Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Meekness

  Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
 Matthew 5:5

Meekness is a virtue that as a whole is no longer being taught in America. As you can see it has not prospered the country or the people to be without this virtue. Moshe (Moses) was known for this quality, Numbers 12:3  ("Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.").  Mashiyach (Christ) is also described in Matthew 11:29  ("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." ) as possessing meekness.  To women it is described as an ornament, 1Peter 3:4  ("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.")  



Here are some notes from one man's definition I copied years ago. It seems no matter how many times I read, copy, & study these notes I need to do it again until I lay ahold of this completely. After you read this definition consider applying this virtue to your dealings with your husband (for those of you who have one). For it is our husbands that we are to reverence with meekness as we would ha Adon (the Lord) Ephesian 5:22  ("Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.")


Πραότης  this is the modern Greek spelling. I could not find the exact spelling for the word that is pronounced, prah-oo’tace which means mildness, humility, meekness. Praetes denotes “meekness”. In it’s use in Scriptures, in which it has a fuller deeper significance than in non-Scriptural Greek writings, it consists not in a person’s “outward behavior” only; nor in his relations to his fellow men; as little in his mere natural disposition. Rather it is an inwrought grace of the soul; the exercises of it are first chiefly towards God. It is that temper of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good & therefore without disputing or resisting.
 It is closely linked with the word tapeinophrosune (humility), & follows directly upon it, Ephesians 4:2  “With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;” Colossians 3:12  “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;”

It is only the humble heart which is also the meek, & which, as such does not fight against God & more or less struggle & contend with Him. This meekness, however, being first of all meekness before God, is also such in the face of evil men, out of a sense that these with insults & injuries which they may inflict, are permitted & employed by Him for the chastening & purifying of His elect.

In  Galations 5:23  (“Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”) it is associated with enkrateia, “self-control” The meaning of prautes is not readily expressed in English, for the terms meekness, & mildness commonly used suggest weakness & pusillanimity (=cowardliness) to a greater or less extent. Whereas prautes does nothing of the kind. Nevertheless, it is difficult to find a rendering less open to objection than ‘meekness’, ‘gentleness’ has been suggested, but as prautes describes a condition of mind & heart, & as gentleness is appropriate rather to actions. This word is no better than that used in both English versions. It must be clearly understood, therefore that the meekness manifested by the Adon (Lord) & commended to the believer is the fruit of power. The common assumption is that when a man is meek it is because he cannot help himself; but the Adon was “meek” because He had the infinite resources of God at His command.

Described negatively, meekness is the opposite of self-assertiveness & self-interest; it is equanimity*of spirit that is neither elated nor cast down, simply because it is not occupied with self at all. In 2 Corinthians 10:1  (“Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you:”) the apostle appeals to the “meekness of Mashiyach [Christ]” Christians are charged to show all meekness toward all men Titus 3:2 (“To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.”) For meekness becomes “God’s Elect”  Colossians 3:12 (“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;”) To this virtue the man of God is urged. He is to follow after meekness for his own sake.  1 Timothy 6:11  (“But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.”) And in his service, & more especially in his dealings with the “ignorant & erring” he is to exhibit a spirit of meekness 1 Corinthians 4:21  (“What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?”) Galations 6:1  (“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”) Even they that oppose themselves are to be corrected in meekness.  2 Timothy 2:25 ( “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;”) James exhorts his “Beloved Brethren” to receive with meekness the engrafted word James 1:21 (“Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.”) Peter enjoins meekness in setting forth the grounds of Christian hope
 1 Peter 3:15  (“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”)

*=Noun- Mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, esp. in a difficult situation.

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