Meekness: Counter-Intuitive


3 Trust in the Lord, and do good;

dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness…

7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;

fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,

over the man who carries out evil devices!

8 Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!

Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.

9 For the evildoers shall be cut off,

but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.

10In just a little while, the wicked will be no more;

though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.

11But the meek shall inherit the land

and delight themselves in abundant peace.

Psalm 37: 3, 7-11

On a morning in which the free press of France has been violently attacked it may seem strange to write of meekness. However, the truth is, any morning in this world will serve up a number of wicked and violent reasons not to value meekness.

In Psalm 37 David contrasts the lives of the meek and the lives of violent. The motions of true faith in God generate meekness. Meekness is a typically non-valued quality observed in humility and gentleness. It is controlled strength, like that of a mighty horse able to respond to the slightest directive.

Meekness is counter-intuitive. Occupying the land seems to belong only to the strong and mighty. They take it. However, the inheritance of the earth belongs to those who have been gracefully brought into the rule of Christ the King. The prophetic vision of the fruits of meekness “they shall inherit the land” are only met in the Messiah. Jesus announces the reality of His Kingship and His people when he says, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”  (Matthew 5:6)

David encourages his people to choose meekness in respect to God and to His promises. Throughout Psalm 37 he contrasts the lives of the meek. We must be aware of how meekness will be tested in respect to

Emotion. vs. 8
Speech. vs. 12
Consideration of the weak. vs. 14
Fulfilling your commitments. vs. 21
Doing good and being generous. vs. 26

Meekness is future-present lifestyle. It is the only commended point at which we might say Jesus is our example. The Gospel-shaped life is not looking for an example of righteousness that can be copied. Rather the Gospel shaped life is formed through the transformative power of a Saviour who gives us the grace to enter into meekness with Him. He says, “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.” Matthew 11:28-30 (KJV)

You don’t have to listen to me…

My 2+ group read these verses last week and I have not been able to get away from them:  James 3:13-18

13Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

The meekness of wisdom.  Meekness is not a popular word.  So meek and mild.  Why is mild put together with meekness?  It has nothing to do with it.

Meekness has to do with controlled strength.  Think of sitting on the strongest and mightiest horse, giving a subtle command, and having the horse respond.  That’s meekness.  Controlled strength.

That’s Jesus.  Truly He IS the wisdom that came from heaven.  Controlled strength.  See Jesus, the magnificence and majesty of God wrapped up in flesh.  The meekness of wisdom.

Is that me and is that you?  Meek.

The meekness of wisdom says, “You don’t have to listen to me for me to feel good about myself.  You don’t have to listen to me for the world to be set right.  But I will listen to you… for a while.

And then hopefully we can draw out the wisdom of heaven

and all be better for it.”