Declares the Lord Jesus Christ. “The meek will inherit the land.” There are many examples in the Bible. We read some examples today. Bible verses are quoted in parts with boldness and italics added. Unless otherwise noted, the verses are quoted from NKJV.
Matthew 5:5 “Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.“
The patriarch’s examples in meekness:
Abraham was a meek man. He believed in the unseen God but he also had doubts. He feared man –the foreign kings. He chose to lie about his relationship with his stunningly beautiful wife Sarah because he feared those kings would kill him for her. (Genesis 12:13; 20:2) He also chose to give in to his ungrateful and unthankful aggressive nephew Lot. He chose to let Lot take all the good lands and only after that he took the leftovers. (13:8-12) He heeded the voice of his wife Sarai and had her Egyptian maid Hagar as a second wife and gave birth to Ishmael who was not the promised covenanted descendent. (Genesis 16:2)
Isaac was a meek man. He chose to lie to the alien king about his true marriage relationship for fear that the king might kill him for his beautiful wife Rebecca. (Genesis 26:7) He also chose to give in to the powerful foreign king’s servant who bullied his own servants and took over the wells he dug. (26:20-21) He allowed the strife between his wife, his two sons, and the wives of his eldest son continue in his household and stay out of it. (25:28-34; 26:34; 27:13; 27:41-46)
Jacob was a meek man. He fled for his life after having cunningly took advantage and cheated his elder brother Esau and stole the blessing reserved for the eldest son. He did not inherit or enjoy the physical wealth of his father. Instead he lived as a fugitive for twenty years: cheated and tricked by his uncle and slaved fourteen years for his love for Rachael, and ended up marrying the woman (Leah) he did not love in addition to Rachael. He also slaved and endured another six years for his uncle’s flocks. The uncle/father-in-law tormented him and changed his wages ten times! (Genesis 31:41) When he finally escaped with his wives, children and possessions, he had to face his elder brother again in fear and anxiety. He gave material gifts and physically humbled before the physically stronger and more powerful aggressive brother. (Genesis 33:8-16)
Joseph was meek. He was bullied and despised by his older brothers, who sold him as a teenager-slave and humbled and worked for powerful master in Egypt. He was then falsely accused by his master’s wife and imprisoned for thirteen years. (Genesis 37:4, 8, 11, 19-28, 36; 39:7-20)
Gideon was meek. He feared the powerful and cruel Midianites who marauded and stripped the land bare. He hid at the bottom of a winepress to thrash grains. He claimed that his clan was the weakest of the tribe of Manasseh, and he was the least in the entire family. He asked the Lord to give him repeated signs to prove that he is really called to rescue Israel. In addition he was still afraid before the battle and the Lord gave him one more sign to assure him of victory. (Judges 6:11, 15, 17, 37, 39; 7:9-15)
David was meek. He ran from the powerful aggressive Saul and his own aggressive son Absalom both of whom were after David’s life. He even fled to the enemy king and pretended madness. (1 Samuel 21:13; 22:1; 2 Samuel 15:12-14, 30)
These men displayed meekness in the eyes of men. Their strength came from the Lord. They trusted in God to vindicate and bless them. They had faith in God. See the following outcome as evidences:
Abraham was richly blessed on earth. The Lord gave him all the lands he could see and walk to claim by faith: “For all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever. Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you. ” (Genesis 13:14-18) He was blessed, became great, and was given physical wealth. He lived one hundred and seventy years, and died a good old age full of years and abundance in material riches and possessions. (Genesis 24:35; 25:7-8)
Isaac too prospered physically. During famine time he sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold, and the Lord blessed him. He began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous. (Genesis 26:13-14) He was so blessed in material wealth and farming success that the foreign king said this, “Go away from us, for you are much mightier than we.” Genesis 35:28-29 Isaac lived one hundred and eighty years, full of days.
Jacob too was blessed. He had twelve sons who became the heads of the twelve tribes of Israel. He lived one hundred and forty seven years. He and his descendants dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the land of Goshen, and they had possessions there and grew and multiplied exceedingly. (Genesis 47:27) All the persons who went with Jacob to Egypt, who came from his body, were sixty-six persons in all. And the sons of Joseph born in Egypt were two persons. (46:26-27) by the time the Israelites left Egypt to possess the promised covenanted land, they were numerous. Numbers 1:45-46 “So all who were numbered of the children of Israel, by their fathers’ houses, from twenty years old and above, all who were able to go to war in Israel—all who were numbered were six hundred and three thousand five hundred and fifty. This number excluded the tribe of Levites who were appointed to keep charge of the tabernacle of the Testimony. (1:49-53)
Joseph was greatly blessed and honored. The Lord was with him, showed him mercy and favor and he was a successful man. (Genesis 39:2, 21, 23) God gave him excellent business and administrative acumen and talent to both administer and invest wisely. God also gave him special supernatural spiritual ability to interpret dreams. When he was thirty years old he was given the second highest powerful post in the kingdom of Egypt, serving in the court of the King of Egypt. (41:37-44) He was successful and well respected and honored in his role in having foresight and managing the economy and finance of the nation during a time of widespread famine and crisis. (41:46-57; 47:13-26) His unique high position gave him the opportunity to reconcile with his father and his brothers and save them from famine, thereby carrying out God’s plan for the Israelites to multiply and grow until they become a nation too. Joseph lived one hundred and ten years old and saw his sons’ children to the third generation. (47:5-6, 11-12, 27) His own two sons Ephraim and Manasseh became two large tribes of Israel, inheriting much land when they entered the Promised Land. (Joshua 17:17-18)
God delivered the enemy into Gideon’s hands (Judges 7:9). So Gideon conquered Midian’s kings and delivered Israelites from the Midianites. The men of Israel made him rule over them. He had seventy sons and many wives. He ruled Israel for forty years. He died a good old age. (Judges 8:22, 28, 30-32)
David was greatly and richly blessed. “So David went on and became great, and the Lord God of hosts was with him.” (2 Samuel 5:10) David was thirty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned forty years. (5:4) “So he died in a good old age, full of age, full of days and riches and honor;” (1 Chronicles 29:28)
Jesus Himself declares He is meek: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly (humble) in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Jesus’ meekness was prophesied about eight hundred years before He came to earth as a man:
In the following passage the Prophet Isaiah (whose ministry took place in 792-686 BC) prophetically described the Messiah. The prophetic words came true in the life history of Jesus: Isaiah 53:2-12
“For He has grown up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised, and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent. So He opened not His mouth. He was taken from prison and judgment. And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of My people He was stricken. And they made His grave with the wicked–but with the rich at His death, because He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”
The Holy Spirit confirmed this through the apostle Paul in Philippians 2:5-11
Philippians 2:5-11 New Living Translation (NLT)
5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
6 Though he was God,[a]
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges[b];
he took the humble position of a slave[c]
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,[d]
8 he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
2:6 Or Being in the form of God.
2:7a Greek he emptied himself.
2:7b Or the form of a slave.
2:7c Some English translations put this phrase in verse 8.