Meekness: A Spirit-Filled Life, Day 9
Meekness isn't a word we often use today. Whether it is a seemingly archaic word or because we don't see evidence of it in our society today, I do not know. Unfortunately, I tend to lean toward the latter. Webster defines meek as "enduring injury with patience and without resentment." The Greek word narrows it further, describing it as someone with a gentleness of spirit and mild disposition that walks in humility. With such definitions, it is easy to see why it's listed eighth in Paul's list to the Galatians, for meekness cannot be worked into our lives without the first seven.
When I think about men who exhibited meekness, I first think of Jesus and then, following, of Moses. In a parenthetical statement, Scripture states of him, "(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)" (Num. 12:3). The Hebrew word suggests there was lowliness and humility in Moses, unarguably one of the most extraordinary Old Testament men, not found in anyone else. It was his humility that caused God to come to his defense.
In Numbers, chapter 12, Moses' siblings, Aaron and Miriam, began causing division because of Moses' wife, Zipporah, who was not an Israelite, but Ethiopian. Scripture records them saying, "Has the LORD indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us also?' And the Lord heard it" (vs. 2). Interestingly, God doesn't dispute what they are saying and calls all three to the tabernacle of meeting and signals out Aaron and Miriam to come forward to hear Him, then delineates the difference between how He speaks to Moses versus them. The God of the Universe comes down in the pillar to ask Aaron and Miriam why they were not afraid to speak against Moses because while the Lord spoke to others in dreams and visions, He talked to Moses plainly, face-to-face while lauding Moses' faithfulness in all of God's house. As a result, Miriam is struck leprous, Moses intercedes, and after seven days outside the camp, Miriam is healed and allowed re-entry. And that's the point: when pride manifests in us, it prevents us from any interaction inside the camp of God.
What's impressive is that Moses was probably the single most educated man among the Hebrews at that time, having been raised in Pharaoh's palace. While Aaron was the spokesperson, Moses was the one through which God chose to do the miraculous, including the parting of the Red Sea. Moses, it seems, had every opportunity to walk in pride, yet did not. Instead of feeling smug at God's justification of him, Moses interceded for them instead of being angry with his siblings, and God heard him!
Meekness is more than just the quality of being humble. It is accompanied by a disciplined spirit that quickly releases injustices, allowing God to vindicate. The meek person is like Jesus, interceding for the brethren, instead of like Satan, the accuser of the brethren. It is characteristic of one who knows their position before the Lord and serves Him without lifting themselves in pride and is always true, never false. This person has been transformed by a work of the Holy Spirit to be like Jesus.
Jesus told His disciples, "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light" (Matt. 11:29-30). Christ is telling us to couple up with Him. While He is Lord of All, He never lords it over us. He is meek. Paul, writing the Philippians, exhorts them:
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in the fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Phil. 2:5-11).
For those who want to be like Jesus, meekness is a must. Humility must be cultivated into our lives. Ultimately, it won't matter how much you know about Jesus. Instead, the question will be how much like Him you have become. In a world that thrives on stepping on others to achieve worldly success, the Lord would have us bend before Him and, as we do, He will lift us to where He wants us (James 4:10). In fact, this was the personal prayer of revivalist Evan Roberts: "O Lord, bend me."
Lord, bend me, too!