O the Blessedness of the Meek

O the Blessedness of the Meek

We are continuing our series on the Beatitudes. You can go here and read about the first Beatitude called The Poor in Spirit and here to read about the second called Joy Comes in the Mourning.

Now, we will look at the third Beatitude found in Matthew 5:5.

O the blessedness of the meek! For they will inherit the earth.

Matt. 5:5

Let me start off by saying, Wow! I found some cool meanings of these words in my research of ancient Hebrew, and I am really excited to show and tell you what God led me to.

I just bought a really cool book called Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible by Jeff A. Benner (Yes, I am a total geek). It doesn’t just explain the Hebrew of the Bible but goes back even further to the early Hebrew when their language looked pictorial or like hieroglyphics.

Strong’s Concordance describes meek as “the idea of looking down or browbeating; to depress literally or figuratively…chasten self, deal hardly with, defile, exercise, force, gentleness, humble (self). https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?strongs=H6031&t=KJV

The Eye

The Hebrew word for meek/humble is anah and we write it like this: (Remember you read right to left.)

ענה

Ayin (ע) is the first letter in the word anah, but in the early Hebrew language it looked like an eye:

So, the word anah has to do with our eyes and careful watching. In this case, it has to do both with where we place our eyes (on God, not ourselves), but also what we are watching.

What are we to watch?

Our heart.

What are we to watch…our heart. #ThisSideofHeaven #TheBlessednessoftheMeek

Numbers 12:3 uses anah to describe Moses.

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

Numbers 12:3 ESV

What made Moses so meek? Jennifer Ross explains on The Torah Class website.

G-d requires cleanliness… thus Moses strove to remain clean.  In his heart, he knew that he must be clean in order to approach or to be approached by G-d. Simply put, Moses didn’t want to be called by G-d and be found in an unclean state and therefore unable to answer the call.  Imagine that for a moment.

https://www.torahclass.com/archived-articles/429-anav-by-jennifer-ross

Moses watched his heart. He kept guard over his heart and his thoughts and obeyed the Torah or Law in order to prevent anything (uncleanness) from coming between him and the Father.

Consider this, Deuteronomy 18:15 says,

The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me [Moses] from among you, from your fellow Israelites.

Deut. 18:5

According to John 5:46, Jesus told the people accusing Him that Moses wrote about Him. He was/is the Prophet like Moses. He came in humility.

Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Phil. 2:8

Source: https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Humility-Of-Christ

Jesus is our example of humility.

Hebrew4Christians.com is another great website for information on the Hebrew language. In their explanation of this Beatitude, it says,

This word [meek] does not suggest weakness, but rather one’s recognition of one’s proper place in the universe before God. It is not self-effacing, but reality-focused. The meek inherit the earth because they are grounded in the truth of reality…

https://www.hebrew4christians.com/Scripture/Brit_Chadashah/Beatitudes/beatitudes.html

And what is that reality you might ask?

That answer goes back to my post called The Poor in Spirit based on the first Beatitude in Matthew 5:3.

O the Blessedness of the poor in spirit! For theirs is the Kingdom of God.

Matthew 5:3 ESV

I explained the poor in spirit recognize their position as beggars who are in absolute dependence on the Father. We need humility to be willing to look at our hearts in comparison to a Holy and Perfect God and see we are nothing more than beggars in need of a compassionate God to take care of us.

This verse tells us the meek will inherit the Earth. What does this mean?

In the Midrash below, one rabbi said:

For it is said: Now the man Moses was very meek (Num. 12:3). Scripture states that whoever is meek ends by having the Shekhinah dwell with him ( the man) on earth

Midrash Mekhilta

The Hebrew word for inherit is yaresh and it means, to occupy (by
driving out previous tenants, and possessing in their place);
by implication, to seize, to rob, to inherit; also to expel… http://classic.net.bible.org/strong.php?id=03423

I believe this is suggesting that God gives the meek power in the spiritual realm to drive out and take possession of the things satan has stolen.

This world is under satan’s control right now. Revelation tells us of the war between Jesus and satan while God is sorting it all out. (very simplified).

God desires us to be humble.

