Why does God bless the meek?

"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth" (Matthew 5:5).

The subject of meekness reminds me of the man who wrote a book titled How to Be Humble by One Who Is. About the time you think you've arrived at meekness, you've lost it. Let's see what my friends have to say.

"If you are really good, and you don't brag, you will get better stuff," says T.J., age 6. I wish I knew as much at 6 years old.

"Meek means to be disappointed," says Taylor, 10. "A good example is when you get to a championship game and lose. That is when you are meek." Taylor, I don't doubt that you and your teammates were humiliated, but let's not confuse humiliation with meekness. Although humiliation can lead to meekness, consider the 10 plagues of Egypt. Although humiliated, Pharaoh proudly resisted the warnings of Moses to set God's people free.

"Happy are those who are humble before God," says Sarah, 10. "The meek think of God more than they think of themselves."

Moses and Jesus are the only two people the Bible calls meek. Neither could be described as Mr. Milquetoast. Moses relied on God's resources, and Jesus depended upon his Father.

Before Jesus blessed the meek, he blessed the poor in spirit and those who mourn. These are people who know that real life begins by realizing our poverty of spirit before a holy God. Coming face to face with our true condition produces mourning. Blessing or happiness comes when we switch from self-sufficiency to God-dependency. We're created to live in dependence upon a loving God.

A realization of inadequacy and dependence characterizes faith, while self-sufficiency and independence characterize pride. It's only a matter of time before proud people fall, because sooner or later they'll face catastrophes beyond their puny resources, which they imagine to be great.

"God doesn't bless the hard spirit," says Anna, 9. In resisting the miracles God performed through Moses, Pharaoh "hardened his heart."

"Meek means gentle," says Lee, 10. "God wants us to be gentle. If we are gentle, we'll enjoy helping God rule the Earth."

We call a powerful horse "gentle" even though it can kick a hole in the side of a barn or throw its rider at will. A king can exercise absolute sovereignty with gentleness and consideration. True meekness is not weakness but strength under control.

King David wrote that the meek would not only inherit the Earth but "shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace" (Psalm 37:11).

"This kind of peace carries the idea of being at ease before God and man," writes author Gordon Ferguson. "Meekness is built on great faith, for the meek person looks outside himself for the power to live. He is confident because he is totally open to God. God will work in all things for his good."

For Brad, 9, meekness is "being very patient for things, not being mad."

We should be like the father of our faith, says Salar, 9: "Abraham inherited the Earth because he was so humble. So you will inherit the Earth if you are humble."

Abraham took his family on a long camping trip. He packed up the camels, traveled to the land God promised him and unpacked the tents. Why? "For he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God" (Hebrews 11:10).

"I think this means if you're meek, God will let you rule the Earth," says Lauren, 8.

Why wait? Proverbs 16:32 says, "He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city."

Point to ponder: Meekness is strength under God's control. Scripture to remember: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth" (Matthew 5:5).

Question to consider: Is your strength under God's control?


Inspire your children by reading this column with them and visiting the Kids Talk About God Web site at  www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org. Bible quotations are from the New King James Version.