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Blessed Are The Meek

by David Johnson

IMG_0666(Transcribed from the Words of Life Radio Program)

It is wonderful to be together again to look into the Word of God.   The title for the lesson is, “Blessed are the Meek” and our text is in the Old Testament, the book of Numbers chapter 12 verses one through 13.  Let’s listen to the Word of God. And if you have a Bible, look it up and let’s look at it together. Numbers chapter 12 verses one through 13.

Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. Has the Lord spoken only through Moses, they asked?  Hasn’t he also spoken through us? And the Lord heard this.  Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth. At once the Lord said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam: Come out of the tent of meeting all three of you. So the three of them came out. Then the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud. He stood at the entrance of the tent and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When both of them stepped forward he said: Listen to my words. When a prophet of the Lord is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions. I speak to him in dreams. But this is not true of my servant Moses. He is faithful in all my house. With him I speak face to face clearly and not in riddles. He sees the from of the lord. Why, then, were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? The anger of the Lord burned against them and he left them. When the cloud lifted from above the tent there stood Miriam leprous, like snow. Aaron turned toward her and saw that she had leprosy and said to Moses: Please, my Lord, do not hold against us the sin we have so foolishly committed. Do not let her be like a stillborn infant coming from its mother’s womb with its flesh half eaten away.  So Moses cried out to the Lord: Oh, God, please heal her.  This is the Word of God.

In our world we have a world full of arrogance and egotism and bluster. It is refreshing to meet people with some humility even meekness. And Christians should lead way in meekness and with humility instead of prideful boasting and being filled with self importance. Meekness, especially, is a widely misunderstood, godly virtue. Meekness, according to the dictionary means humility, patience. However, a secondary meaning is usually associated by most as weakness, even spineless easily imposed upon, subservient, a doormat type person. In our culture today usually the meek are considered to be just weak. The adage is: It is might that makes right.  However, to God meekness and humility are great virtues. In the New Testament original Greek language meekness was a great moral virtue going even beyond humility to include being considerate and sensitive, gentle with power under control, not weakness, such as a horse tamed and trained for strong, positive submission. Jesus Christ himself stated in the gospel of Matthew chapter five and verse five: Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth.

In this world the high and mighty temporarily rule and usually rule ruthlessly. However, once the Lord returns to this earth, it will be the meek, through humble faith in the Lord that shall inherit the earth and rule under Christ. As Christians in the present, we need to exhibit, we need to live out godly meekness in world that needs our witness of Christ in us.
Consider in the New Testament 2 Corinthians chapter 10 and verse one that says, in part: By the meekness and gentleness of Christ I appeal to you. This was the exhortation that the apostle Paul gave to the Corinthian Christians. And notice the way that he described the virtues that he attributed to Jesus Christ. Meekness and gentleness. Jesus Christ was certainly not weak physically, but he was meek. Jesus Christ was certainly not weak mentally, but he was meek and is meek. Jesus Christ was certainly not weak morally or spiritually, but he was and is meek. And so we should be, as Christians, who wear the name of Christ, emulating him. He is our perfect role model. We are to walk in his steps and seek to be conformed to his character, which includes meekness. Meekness, even beyond humility, is misunderstood and a misplaced virtue needed so much more today especially in God’s people in the Church. It is power under control, tamed, trained by the Holy Spirit. It is not strutting self, but being led by the Holy Spirit, Spirit led.

 

Christ stated in Luke chapter 14 and verse 11: For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted. That is, exalted by God at the proper time for the proper reasons. Meekness is the believer’s proper attitude toward God, toward others and even of self.  To have the mind of Christ is to be meek, is to be humble. It is about yieldedness, gentleness, a servant’s mindset even as servant leaders. Meek is not always silent, but is careful before speaking. Meek is not always subdued or submissive, but is sure to act in the right way and for the right reasons. We should realize that meekness and humility should always precede genuine devotion and dedication to God and to others. Meekness and humility should even precede our worship of God as creatures bowing our hearts and minds to the creator.

In James, the New Testament epistle James chapter four and verse 10 it says: Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will lift you up.  Humble in the New Testament comes from an original Greek word meaning to make one’s self low.  When we worship, when we work, when we witness for the Lord, we should always remember  that he, the Lord, is our majestic, infinitely holy God, far, far above us. And we are lowly creatures even though we are made in the image of God, we worship in humbleness and meekness. We work and witness in humbleness and meekness.

