love: joy, peace, longsuffering, etc. including meekness.
How do we know this is true? Who is the one in the Bible that “is love”?
1 JOHN 4:8
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
God is love, and the Spirit is God, therefore the fruit of the Spirit being love has as its singular source God Himself, from Whom we acquire our joy, our peace; from God we exhibit patience and gentleness; since only God is good then our own goodness comes from Him. God is the granter of faith, He bequeaths meekness to His children and temperance.
So meekness from the fruit of the Holy Spirit is exhibited when we know the grace and love of God in our hearts.
The meek are not interested in judging and condemning others for their sins and faults, particularly their fellow saints; rather they have a passion to see the fallen restored and walking once again in the Spirit:
GAL. 6:1
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
The meek will not spare the fallen by sympathizing with them and further, condoning their sin; but will have compassion on them, knowing that they themselves are sinners saved by grace. They desire to see them restored by a vested interest in their spiritual recovery, and even more so have the greater vested interest in seeing the honor of God restored in their lives.
EPH. 4:1-3
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (parallel passage COL. 3:12-13)



And here we will end part II of this Three part series, and we shall conclude it soon, along with the video presentation of the second sermon delivered at The HOUSE of TRUTH Fellowship. Until then, may the LORD lead and instruct us by His Spirit to walk as He walked: among so many other characteristics, with meekness!

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