8 October 1999

THE MEEK ARE HAPPY "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth"-Matthew 5:5 The third of our "Beatitudes" is very suggestive. Here, our Lord is teaching His disciples the change that should be observed in a true disciple. He first made them poor, by showing them their sin which was followed by a mourning over them. Some may never grow beyond the first "Beatitude", choosing rather to justify sin with friends and the world. But if the response is honest, mourning will be observed. From this mourning a beautiful change begins to take place: they become "meek". THE BLESSING Jesus said, "I am meek and lowly in heart". Therefore, if one is made meek by the divine operation of God's spirit, a great blessing must be involved because this person is becoming more like His Lord. But what does meekness imply? What change may be observed in such a person as they grow in grace and "are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the spirit of or Lord"? First, we must notice the change. Can a person really become a disciple of Christ and never change? That was the reason many did not follow Him. They did not want to change their lifestyle. The rich young ruler went away sorrowful. Nicodemus must come by night, fearful he would lose his high position in the synagogue. Many followed Him "afar off". But the gospel of Christ calls for a change of heart; a change of attitude; and a change of life. There is more to following Jesus than just giving assent to His truths and finding a seat on the pew. A continual change of character, which becomes more and more like Jesus, is His purpose and intent. When Jesus said, "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it", I do not believe He was talking about going to heaven or to hell. If He was, there will be "Few" in heaven and the devil got more than Jesus. Jesus is saying the same thing. Few will enter that narrow gate of true fellowship with Him. Few will be willing to change. The word meek means POWER UNDER CONTROL. Such a spirit may be observed in the broken horse. The wild stallion is of little value to its owner. But once the power is harnessed; once the spirit is molded and changed; a teachable spirit is observed. Moses was "very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth" –Num. 12:3. Was he not a beautiful figure of Christ as he delivered his people from the bondage of Egypt? Moses was broken by 40 years in the wilderness. In his youth, he was willing to deliver the Israelites his way. But after 40 years in the wilderness he was willing to do it with God in control. The meek are chosen for many a task in God's kingdom! But meekness does not mean that one becomes like Mr. Pliable of "Pilgrim's Progress". Mr. Pliable would go along with anyone. He would change his mind and was blown about with every wind of doctrine. Meekness is governed by the Lord and His word. Such a person is a blessing to himself and those around them. THE PARADOX The world will say that meek people will never get ahead, "nice guys (and girls) finish last." How can Mordecai survive a wicked Haman; how can Joseph be exalted above the princes of Egypt; how will Moses stand before a great Pharaoh; how will meek Daniel survive among the princes of Nebuchadnezzar's court? Jesus presents a paradox to the world that may only be known by those who have experienced its truth. A truth that He has upheld since the creation of this world. THE PARADOX EXPLAINED The spirit of meekness is what enables its possessor to get so much enjoyment out of his earthly portion, "they shall inherit the earth". Jesus quotes from an old maxim of David, "For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth……and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace"-Psalm 37:9-11. Peace is found in the end. The meek enjoy those blessings that have been afforded them by the Lord's kind hand of providence. They have not taken earth's tokens by force or dishonest means. They are content with such things as they have, whatever their portion in this life may be. They may be as Daniel, captured by the enemy, or as Joseph, sold into slavery, but God watches over such and blesses them above their persecutors. Their meekness has gained His favor and He blessed them with peace. Lord, help us to trust in thy kind hand of providence! Come and worship with us at Harmony Primitive Baptist Church, at Donaldson, where God is sovereign, and salvation is by His abundant and amazing grace. Services begin at 10:30 each Sunday morning. By His mercy and grace, Neil Phelan, Jr., Pastor