October 20, 2020
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 20 October 2020
Jesus referred to the meek as blessed “for they shall inherit the earth.” The taming of a wild horse is a good depiction of the biblical concept of meekness. Meekness is the means by which God tames our sinful being. God tames our temper, subdues our self-assertive nature, calms our passions, manages the impulses of our heart, and brings order from chaos.
Men and women, by nature, are wild creatures with a quick temper, impatient, and self-opinionated. Without meekness, we descend into an internal conflict of soul that manifests itself in anger, bitterness, frustration, resentment, and turmoil. Meekness tames our temper, subdues our self-assertive nature, calms our passions, manages the impulses of our heart, and brings order from chaos.
The Greek word praotēs, which is translated meekness or gentleness in our English Bibles, literally means, “not easily provoked.” A tamed horse is taught meekness so it will behave in a certain manner; given specific cues, it will respond as desired, under the authority of its designated master. The horse no longer bucks or thrashes wildly in its pen; rather, the horse has become so meek (or gentle) that a young child is able to ride on its back and command the horse to move in a precise manner, at specific times, with only the slightest tug of a rein. Nevertheless, the horse retains all its inherent power and strength to run, carry a heavy load, or rear its body against an enemy.
Meekness is thus “strength under control.” There is the strength of steel in meekness because the supreme characteristic of a person who is meek is that he or she is under perfect control. Meekness is not a spineless gentleness, sentimental fondness, or passive quietism. A meek person is not a human mouse afflicted with a sense of inferiority; rather a meek person may be bold as a lion and strong as Samson in his or her moral life and accepts God’s estimate of his or her life.
Meekness is not weakness. The only thing in common between those two words is that they rhyme. On the contrary, it takes great strength to be meek. The Lord Jesus is the supreme example of meekness. Jesus said, “‘Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. ‘Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. ‘For My yoke is easy and My burden is light’“ (Matt 11:28-30). The word “gentle” is the Greek adjective praos, which is also our word “meek.” Second Corinthians 10:1 refers to “the meekness and gentleness of Christ.” Think of how appropriate this description of Christ, from 1 Peter 2:22-23, is: “who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in his mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously.”
Christians are to exhibit meekness as one of the character qualities that authenticates our relationship with the Lord. The promise that Jesus gave – blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth – is intended to give us strength to endure in meekness when the natural inclination would be to defend ourselves or retaliate or to express fretful anger. Meekness begins when we have trust in God.
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