UPsideDOWN: Part 2

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Matthew 5:5

Continuing through the UPsideDown teachings of Jesus in Matthew 5; we find that if we are meek we will inherit the earth.

We must as the question – What does it mean to me Meek?

A meek person is normally considered someone who is a doormat. Someone who lets the world walk all over them or is swayed by everyone else’s options. This is a person who will probably not get very far in life. Whenever someone comes along that disagrees with them they will not stand up for themselves.

This, however, is not what Jesus meant when He said Blessed are the Meek. The word meek is the same word the Greeks would have used when describing a wild horse that has been bridled. Jesus is using the word to describe someone who has Strength under Control.

There are two examples of men who were considered meek in the Bible we will use as examples: Jesus (who was teaching) and Moses.

Moses was the leader of Israel out of Egypt and through the wilderness. He was a man who did not want to leadership role, but when God called him, he had to obey. Throughout the life of Moses it is clear he struggled with anger. From when he left Egypt because he killed a guard (Exodus 2:11-12) to returning from Mt. Sinai with the Ten Commandments and finding the Israelite people worshiping a golden calf he smashed the tablets (Exodus 32:19).

These two examples of the anger or Moses show us the two main places we have anger.

1. Anger toward people. 

Moses saw the hurt that was being inflicted on the fellow Hebrew in Egypt. This was a terrible thing (sin),  but he lashed out in a way that was toward the person. Moses allowed his anger to take over and cause him to do something that was sin. A sin to stop a sin; is a still a sin.

2. Anger toward the sin.

In the second example Moses saw the terrible thing (sin) of the people he was leading to the promised land. Instead of letting his anger overwhelm him toward the people, he had a righteous anger toward the sin. At this point he had become meek (keeping his strength/wrath/anger/power/authority in control). It is clear from the text that follows that this was his heart.

30 The next day Moses said to the people, “You have committed a great sin. But now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.”

31 So Moses went back to the Lord and said, “Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold. 32 But now, please forgive their sin—but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.”

33 The Lord replied to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book. 34 Now go, lead the people to the place I spoke of, and my angel will go before you. However, when the time comes for me to punish, I will punish them for their sin.”

35 And the Lord struck the people with a plague because of what they did with the calf Aaron had made.

Exodus 32:30-35

Moses pleaded with God to forgive the people. He was honest with God and honestly wanted to see God forgive them for their great sin. The power and authority Moses had as the leader of Israel; he could have told God had sinful they were and that they should all be killed. But he did not. This control is often believed to be compassionate or merciful, but Moses is said to be the meekest person of his time.

Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth.

Number 12:3 ESV

The next example of proper meekness is Jesus Christ.

Jesus was not a doormat. Throughout the life of Jesus there are many examples of Him standing for what is right in the face of people and leaders who did not agree with Him. He came as a light to the world not to get the applause of men or to simply blend in. But Jesus Himself said He is meek.

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.

Matthew 11:29 KJV

But Jesus was perfect; unlike Moses (and me) He could do anything.

There are a few clear examples of Jesus becoming angry in His life, but He was able to maintain an attitude of strength under control or a meek heart. This is because unlike Moses (and us); Jesus was able to only have angry directed toward sin and not the person. Here are two examples of His righteous angry.

Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.”

Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent.

He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.

Mark 3:1-6

Jesus was attempting to teach them that God did not give the law to hinder good, but to elevate it. But in their arrogance and self-righteousness they were not listening or understanding. This as Mark wrote made Jesus get angry. Jesus was angered at the lack of understanding, faith, and love of God. In His anger Jesus could have used His power and authority to strike them down for their unbelief; but instead He healed the man with the shriveled hand. He was able to control His strength and power in his anger.

The next example of Jesus becoming angry at sin found in all of the Gospels, but I enjoy the way John writes it.

13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” 17 His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

John 2:13-17

Jesus is going to Jerusalem for the Passover and “he found people selling.” They were not honoring the house of God as they should have been. They were using “the Church” for their own desires and gain.

There are a lot of people in the church who view the church as something for their own desires and gain and not for what it is; a place of worship and honor to God.

The word translated into Zeal here is also translated to indignation!

This story seems like it was wrong, but remember, Jesus never sinned. He was not angry or did not feel indignation toward the people, but toward the sin. As we stand for what the Word of God says; it is not wrong to get angry, but we must not direct our anger at the people.

“In your anger do not sin”

Ephesians 4:26a

The power and strength that comes from anger is not a sin, but it is what we will choose to do with that anger.

Will we follow Moses as he killed that Egyptian; through the way we interact, the words we say, or the things we type online to people? Or will we see the sin and cry out of God for forgiveness and speak the truth IN LOVE agents the sin.

This is how we become meek. By following these men in their example of strength under control; we will not always do this perfectly as Jesus did. However, remember Moses was said to be the meekest person on earth. He stumbled as we all will, but we must be willing to learn and change. If we do not truly learn to be meek will we inherit the earth?

A very sad end for the meekest man on earth…

1 In the first month the whole Israelite community arrived at the Desert of Zin, and they stayed at Kadesh. There Miriam died and was buried.

2 Now there was no water for the community, and the people gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron. 3 They quarreled with Moses and said, “If only we had died when our brothers fell dead before the Lord4 Why did you bring the Lord’s community into this wilderness, that we and our livestock should die here? 5 Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!”

6 Moses and Aaron went from the assembly to the entrance to the tent of meeting and fell face-down, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them. 7 The Lord said to Moses, 8“Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.”

9 So Moses took the staff from the Lord’s presence, just as he commanded him. 10 He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” 11 Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.

12 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.

Numbers 20:1-12

Much later in the life of Moses; again the people faced difficulty and began complaining and sinning. Moses began by seeking God for the answer, but at some point in his anger he allowed it to shift from their sin to the people who were sinning. Then He did not trust God; or in other words, he sinned. This caused him to not inherit the “earth” as he had been promised.

What are you in need of inheriting today? Safety, health, forgiveness, peace, hope, provision?

Don’t let your imperfect human nature get in the way of your inheritance as a child of God who is called to me meek or live with strength under control. Ask God to forgive you right now of your lack of trust in who God is; or in other words your sin against your Creator.

 

 

 

 

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