MEEKNESS – THE SCARCE VIRTUE
When I was to write about meekness tonight, it seemed like a not often used word. So odd that I yielded to the temptation of searching for it in my Bible just to be sure how rare it is. (Thank God for Bible apps that have made such searches easy.)
As a student of literature, history and English language, I am drawn to the King James Version of the Holy Bible more than any other. It has this ancient and poetic feel to it that I find lacking in other Bible versions.
So, I searched for the word meekness and realized it was used only 14 times in the Bible. That is a little too few for my satisfaction, so I searched for meek also. Meek did one better, it appears 15 times, for a joint appearance of 29.
Considering that “the meek shall inherit the earth,” I was expecting meek and meekness to appear more often in the Bible. Especially in the epistles of Paul and the Psalms and Proverbs. It seems like poetic justice that meekness is as scarce in the Bible as it is among humans.
Some will argue that humility is synonymous to meekness, but linguists and writers will argue that synonymous words are similar in meaning, but may not always serve as effective substitute words.
My dictionary states that to be meek is to be humble, non-boastful, modest and self-effacing. A.k.a free of self-aggrandizement.
Some people will argue that they are just easily noticeable or have a loud personality, and that excuses the absence of meekness in their life. The first man to be described as meek in the Bible, in fact, other than Christ, the only other person in the Bible to have the word meek attached to his name in the Bible was Moses. “(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)” Please, let that sink in.
Moses who grew up as heir apparent to Pharaoh, the same Moses who killed an Egyptian while defending an Israelite, who then ran off on exile and then meet his wife by defending her or getting into a quarrel or fight with some shepherds on her behalf. The same Moses who saw God with his eyes, wrote the ten commandments while communing with God, broke the tablet containing the laws in a combination of anger and shock.
If you know anything about Moses, having watched him confront Pharaoh, bring ten plagues on Egypt, then lead a nation of over six hundred thousand men out of Egypt, then you are quite sure he must be quite popular and always had an audience around him.
Anybody who has been a class captain knows the power and responsibilities that comes with the office, how much more leading the Israelites? How can such a leader still maintain his meekness, so much that God recognized him as the meekest man on earth?
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Just as you exhibit all of the other Fruits of the Spirit, you are supposed to show meekness in your daily life also. Meekness shouldn’t be likened to sour grapes. We want to assume it will be easy for less powerful and popular people to be meek. But if Moses could, so can you.