Blessed are the meek

(Mat 5:5 NIV)  Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

What is the meaning of the word “meek”?

There is no one word that can capture the full meaning of the Greek word praus, which is translated meek. This word carries several meanings.

It has the meaning of humility. In the following verse, Jesus, the King, comes to us riding on an ass. He did not come in a mighty horse. He was not born in a mighty palace but in a stable.

(Mat 21:5-7 KJV)  Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. {6} And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, {7} And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon.

Meekness also has the meaning of gentleness.

(1 Pet 3:4 KJV)  But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

The meek in KJV has been translated as gentle in NIV.

(1 Pet 3:4 NIV)  Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.

Meekness does not mean weakness.

Matt 5:5 says that the meek will inherit the land. In Josh 1:6, God told Joshua to be strong so that he will inherit the land. Therefore meekness does not equate to weakness.

Jesus was a meek Man. Yet we would not describe Him as weak.

(Josh 1:6 NIV)  "Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them.

What does it mean to “inherit the land”?

Naturally, to “inherit the land” refers to actually conquering and possessing a land.

(Num 14:24 NIV)  But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.

But we need not be restricted to a literal meaning. We can think about “inheriting a land” as “taking possession of something God intends us to have”. God may want us to “take possession” of our office for Him by winning our colleagues to Christ. It could be taking hold of God’s promises for your life.

Whatever it is, we have to be meek in order to inherit it. That means we do it through humble and gentle means. Some religions like Islam conquer and spread through force. Christians must not be like that. In gentleness and humility we need to present our cause.

(1 Pet 3:15 NIV)  But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…

Likewise when we want to take hold of God’s promises for our life. We do it with humility and gentleness, never forcing our way through things.