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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Matthew 5:5 Expounded — “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”

Matthew 5:5 Expounded Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”
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God the Father shows us in His Word the blessings of following Him and obeying Him. If we humbly depend on Him, we will be meek, and those who are meek shall inherit the earth. The Greek word for meek is praus. It includes meek and humble in its definition.

But, what does being meek look like? Let’s look at what a 19th century English dictionary has to say about this word. In the 1828 Webster’s dictionary, meek is, in part, defined as: “1. … gentle; not easily provoked or irritated; yielding; given to forbearance under injuries. ...” [and] “2. …  humble, in an evangelical sense; submissive to the divine will; not proud, self-sufficient or refractory [i.e. rebellious] ; not … apt to complain of divine dispensations. …” (See the footnote below).

Being Meek Means Not Being Easily Provoked

A meek person is not easily provoked or irritated with what people do or say, or with circumstances. He (or she) yields to God’s Word, which says in Matthew 5:3: “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Being poor in spirit includes being lowly in spirit. The Greek word for poor is ptóchos and it includes lowly in its definition. When someone does something hurtful to us, we can either hold a grudge or forgive them. Forgiving an offense is humbling, but it is also the right thing to do. If we don’t forgive people, God could not forgive us (Matthew 18:21-35) because the heart that does not forgive — it dies to God (Romans 6:23). This is a serious thing to consider.

I used to have grudges against people, but I learned from reading God’s Word the blessings of forgiving and also the necessity of forgiving all people all their wrongdoings against me and against others. This actually lifted a burden that I had on my chest. It is bondage to be bitter, but it is freeing to forgive. That is something I believe God showed me. Bitterness actually gives the enemy access to harm one’s body physically. According to the Mayo Clinic, bitterness brings, or can bring, with it higher blood pressure; decreased heart health; a weakening of the immune system; anxiety; hostility; and stress (Mayo Clinic).  


[Refractory, according to this same dictionary, means: “...obstinate in non-compliance...” Dispensation is defined by this dictionary as: “4. That which is dispensed or bestowed…”]

We ought to forgive others because, after all, God forgave us our sins (if we trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation). Being meek is a blessing because forgiving people helps bring healing to the soul.

Self-Sufficiency Is Not Being Meek

Also, being meek means that we are not being self-sufficient. We are trusting in God’s sufficiency to meet all our needs and to provide for the needs of those we care about. Being meek is being the opposite of proud. A meek person depends on God for help and trusts in His Word. (That is what I desire to do more.). The best example of humility and meekness is Jesus Christ, the King of kings. Let’s look at 1 Peter 2.

1 Peter 2:21-24
“[21] For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22. Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23. Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 24. Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” (Emphasis added)

Peter is encouraging us to follow in Jesus Christ’s steps. Jesus never spoke guile. The Greek word for guile is dolos. It means “deceit” and “treachery”. Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines the word “guileful” as: “2. Treacherous; deceitful.” It defines guile as “deceit”. Jesus did not deceive anyone (See the footnote below.).


In many modern versions of the Bible, they make Jesus tell a lie, which He didn’t actually do. In John 7:8, the NASB says: “Go up to the feast yourselves; I do not go up to this feast because My time has not yet fully come."  Just a couple verses later (in the NASB), John 7:10 says: “But when His brothers had gone up to the feast, then He Himself also went up, not publicly, but as if, in secret.”

In the NIV, John 7:8 says: “You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.”

The ASV in John 7:8 says: “Go ye up unto the feast: I go not up unto this feast; because my time is not yet fulfilled.”

The King James Bible (which is based on the majority of Greek manuscripts) has an important Greek word that is missing in many of the modern versions. It is the word oupó, which means “not yet”.

John 7:8 (KJV) says: “Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come.”

For Jesus to say He is not going to a feast, and then go to the feast, is a lie. But, to say He is not yet going to a feast is not a lie. He was not going at that moment, but he would go later. Modern versions, which were based on a small number of corrupted manuscripts, are missing this important word oupó.

Also, when Jesus was reviled (wrongfully blamed) by those who had contempt for Him, He forgave them. While on the cross, Jesus said in Luke 23:34... “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.” Jesus also entrusted His Spirit to His Father. Luke 23:46 says: “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.”

Not only did He trust His Spirit to His Father, but Jesus Christ also said in John 5:30: “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” Jesus did not seek His own will, but He sought His Father’s will, Who is our Father if we trust in Jesus Christ for salvation. Since Jesus Christ, our Lord, sought the will of His Father, should we seek our own will?

Knowing God’s Will and Talking with God

Some may wonder: ‘How do we know God the Father’s will for our lives?’ Jeremiah 33:3 says: “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” God has to fulfill His Word and answer us when we truly want to know God’s will, or if we want to know something from God. Yes, God Himself will speak to us if we ask Him any question, and wait upon Him. Jesus told us in John 14 and in John 16 about the Holy Spirit’s role in comforting us, teaching us, and speaking to us.

