Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Earth as Inheritance

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)

What is this meekness we should be achieving? Top definitions are patience, humbleness, gentleness, enduring injury without resentment. Some would assume the word denotes weakness – it does not.

I ran across its first use in the KJV while preparing yesterday’s blog:

(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) (Numbers 12:3 KJV)

Moses was not seeking God.  He wasn’t looking to be used by God, for certain. He backed away, telling God he wasn’t good at public speaking. But God had a plan for this meek man. Perhaps his meekness came after his remorse over killing a man, after living with the consequences of what he thought was right, but could not have been.

David wasn’t seek God nor to be used by Him, either. David made many mistakes, but he understood meekness. David used the word in another Psalm:

The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever. (Psalms 22:26 KJV)

Think of the fruits of the spirit:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 KJV)

Meekness is not at the top of the list. Love comes first. With God’s love in our hearts we can have joy and peace fairly quickly, but longsuffering takes a while, often the result of our own errors but sometimes injuries from others. Both Moses and David suffered consequences of both kinds. I don’t believe that has changed for us today. How then can we achieve the meekness God uses so well?

Christ is our first example. As a child He knew He was to be about His father’s business. As an adult He knew how to answer temptation:

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4 KJV)

While it is absolutely true that I believe the Bible is our final authority on questions of faith, I agree with Paul’s farewell to Ephesus:

For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. (Acts 20:27-28 KJV)

That whole counsel of God includes the failures of godly men that match or surpass our own, and include God’s continued relationship with them through His mercy, His grace and their humbling before Him. That example is evident through His book – strong men, capable and honorable – bending their knee before God, humbly confessing then accepting His mercy, ever extended.

Listing them would name so many – Adam to Noah to Abraham to Jacob to Moses and on through to Peter and Paul, even those who crucified Him. This is our great cloud of witnesses. May God grant that we learn from them how to be what He can use to the best of His abilities, not ours.

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