Around the world, Christians are being pushed into a corner by an increasingly sinful society, who ironically attempt to blame us for the ills of this world. Go read the newspaper, watch the news or visit a blog and you will know what I mean. I am not so much concerned for myself, but rather I am saddened by how difficult it will be for our next generation to raise Godly children.
My heart tells me to push back and fight for our morality and our rights. But I keep running into people who remind me that God will take care of us and that we are called to be meek. I remember the verses about the meek inheriting the earth and think to myself that I need to really try and be more meek.
- But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
(Psalms 37:11 KJV)
- Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
(Matthew 5:5 KJV)
OK, so if I am to be meek, then it’s fair to ask just exactly what does it mean to be meek? As always a good place to start is with a definition.
meek (me-k) pronunciation
adj., meek·er, meek·est.
1. Showing patience and humility; gentle.
2. Easily imposed on; submissive.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. Answers.com 09 Aug. 2007.
So I am to be patient, humble, gentle, easily imposed on and submissive? Now I understand why meek doesn’t sit too well with me; it sounds too close to my definition of a doormat. In spite of how I feel though, I am still called to be meek. However, it’ll take some work. So if I am be meek, I’ll need a few examples of how meek people carry themselves.
- (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)
(Numbers 12:3 KJV)
- 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.
(Jesus in Matthew 11:29 KJV)
Well until I looked for meek people in the Bible, I wouldn’t have pegged Moses, nor Jesus as meek. I would say they were assertive, confident and strong. But apparently they are meek. So it must be sort of a Chuck Norris meek, or a Teddy Roosevelt, “speak softly and carry a big stick” meek. I can relate to that kind of meek.
- Moses stood up to the Pharoahs of the Egypt and demanded freedom for the Israelites. How meek was that?
- Jesus very confidently tells the rich man to “Sell everything, give the money to the poor, then follow me.”
- Jesus stood toe to toe with the Romans and Jews to do what needed to be done. He didn’t back down even though it caused him immeasurable pain, suffering, sorrow and eventually death.
- And what about the meek prophets? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stood up to King Nebuchadnezzar’s big fire and said, “We will not worship your golden idol.” or chocolate bunny in the Veggie version. These guys were either amazingly strong or amazingly stupid.
Why are these Biblical heroes not acting meekly? Is God pulling a do as I say, not as I do? No He isn’t, absolutely not. He is being true in his word, but we are confusing today’s “meek” with the original word that was written. I am by no means a scholar when it comes to languages, but here is what my bible software says about the word translated to meek in Psalms 37 and Matthew 5:
depressed (figuratively), in mind (gentle) or circumstances (needy, especially saintly): – humble, lowly, meek, poor`
mild, that is, (by implication) humble
I don’t see that the original word means that we are to be easily imposed on or submissive. And based on examples of Moses, the prophets and Christ himself, I believe that the scriptures are only encouraging us to be humble, meek etc. before God, not meek before our fellow men. That I can live with.
I can work at being humble and meek before God as long as I can be strong and Christ-like assertive among men, even if it could mean being thrown in the fire, incarcerated, crucified, or even teased in a blog.
So if you are a Christian like me, go and be meek like Moses with the comfort of knowing that God is your big stick.