There are many verses about humility and what the Lord thinks about those who are proud and those who are humble. But, not only that, many verses include what the humble receive from God.

A man’s pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain honor.

Proverbs 29:23

Source: https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Humility-And-Pride

Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.

James 4:10

Source: https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Humility-And-Pride

Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 18:4

Source: https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Humility-And-Pride

I could go on… but I think you get the message.

I hope you’re beginning to see the progression of the Beatitudes: When we know that we are nothing more than beggars who are dependent on our Lord (Matt. 5:3), we will mourn over our sin (Matt. 5:4), and keep our hearts clean so nothing can come between us and God (Matt. 5:5). Then the Kingdom of Heaven (or The Lord) is in us, the Lord will comfort us, and we will inherit (or take possession of) the earth.

And God will call us the blessed, happy, and glad.

The Poor in Spirit

The Poor in Spirit

Are you on Twitter or heard of #Healthyfaith Twitter chat?

You can find it when you click on Explore and enter #Healthyfaith.

The topics on #Healthyfaith vary from night to night, but each leader has a different topic for at least 8 weeks. Recently, on Thursday nights, we led our #Healthyfaith chat on the Beatitudes. For me, it was fun to gather research on Matthew 5:3-12 and come up with questions based on these scriptures.

Since the Twitter chat topic changed to the Names of God, I’d like to share what I’ve learned through my study of the Beatitudes over the next nine weeks on this blog.

I hope you find it encouraging, educating, and even life-changing.

Here we go!

Kingdom Building

And you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.

Revelation 5:10 ESV

Biology was and is my favorite subject. I loved learning about the different plants, animals, cells, and fungi in the world, especially how we as humans fit into it all. This world belongs to our Creator and everything in it He made it with a purpose—except mosquitos….I’m not sure of their purpose other than to feed bats and dragonflies…but that’s another subject.

As a biologist, I have taught many classes on the six different kingdoms of biology. Starting from the smallest single-cell kingdoms like Archaebacteria and Eubacteria up to the largest multi-celled kingdoms of plants and animals—from the mosquito to the Blue whale. These kingdoms represent every life form on this planet.

The largest is the animal kingdom, which includes humans.

Amongst all the kingdoms we learn about, the most important one we will ever know is God’s. He created His Kingdom, and appointed Jesus as King, to represent and usher all humans into it.

Because we can’t see this awesome place God has for us, many people decide to build their own out of their dissatisfaction.

One way the enemy entices us is through our profession. We may be a secular business, a Christian ministry, or even an author—trying to build a personal kingdom of followers to buy our products and embrace our vision. Our kingdom and brand adopt our name.

You are the customer. Everyone we know—from people we worship with to friends and family becomes potential clients and/or purchasers.

We become the king of our kingdom.

This is what others teach us to do.

Now, I’m not saying we are trying to usurp God’s Kingdom and authority. But, it is easy to get caught up in our own kingdom-building.

Even the Pharisees had problems with this. They weren’t all bad either. We see in Luke 17:20:

Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.

Luke 17:20

The Kingdom of Heaven

What does that mean?

One rabbi said, “When a person committed himself daily to love God with all of his heart, soul, mind, and strength, (by saying the Shema) he had “received upon himself the kingdom of heaven.” (https://engediresourcecenter.com/2019/09/04/what-is-the-kingdom-of-heaven/)

For us, the Kingdom of Heaven/God is in our hearts when we make the Lord- King of all we are and do. The Kingdom of Heaven lives in us!

For us, the Kingdom of Heaven is in our hearts when we make Jesus, King of all we are and do. #ThisSideofHeaven #BlessedarethePoorinSpirit

In Matthew 5, we learn what type of people make up His kingdom.

The Poor in Spirit

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

The phrase Blessed are translates from the Hebrew as O the blessedness of or The gladness of. This is not a condition of the person who is poor in spirit, but the reality of the person.

What does it mean to be poor in spirit?

The Hebrew term means to “crouch like a helpless beggar.” (https://www.hebrew4christians.com/Scripture/Brit_Chadashah/Beatitudes/beatitudes.html)

This represents a person in absolute need of God to take care of them. This is humility at its best.

