SERMON ON THE MOUNT
MEEK, NOT WEAK
#4 - SERMON ON THE MOUNT
Turn please to Psalm 37. I would also suggest you take out a pen.
To many people a meek person has no "backbone". To them a meek person let's everybody run roughshod over them and stands up for nothing.
That, my friends, IS NOT what Jesus was referring to when he said, Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Jesus was meek, but certainly no pushover. Matthew 11:28-30, 21:5
The word meek means to be "gentle".
According to John MacArthur, "Meekness is a gentleness and a mildness, and a subdued character, but it is no weakness. It is power under control." John MacArthur, Kingdom Living Here and Now ( Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1980), p. 78
In Jesus' day the word "meek" was used to describe, a gentle breeze, a pleasant medicine or a colt that had been broken.
Warren Wiersbe, Live Like a King (Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1976), p. 64-65
A meek person can be very powerful, but very much in control.
A meek person is capable of anger.
Jesus got angry at the right things at the right times.
Jesus got angry with hypocrisy.
Jesus got angry with dishonest people who bought and sold in the temple. Matthew 21:13
But when Jesus was betrayed in the garden, He did not get angry.
When Jesus was falsely accused at His trials, He did not get angry.
When Jesus was nailed to the cross, He did not get angry.
Instead Jesus prayed for those who persecuted Him. Luke 23:34, Isaiah 53:7
As you know, Jesus had the power to fight against his enemies.
He could have come down of the cross.
He could have resisted the mistreatment he had received.
He had the power, as God, but didn't use it.
That's power under control
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
So how do we go about developing meekness in our lives?
First, we must realize that meekness is part of the Fruit of the Spirit. As we allow God's Holy Spirit to control us, we are allowing God to perfect the fruit of meekness. Galatians 5:22-23
It would also be nice if there was a passage of Scripture that would give us an idea of how to develop meekness in our lives.
Good news! There is!
When the Lord Jesus talks about meekness, He is alluding to
Psalm 37:11 - But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
Most of the Beatitudes were original.
However this beatitude was adapted from the verse that we just read. In the verses before Psalm 37:11, God shows us the qualities of a meek or gentle man or woman.
The verbs, the action words, are the key to developing a meek spirit. I suggest that you underline some of these as we speak.
I'll suggest which ones to underline.
FRET NOT - Vss. 1-2
Those words mean "don't get heated up". Don't get hot. Or as we may say, "be cool". James Montgomery Boice, Psalms, An Expositional Commentary (Grand Rapids, Baker, 1994), p. 41
Getting agitated is what keeps us from being meek or gentle.
And evil people can get us agitated, especially when they do things against us or those we love.
According to vs. 2, wicked people will quickly meet their end.
But it's not only wicked people who get us worked up and out of sorts.
People who are not evil get us worked up and out of sorts, when we shouldn't allow them to do so. Proverbs 3:30, 20:3
Other things that cause us to get agitated, or hot, both on the inside and the outside are fear and worry. Isaiah 41:10, Matthew 6:25
TRUST AND DO - Vs. 3
We fret because we do not trust the right person.
The one we should trust is the Lord!
It begins with salvation. Eternal life is a result of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins, was buried, and rose again. Romans 10:13
And if we can trust the Lord Jesus with our very lives, can't we also trust him with the things that cause us to fret?
Not only are we to trust, according to verse 3, but we are to do good
Because I trust Him to take care of me, I can do what is good, and therefore do what is right.
One good thing that I should do is not fret.
I don't have to fret because I can trust that the Lord is taking care of things.
Sometimes we fail to do what is good because we are afraid of criticism. We are afraid of getting lambasted for doing what is right.
When we trust the Lord for the strength and the help, we can do what's right no matter what the consequences. 1 Peter 3:13-14
DELIGHT - Vs. 4
Do you know something about many of the hunters I've met?
They delight in hunting.
They think about hunting.
They talk about hunting.
They study hunting.
They spend money on hunting.
They take time to hunt and to participate in hunting related activities.
We Christians are told to delight in the Lord.
We should delight in the Lord because He is creator.
We should delight in the Lord because He is our God.
We should delight in the Lord because He is our Savior.
We should delight in the Lord because we are His children.
We should delight in the Lord because we are citizens of Heaven.
We Christians should learn something from hunters.
They think about hunting, we should think about the Lord.
They talk about hunting, we should talk about the Lord and to the Lord.
They study hunting, we should study God's Word.
They spend money on hunting. We should spend money on the Lord's work.
They take time to hunt and to participate in hunting related activities. We should take time with the Lord and in activities, such as church and Bible studies, that are related to the Lord.
According to this verse, when we delight in the Lord, we will receive the desires of our heart. When we have the desires of our heart, we will have every reason to be meek. We won't have anything to get hot about.
Now for some truth in advertising. If you delight yourself in the Lord, the desires of your heart will change. The things that you want will please God. And because the things that you want will please God, He will give them to you.
COMMIT - Vs. 5
Instead of fretting we should be praying.
Instead of getting bent out of shape, we should be discussing the problem with God.
We tend to get upset and then pray.
Instead we should pray, and we will more unlikely to get upset. 1 Peter 5:7
REST AND WAIT - Vs. 7
Rest here does not mean to stop working. It is to "be still".
To me it means to simply relax in the understanding that God is in control and taking care of the problem.
I am not agitated.
I am not upset.
I am not hot.
I am not ready to bite someone's head off.
I am simply at mental ease, gentle, waiting on God to work in His good time.
And there are two last words to underline.
CEASE AND FORSAKE - Vs. 8
Anger is to be avoided.
Any wrath is to be forsaken.
You know what happens when an open bottle tips over.
When an open bottle tips over, out comes the contents.
When you are tipped over by circumstances or problems, what's inside you will come out as well.
What will come out?
A hotheaded response?
Or gentleness or meekness?
Meekness is NOT weakness. It is power under control.