"BLESSED ARE THE MEEK"
I. HERE PERHAPS MORE THAN ANY OTHER, WE SEE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHAT MAN ESTEEMS AND WHAT GOD ESTEEMS.
And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
A. When we think of conquering the earth, what kind of person do we envision?
1. The Alexander the Great's.
2. The Napoleon's.
3. The Hitler's.
4. The Clinton's.
5. People who have a driving ambition for power, and will not let anyone or anything stand in their way of reaching their goals.
6. The world holds in admiration the self-made man. Those whose heads may be bloody, but unbowed.
B. This concept of the meek inheriting the earth was foreign to the Jews.
1. They were looking for a Messiah to lead them in the overthrow of Rome.
2. They thought of conquering of the world through military power.
3. Matthew was written to the Jews, and right at the beginning He is showing them that their concept of the Messiah is off. The earth will not be inherited by those with the greatest military might, but by the meek.
C. How far this is from the concepts we often hear in the church.
1. We put forward those who are constantly promoting themselves.
2. We see advertised all of these how to seminars. Where the great names are featured as the guest speakers.
a. How to be a more dynamic leader.
b. How to build your church to become number one.
c. How to prepare your church for the challenges of the future.
d. I have never yet heard meekness extolled as the way to conquer the world.
D. These beatitudes seem to follow in a logical order.
1. True Christianity begins with a true encounter with God.
a. I begin to see the truth about myself because I now see myself in that all revealing light of God.
b. This strips me of all boasting and pride and I bow in humbleness and contrition.
c. This is poverty of spirit.
d. Job is a classic example of the before and after experience of a man seeing himself in the light of God.
1. His wife asked him how long was he going to maintain his innocence?
2. In Job 27
he declared that he would die before he would acknowledge his guilt.
3. In 33:9 Elihu quotes Job as saying, "I am clean without transgression, I [am] innocent; neither [is there] iniquity in me.
4. After God revealed Himself to Job we hear him declaring in chapter 42:5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor [myself], and repent in dust and ashes.
2. Seeing the truth about myself, leads me to repentance for my sin. I and sorry and I mourn over my careless indifference to God.
3. This brings me to a honest opinion of myself as Job, "I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes."
4. As Chuck Jr. has said, the best way to understand the word meek is to hyphenate it. Me-ek.
5. As with Job, when someone else says of me, you are a sinner, I man resent it and try to defend myself. When I see the truth of myself in the light of God, I confess, "I am a sinner."
a. People often demean themselves. "Oh I am no good. I am so lame. Nobody likes me." And we are prone to think that they are so meek.
b. Let someone else say that about them and you will find out how truly meek they are.
II. WHAT IS A MEEK PERSON?
A. We are told that Moses was one of the meekest men in all the earth.
1. We recognize Moses as one of the greatest leaders in history.
2. He stood before Pharaoh with the demand to let the people go.
3. Meekness does not mean weakness.
4. That Moses was meek is told to us at the time when his older sister Miriam and Aaron were speaking against him.
5. We remember when his leadership was again challenged by Korah, rather than exercising his authority over them he suggested that they let God resolve the issue.
6. We see that meekness is compatible with great leadership.
B. Abraham was a meek man, yet he was a great man.
1. His meekness was demonstrated in his relationship with his young nephew Lot, giving him the first choice of the land and then quietly settling in the less desirable part.
2. He was not self assertive, but if the need called for it, he could arm his servants and pursue after the five kings and defeat them in order to deliver his nephew Lot.
3. We see that meekness is compatible with great courage.
C. David was a meek man.
1. We see it in his relationship with Saul who was pursuing him and seeking to kill him.
2. His sparing of the life of Saul when it was in his power to destroy him.
3. David knew that God had chosen him to be the king, Samuel the prophet had anointed him. Yet he did nothing to usurp the throne from Saul.
4. His meekness was again manifested in his fleeing from his son Absalom when Absalom approached Jerusalem with his army.
5. David was a might man of war. He defeated the armies of the aliens, he brought Israel to new heights of glory and possessions He seemed to be fearless in battle.
6. Meekness is compatible with great strength.
D. Gideon was a very meek man.
1. His objection to the call of God to deliver the Israelites from the Midianites, And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, how shall I save Israel? behold, my family [is] poor in Manasseh, and I [am] the least in my father's house.
2. With his 300 men he defeated the numberless army of the Medianites.
3. When the people wanted to make him king after the victory he answered them, "I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the LORD shall rule over you."
4. Meekness is compatible with bravery.
E. Jesus is probably one of our greatest examples of meekness.
1. He said of Himself,
Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.
2. Zechariah prophesied of Jesus,
Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.
3. Paul tells us of Him, "Who being in the form of God and thought it not robbery to be equal with God, humbled Himself and came in the form of man, and was obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
4. Peter tells us of Him, that He did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth, when He was reviled, He reviled not again, when He suffered He threatened not, but committed Himself to that judges righteously.
III. WHAT IS MEEKNESS? PAUL TELLS US THAT IT IS ONE OF THE MANIFESTATIONS OF LOVE, THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT.
A. Paul wrote to the Ephesians,
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
B. To the Colossians he wrote,
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
C. To Timothy his son in the faith, he wrote,
But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
D. To Titus another son in the faith he wrote to exhort the people,
To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, [but] gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.
E. James wrote,
Who [is] a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
F. Peter wrote,
Whose adorning let it not be that outward [adorning] of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
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.
G. The man who is meek is not proud of himself.
1. He is not arrogant and demanding.
2. He doesn't assert himself, or demand his rights.
H. The man who is meek is not sensitive about himself.
1. He is not always on the defensive.
2. We realize that there is nothing worth defending.
3. I have often said, "If you wish to defend yourself, the Lord will let you."
I. He never pities himself or feels sorry for himself.
1. I have so much more than I could ever possibly deserve.
2. Self pity is such a curse.
IV. THE PROMISE TO THE MEEK? "THEY SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH."
A. There are many promises to the meek in the scriptures.
The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.
The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.
But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
The LORD lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground.
But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
The meek also shall increase [their] joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
The spirit of the Lord GOD [is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound;
Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD'S anger. "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." Do you think that you are meek? Do you think that others would agree?