John 14:26
“[26] But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

John 16:13
“[13] Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”

In John 16:13, the Greek word for speak is laleó. It means: “ utter or form words with the mouth, to speak…” The Holy Spirit utters words to us. These words are meant to be heard. So, we can ask God questions, knowing that God can never contradict His holy Word, the Bible. If we hear something that contradicts the Bible, we have to seek God again because God does not contradict His Word. God will never tell you to do something that is sinful. That goes against His Word and His Nature.

Depending on God’s Spirit is important for living in a place of humility and meekness. For, how can we say we are meek and trusting in God if we are not depending on God for our concerns and problems? Depending on oneself is what Proverbs 3 speaks against. Let’s go there now.

Proverbs 3:5 says: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”

But, how can we trust in God with all of our heart, and not lean on our own understanding, if we are actually trusting in our own judgment or our own wisdom?

Proverbs 3:6 says: “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

The word acknowledge is defined in the 1828 dictionary in reference to this same verse as: “2. To own or notice with particular regard.” The Hebrew word is yada. It means to be “acquainted with”. As we are acquainted with God and look to Him with high regard, God will have access to our lives to direct our paths. God always does what is best for us and promises to meet all our needs, even now (Philippians 4:19).

Forsaking Sin to Have Fellowship with God

1 Peter 2:24 says:Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” Because Jesus died for our sins, and in Him we died to sins, should we live in sin? No! God forbids this. We ought to live in righteousness because a rebellious soul cannot enter Heaven (Ezekiel 33:13 and Hebrews chapter 3). Galatians 5:19-21 gives a list of sins that will keep us from entering Heaven if we do not forsake them, looking to God for help. (The Holy Spirit will convict us of this if we are doing these things.)

Galatians 5:19-21
“[19] Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, [20] Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, [21] Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Below are some brief meanings of these words, based on Webster’s 1828 dictionary.

Uncleanness: It refers to moral impurity and lust.

Lascivious: It means to stray from what is morally good or right.

Variance: It refers to an unkind disagreement or a strifeful argument.

Emulation: It involves seeking to be better than others and it includes rivalry, strife, and competition.

Wrath: It refers to violent anger and indignation (anger and disgust). (Note: God’s wrath is righteous indignation against people who will never repent and continue living in rebellion against Him. God is very graciously calling out to people to repent, but if they never repent, God has to be just and judge them for their rebellion.)

Strife: This involves a contest for superiority and angry, contentious words.

Sedition: A type of rebellion against authority.

Heresy: A false doctrine that contradicts the Bible.

Revelling: Partaking in noisy feasts and in much wine or alcoholic beverages. (These are forms of idolatry.)

At least 17 kinds of sin are listed in Galatians 5:19-21. If we pursue any one of these (or more), will we enter Heaven? Some people say that we would because they believe God would look the other way. But, what does the Bible say? [Gal. 5:21(b.)] “...they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Galatians 6:7-8 says: “[7] Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. [8] For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”

So, what would then be the answer to our problems? 1 John 1:9 says: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Above that verse, we read how walking in the light (in obedience to God’s Word) brings us fellowship with God.

1 John 1:5-8
“[5] This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. [6] If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: [7] But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. [8] If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

How do we get all our needs met? If we are feeling empty or needing something to satisfy our soul, what can we do about it? God’s Word says:

Psalm 36:7-8
“[7] How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.
[8] They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.”


In conclusion, we have seen that being meek and depending on God, and on His Word, will bless us and bring us closer, in our hearts, to fellowship with God. Depending on our own understanding robs us of the opportunity to see God work, and prevents answers to prayers, and to keeps us from knowing God better. Depending on our own understanding also is a form of pride and is self-sufficiency.

Let us depend on God to guide us and to show us what He wants us to do with our lives, which He gave us. Jesus died for us on the cross to save us from sin, give us a place in Heaven, and also have intimate, personal fellowship with us, like He had with Adam in the Garden of Eden. We Christians were not saved just so we can go to Heaven. God wants fellowship with us here, on earth.

Jesus Christ trusted in His Father to lead Him in how to minister. Should we do differently than our Lord and Savior? Should we trust in ourselves, instead of in God? Let us follow God, rest in Him, and seek His will and His Kingdom. God will bless us greatly as we do. And, God will provide for all our needs because we would be giving Him access to do that. (I’d like to do this too.). (See Matthew 6:33.).

If you are coming here as a non-Christian, I encourage you to read this. God desires to have fellowship with you, as you make Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior.



Mayo Clinic. “Forgiveness: Letting go of grudges and bitterness.”
Webster, Noah. American Dictionary of the English Language. United Books Press, Inc., 2009. (i.e. Webster's 1828 dictionary)

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