In James chapter four and verse six it says, in part: God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Let’s consider, then, our biblical case study regarding meekness and humility as it was embodied in a great believer. The book of Numbers in the Old Testament chapter 12 and verse one says, in part: Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses. Notice Miriam’s name is first, probably because she was the main instigator against her brother Moses. In verse two it says, in part: Has the Lord spoken only through Moses, they asked? Hasn’t he also spoken through us? Notice here jealousy, jealousy on the part of the sister and brother of Moses, Miriam and Aaron.  Jealousy is a terrible pit to fall into. Miriam and Aaron sought to lift themselves up, to exalt themselves in the eyes of the elders of the people and of all of the Israelites.

Verse three. Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.  Now this statement is often used as supposed evidence that Moses could not have written the book of Numbers, at least this portion. For how could the humblest man on the face of the earth have boasted and bragged regarding his own humility?  Well, the are at least three points against the fact that Moses did not write this text, at least this portion of the book of Numbers.

First, at the end of this book of Numbers in Numbers chapter 36 and verse 13 it says, in part: These are the commands and regulations the Lord gave through Moses to the Israelites.  There is no reason to believe, therefore, that Moses did not write even the entire book of Numbers, as inspired of the Holy Spirit.

And so, secondly, we should remember that all the writers of Scripture—obviously including Moses—were carried along by the Holy Spirit of God as the original author. So here, even in this verse, Numbers chapter 12 and verse three—Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth—the Holy Spirit carried along Moses to write that. It was the Holy Spirit that inspired Moses to write an accurate statement about himself, possibly against his own natural inclination. Yet Moses humbly submitted to obey the direction of the Holy Spirit and to write this accurately.

Then, thirdly, in this context Moses also was asserting that he had done, that Moses had done, to provoke this attack by Miriam and Aaron. He was humble.

Then the Lord rebuked Miriam and Aaron. And we find this in Numbers chapter 12 verses six through eight that says, in part: as the Lord was chastising, rebuking them: When a prophet of the Lord is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions. I speak to him in dreams. But this is not true of my servant Moses. He is faithful in all my house. With him I speak face to face, clearly, not in riddles. He sees the form of the Lord. Why, then, were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? And so the Lord rebuked Miriam and Aaron.

Notice Moses did not endeavor to defend himself. The Lord defended him and the Lord lifted  Moses up. It was a humble servant faithful Moses whom God chose as mediator between himself and Israel. Moses did not endeavor to exalt himself. The Lord exalted him before Miriam and Aaron. We need more believers, more leaders even servant leaders today to be more like Moses in humility, in servant hood, in meekness, in faithfulness and that only the Lord need lift up. The Lord chastened Miriam with leprosy. And what was Moses’ reaction? Well, did Moses say: She deserved it. Well, no, of course not.

In Numbers chapter 12 and verse 13 it says: So Moses cried out to the Lord. Oh God, please heal her. Now that is humility.  That is meekness that we all need. That is sensitivity. That is power under control that very few have in the form of meekness. And Moses had it and exhibited it and even in a difficult situation it came out in his words because of his mindset of meekness.

Do you realize that without true humility before God we cannot have genuine repentance as sinners?  We must humble ourselves. We must admit that we are sinners. We must admit that we cannot tame our sin or take away our sin or not sin without the Lord and that we cannot be whole, we cannot be right with God without the Savior.  And only the Savior takes away our sin by the grace of God through our faith in him, our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ and his work on the cross as our sin bearer and as we receive Christ as our personal Savior and Lord through obedient faith at conversion and even after conversion because we still sin. We need to humble up and turn from our sin and seek the Savior either for the first time at conversion or, as Christians, as believers, to regain fellowship with the Lord that is broken because of our sin. And repentance involves humility, meekness. So how is our humility, our meekness? Jesus said: Blessed are the meek. May we all seek to be more humble and meek in our lives as a witness to the world.

 

                                David Johnson is minister of the Sellersburg Church of Christ, Sellersburg, IN.   




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Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

2 corinthians 1:3-4