(The introduction for the next lesson in a peacemaking culture):
Meekness is not easy, it is not common, it is not “normal” to human beings. Meekness is a supernatural patience by which the Christian submits joyfully to all of God’s providence and bears gently and quietly the ill use of other people. Thomas Watson explains, “Meekness consists of three things: the bearing of injuries, the forgiving of injuries, the recompensing good for evil.”
Meekness is something which we highly prize in others. It is also something which we think is unnecessary, or foolish, or excused in ourselves. We are very happy when others patiently bear our failings, our mistakes, our anger or neglect. We very easily think that we have no need to bear meekly with others — and, at the same time, think no one has been as meek as we have been in the face unending insults, trials and temptations.
There can be no true peace within the Church, unless there is meekness in the members.
Therefore, in the hope that we can all become more meek — and thus more joyful in our service and more graceful with one-another — we will consider three aspects of meekness this evening:
First, What is meekness?
Second, What makes meekness difficult?
Third — this is a two-part question: What are the blessings of meekness? The blessings for the individual. The blessings for the church.
WHAT IS MEEKNESS: A GENTLE, JOYFUL PATIENCE
Moses is the first person called “meek” in the Scripture. In fact, he was the most meek man in all the earth. The story begins with Miriam and Aaron attacking Moses’ wife (apparently on racist grounds) and Moses’ ministry:
12 Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman. 2 And they said, “Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us also?” And the Lord heard it. 3 Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth. 4 And suddenly the Lord said to Moses and to Aaron and Miriam, “Come out, you three, to the tent of meeting.” And the three of them came out. Numbers 12:1–4 (ESV)
At this point the Lord rebukes the two for attacking Moses. What is of interest for us, is that it is in the meekness of Moses is exposed in the midst of attack. The meekness of Moses shows in that he does not retaliate, rather he actually prays that God will spare Miriam. It is precisely what Peter calls the Christian to:
8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 1 Peter 3:8–9 (ESV)
Peter then quotes Psalm 34 — which sets fort he blessing of the meek.