Meekness gets a bad rap nowadays. Somehow this word has been diminished and we now imagine the meek person to be painfully shy, timid, and weak, a placid doormat easily overlooked or cast aside.
But when we look to the Scriptures, we see the only two men the Bible calls meek: Moses and Jesus. And they are certainly not shy, timid doormats! Look at Moses, who confronted the great Pharaoh and demanded freedom for the Israelites, who led and governed an entire nation through multiple trials in the wilderness and who became the mouthpiece of God and His law to the people. This mighty leader is the man whom the Scriptures call “very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.”
Then there’s Jesus–God, the Creator, in human form–whose triumphal entry into Jerusalem on a donkey was the embodiment of meekness: “Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass.” Yet, as soon as Jesus entered Jerusalem, He went to the temple and “cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves.” Do these sound like the actions of a shy, weak doormat? Clearly, our idea of meekness needs to line up better with our Scriptural examples.
I think Paul’s description of the incarnation in Philippians 2 explains meekness well: “Christ Jesus [. . .] being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
Jesus, having all power, chose to place Himself under the authority of the Father. He chose to take the form of a servant, to become obedient to death on a cross. Having unlimited strength, He chose to restrain it, to willingly submit it to Another’s will.
Power under control. Force not easily provoked. Strength held in check. These are the qualities of meekness that help us understand this next Beatitude: “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”
This poem is written in simple, three-stanza trochaic tetrameter: /x/x/x/x, form ABAB.
“ Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. “
Though you might have been, like others,
Wildly letting passion loose,
Proud, contending with your brothers,
Status given to abuse,
Yet you chose to tame your spirit,
To ignore your pride of place,
Having might, to always gear it
Gentler, kinder, full of grace.
Strength controlled and power harnessed
Governed by your Father’s will,
Now you gain the earth: your harvest
Spilling out from Heaven’s till.