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Strength under control DAY 20

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Matthew 5:5

Growing up I never quite understood the word meek. It sounded too much like weak and I didn’t like that word. Cowboys don’t cry hey, so they probably shouldn’t be weak too, or meek, or whatever. That’s what I thought. Couple that with the famous African proverb “God only helps those who help themselves” and you are set for a life of self-sufficiency and I-have-to-make-it-on-my-own way of doing things. And that is a lonely life, where arrogance and pride is the first step to failure. But Jesus has something else in mind for us.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

We can easily miss the depth of what Jesus is saying here if we miss the true meaning of the word meek. The Greek word praus, translated here as meek, can also be translated as gentle, humble, or mild. As we can see, meekness doesn’t mean weakness, but rather a different characteristic altogether.

The New Testament was written in Greek so it is helpful to understand how other Greek writings, written at this time, used these same words. The word praus, "meekness," means "power under control." Praus was used often by the Greeks to describe a war horse that was trained to obey instantly and absolutely, no matter how great the confusion during battle.

When the Greeks could take a horse, with incredible power and strength and bring that magnificent animal under the total control of just a touch—maybe just leg pressure or knee pressure—and have that horse do exactly what the rider wanted, then they called that horse praus. Power under control.

This is what God wants from us. The meek shall inherit the Earth because they will be the people who have died to self and surrendered their lives over to Jesus. They will be those who didn’t live in their own strength, and go their own direction, but rather trusted completely in the Lord Jesus and in the direction that He wants them to go in. It actually is a sign of great strength when we are surrendered and mastered by the Master. As a man, I’ve sat around many a fire or listened in to conversations where men try and boast their achievements, their business successes or their ability to hold their liquor. Misplacing true strength or significance, actually looking for identity and worth in all the wrong places.

It can be very challenging to put our lives at home or at work under God’s control. In the fallen world, it seems to be the aggressive and the self-promoting who get ahead. “You don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate” the saying goes. In the workplace, the arrogant and powerful seem to win, but in the end they lose. They don’t win in personal relationships. No one wants an arrogant, self-seeking friend. Men and women who are hungry for power are often lonely people. Nor do they win in financial security. They think they possess the world, but the world possesses them. The more money they have, the less financially secure they feel.

Jesus, the meek King, comes ringing into Jerusalem on a donkey, inviting us to follow His example. Not weakness, but meekness. A surrendered life. A life where we are willing submitted in all areas of our lives. A life that is under his wonderful Lordship. Don’t miss out on the blessing and the promise that awaits those who heed the call.

Stay safe and stand strong.

Retief Burger

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