Blessed are the meek. The dictionary defines meek as “Enduring injury with patience and without resentment, deficient in spirit and courage, not violent or strong.” Synonyms include mild, submissive, and moderate. The etymological roots of the word go back to an Old Norse word which meant “gentle” and a Welsh word which meant “soft.” Pardon my machismo, but it is hard not to hear Jesus say, “Blessed are the wimps.”
There are two people in the Bible that are specifically referred to as meek. The first is Moses. In Numbers 12, we find Miriam and Aaron grumbling against Moses. It seems they are upset because Moses was acting as if God only revealed Himself to him. As a result of their grumbling, God showed up and made it very clear that He had chosen to reveal Himself to Moses, face to face. God’s judgment fell upon Miriam who turned leprous, and Moses interceded for her, asking the Lord to heal her, which He did.
In the middle of the story, in a parenthetical note, we read these words, “Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth” (Numbers 12.3). In the Greek translation of the OT, the word is the same as Jesus used in Matthew 5: meek.
Moses didn’t seem very wimpy to me. He stood faithfully as the man of God in the community, refusing to be run over by the rebellion of the grumbling crowd. But, he let the Lord fight his battles for him.
The other person described as meek in the Bible is Jesus. Speaking about Himself, Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle (“meek,” same Greek word as the beatitude) and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11.29). While approaching the crucifixion, He went silently like a lamb led to the slaughter. But, if we read the entire story of Jesus, from pre-incarnation through the His second coming, “wimpy” is definitely not the word to describe the Eternal Ruler of the Universe.
Whatever meekness means, it was lived out before us in the life of Moses and in our Lord and Savior.
Blessed are those who are meek like Jesus.