Meekness: A Heart of Stone Turned to a Heart of Flesh – Matthew 5:5
Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.
It is important to get the right definition for meekness here. Matthew Henry defines it as the ‘silent submission of the soul to the providence of God concerning us.’ But that doesn’t satisfy me completely to the point of being able to apply it to my own life.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss eloquently defines it this way:
Meekness is calm confidence, settled assurance, and rest of the soul.
It is the tranquil stillness of a heart that is at rest in Christ. It is the place of peace.
Meekness springs from a heart of humility, radiating the fragrance of Christ.
I’ve found that a whole Bible study can be done on the character trait of meekness all by itself. But here, we just need to understand what it takes to inherit the earth and maybe understand why we would want to inherit the earth in the first place.
I have determined that meekness is easiness of spirit which demonstrates a heart of stone turned into a heart of flesh. Meekness requires a taming of the soul which is then able to understand God’s divine truth and precepts. The meek are willing to learn (James 1:21).
Have you noticed the progression of these first 3 blessings? First, we are poor in spirit – recognizing our sinfulness. Second, we are mournful about it and weep over our sins as well as the worlds – repentance. And third, in becoming meek, our souls are prepared to hear and apply God’s word.
Psalms 37 speaks of the blessing of inheriting the earth. It seems that Jesus is quoting verse 11 “but the meek shall inherit the earth.” In verse 9, those that wait upon the Lord shall inherit the earth. In verse 13 the Lord shall laugh and see His day coming. And to wrap up our understanding of inheriting the earth, turn to 1 Corinthians 3:22. Paul points out that if you are Christ’s and Christ is God’s, all things are yours.
Read Psalm 37 and note all the times that meekness is necessary and then note the consequences of being meek in those situations.
The word ‘fret’ is used 3 times in this passage (1, 7 and 8) How does fretting contradict an attitude of meekness?
Find all of the promises for all those who continue in meekness.
What do you find in verse 9 that would explain inheriting the earth?
More references to study:
Abraham (Gen. 13; 16:5, 6)
Moses (Num. 12:3)
David (Zech. 12:8; 2 Sam. 16:10, 12)
Paul (1 Cor. 9:19).
There are many ways that we fret in our daily lives which means we’re not really trusting God. Concentrate on turning your fretful heart into a heart of meekness and quiet.
Pray for gentleness and humbleness to replace pride and harshness. Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him and He will bring it to pass (Psalm 37:5)
A gentle person neither provokes evil nor is provoked by evil. Charges of sin do not prevail against such persons insofar as they are not the cause of sin. The meek one is more content to endure an offense than to commit one. For unless one is unafraid of being offended, one cannot be without sin. For even as weeds are never lacking in a field, provokers are never lacking in the world. Therefore that person is truly gentle who, when he or she has been offended, neither does evil nor even thinks of doing it.
© 2011 Debora P. Gilley