Blessed Are Series, Part 3: The Meek
October 22, 2006
This sermon was presented before the Load, Kentucky, church of Christ, on October 22, 2006. The meek are a gentle people who will listen to God's word, and keep it. By so doing, they are often left to themselves in the land. In this way, they are said to inherit the land, or the earth. Bernie Parsons
Blessed Are The Meek
By Bernie Parsons
Presented to the Load, KY, church of Christ on 10-22-2006
Matthew 5:1: “And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
2: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
3: Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4: Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5: Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6: Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7: Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8: Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9: Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10: Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
In the previous two studies, we looked at the blessed poor in spirit, and the blessed mournful; today we study the blessing to the meek. In this third statement, Jesus is quoting from Psalms 37.
Psalms 37:1: “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
2: For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
3: Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
4: Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
5: Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
6: And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
7: Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
8: Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
9: For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.
10: For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.
11: But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”
The context of this passage is one that is repeated throughout the Old and New Testaments. As in the other two blessings, meekness refers to a spiritual condition, or attribute. In fact, many over the ages have assumed meekness to mean weakness, but this is not the case. It takes a strong person to be meek in spirit.
Psalms 25:1: “Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.
2: O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.
3: Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.
4: Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.
5: Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.
6: Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old.
7: Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O LORD.
8: Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.
9: The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.
10: All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.
11: For thy name's sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.
12: What man is he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.
13: His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth.
14: The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.”
The meek are those who seek the Lord, and His teachings. The meek realize their sins, and seek forgiveness for them. The Lord will teach the meek of His ways, and these ways can preserve the meek in times of great trouble.
Psalms 76:6: “At thy rebuke, O God of Jacob, both the chariot and horse are cast into a dead sleep.
7: Thou, even thou, art to be feared: and who may stand in thy sight when once thou art angry?
8: Thou didst cause judgment to be heard from heaven; the earth feared, and was still,
9: When God arose to judgment, to save all the meek of the earth. Selah.
10: Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.
11: Vow, and pay unto the LORD your God: let all that be round about him bring presents unto him that ought to be feared.
12: He shall cut off the spirit of princes: he is terrible to the kings of the earth.”
In these passages are revealed the context of the message. God will rise up against the princes and kings of the earth, and bring them down. They will be judged, and out of their judgment will come their destruction for all of their persecution and destruction of the poor, the needy, the fatherless, the widow, and the innocent.
Isaiah 11:1: “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
2: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
3: And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
4: 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.
5: And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.”
This passage from the prophet Isaiah recalls the statements of David in the Psalms, how that God would smite the wicked and deliver the meek.
Jeremiah 27:4: “And command them to say unto their masters, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Thus shall ye say unto your masters;
5: I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me.
6: And now have I given all these lands unto the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him.
7: And all nations shall serve him, and his son, and his son's son, until the very time of his land come: and then many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of him.
8: And it shall come to pass, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith the LORD, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand.
9: Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon:
10: For they prophesy a lie unto you, to remove you far from your land; and that I should drive you out, and ye should perish.
11: But the nations that bring their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him, those will I let remain still in their own land, saith the LORD; and they shall till it, and dwell therein.
12: I spake also to Zedekiah king of Judah according to all these words, saying, Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live.
13: Why will ye die, thou and thy people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, as the LORD hath spoken against the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon?”
I know that this runs counter to the American way of thinking, but in many instances God’s people have been told to submit to those over them, and so preserve peace, and perhaps, their very lives. These Israelites who would submit to the rule of Nebuchadnezzar would be left in the land—that is, they would inherit the land (earth). Those who rebelled against him, and in so doing, against the word of God, would be removed from the land, either by execution, or by being carried away into captivity.
Listen to the teaching that Jesus gave His followers, as we read further in this chapter.
Matthew 5:38: “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
39: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
40: And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.
41: And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
42: Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
43: Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44: But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45: That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”
Matthew 10:23: “But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.”
Matthew 24:15: “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
16: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:”
What Jesus taught, and the apostles repeated, was not to be part of the problem. Don’t agitate, don’t resist those that conquer you. Live humbly day by day, making your living, and obeying the laws of the land, as long as they do not conflict with the laws of God. If you see God’s judgment playing out in the destruction of the leadership, flee to safety.
Titus 3:1: “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,
2: To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.”
Romans 13:1 “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
2: Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
3: For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
4: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
5: Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
6: For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
7: Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.”
The meek inherit the earth by keeping a low profile and minding their business. When invaders come, they often kill the leadership of the countries that they conquer, but often spare the poor and the hard working peasants to continue their work. The spiritually meek will listen to God’s instructions in this regard.
Matthew 26:51: “And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and smote off his ear.
52: Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”
Revelation 13:10: “He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.”
The meek shall inherit the earth, which means to remain in the land. To do so, we must be a gentle people, and a people that obeys the laws of the land, as much as possible, and, above, all, a people that listens to God, and obeys Him.