June 26, 2011
“Seek ye the LORD all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’s anger.” (Zephaniah 2:3)
This phrase, “the meek of the earth,” occurs three times in the Bible (see also Psalm 76:9, which promises their salvation; and Isaiah 11:4, which assures them justice). Our text promises deliverance from God’s wrath.
“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5), said Jesus, referring to the promise of Psalm 37:11: “But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”
There are many other similar promises: “The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way” (Psalm 25:9). “He will beautify the meek with salvation” (Psalm 149:4), so we need to put on “the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price” (1 Peter 3:4).
That meekness is not weakness is made clear from the first use of the word in the Bible. “Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3). Moses was strong and courageous, but also deeply humble and self-sacrificing; a man of prayer and trust in the Word of God, willing to defend it at all costs. The Lord Jesus defined meekness in terms of His own human character: “Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart” (Matthew 11:29).
A meek spirit enables a Christian to maintain composure in the face of opposition, to accept adversity without complaint; promotion without arrogance; demotion without resentment. It produces a peace which no trouble can disturb and which no prosperity can puff up. Therefore, as our text commands: “Seek meekness!” HMM