A person who is poor in spirit is the opposite of worldly thinking—independent, proud, with an “I have it all-I need nothing” attitude.

Have you ever wondered why Jesus begins with the poor in spirit in the Beatitudes?

Without the knowledge and understanding that we are nothing more than helpless beggars, we will never be peacemakers, we will never mourn, never be humble, or hunger and thirst for His righteousness….get the picture?

But that is only in this world. In the Heavenly places, God will esteem the humble, poor in spirit, peacemakers, persecuted, and the compassionate. God loves these traits in us.

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

James 4:10

O the gladness of being poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

Matt. 5:3

 It is a blessing as well as a state of gladness to recognize we are poor in spirit. We will have the Kingdom of Heaven living within us until the day Jesus takes us to Heaven to live with Him forever!

Because He Delights in You

Because He Delights in You

This is my devotional on Psalm 18. It is my favorite Psalm. You can read my article plus many more devotions in the book, Feed Your Soul with the Word of God, a compilation by Beebe and Katy Kauffman.

He was in a fight for his life!

He knew who he was—he would be king. God chose him. But the reigning, evil ruler refused to give up his throne. He pursued the young ruddy shepherd to kill him. Saul wanted to show David who was stronger. David, however, was resilient and sharp. He knew where to hide and how to fight. After all, he had killed lions, bears, and even a giant. How could Saul overtake him?

But, even would-be kings have moments of weakness.

David had enough. He was tired of fighting, hiding, and running. He got weaker and Saul seemed to get stronger and more persistent. Believing his life was ending, David cried out to God.

God heard his cry.

The earth rocked and quaked as lightning streaked across the sky. God’s eyes glowed with fire and smoke rose from His nostrils. On a cherub, He thundered out of the heavens under cover of darkness. Riding on the wind, every cloud parted as hailstones and arrows went before Him. As He broke through the sky, the brightness of His glory brought everything to light and exposed the earth.

He saw His beloved and gripped his hand as a sea of destruction threatened to take him over. He set David in a safe place away from his enemy. Why?

Because God delighted in him.

As fruit ripens on a branch before it is eaten, God was making David a righteous man. The shepherd who would be king kept the ways and laws of the LORD. He knew who he was and to whom he belonged. David’s heart was after God’s.

 God is a God of magnificent character. He never changes. God is kindhearted, blameless, and pure. The Lord loves the humble and is light in our darkness.

As God’s strength and righteousness surrounded him, David’s fear left him. God replaced it with invincibility. He was feeling like himself again.

Bring on Saul’s troops! There was no wall he could not leap. As a buck’s hooves balance him on the mountain tops, David knew he could not stumble. God trained him for this war. Now he could bend a bow of bronze.

God is perfect. His Word is true. He is the shield which protects us. There is only one God, and He is our Rock. He saves us. As a mother wraps her arm around her toddler to keep him from falling, God supports us to make us great.

David could stand, with the power of God working in him. He was no longer the pursued, but the pursuer. David destroyed his enemies, and they did not rise again. He was no longer the one who feared; he put the fear of the Lord in his adversaries. There was none to help them, no one to hear their cries. They were as dust in the wind; as mud on the road.

The conflict with his people disappeared. David became the head of nations and people from all over revered and obeyed him. Strangers feared him because the power of his God was on him.

The LORD lives; blessed be my Rock and exalted is the God of my salvation.

God gave David justice and conquered nations under him. He delivered him from his enemies and exalted him above those who sought to destroy him. The LORD rescued him from the man of violence.

David sang God’s praises to all nations. God made him king. God showed His love to David and his descendants and will forever.

____________________________

Remove David’s name and put yours in its place. See the truth of what God will do for you. Satan is your enemy. God will rush to you when you cry out to Him as He did David. Why?

Because He delights in you!

God’s nature is to rescue, to love, to protect, and to restore.

It’s what He did for David and what He will do for you. Sometimes God fights our battles, and in others He strengthens us to fight. Even now, He is training you how to win. With every battle you become stronger to lean more on your Savior and Rock.

You are the Lord’s beloved.