The Meek

In my quest to find wisdom through scripture, I come back again and again to certain passages. Today I’m stuck on the Sermon on the Mount and the meek. In Matthew 5:5, we are taught, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth,” and I’m preoccupied with how we apply this teaching to ourselves, so we can live wiser, more peace-filled lives. Perhaps it would be better understood, if it read, “Blessed are the gentle, the humbly patient, for they will reap the rich reward of their calm endurance.”

This goes hand-in-glove with being “poor” in spirit. It has everything to do with humility, and it means; don’t think you’re all that, because generally, you’re not.  In fact, when we’re full of ourselves, it’s nearly impossible to be humble, let alone be patient. In truth, when the ego is inflated, all else shrinks back, all else  becomes secondary, and we’re easily offended, easily angered, easily whipped up into a frenzy of self-righteous indignation over the tiniest of perceived slights – real or imagined. We convince ourselves that others think about us above all else, plotting, acting in a certain way, or doing something to us on purpose, when in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. When we’re “filled with the yeast of the Pharisees,” we leave little room for meekness.

When we’re meek, we understand and accept our own limitations. We are yielding and unassuming, filled with fortitude. It takes great strength and courage to admit to ourselves (and to God) that we don’t have it all together, don’t have any clue what to do next, don’t have all the answers. But meekness also suggests that we know and understand our strengths as well. If one is quiet and gentle, unassuming and calm, it’s an indication of conviction, of certainty. Understanding our strengths and weaknesses is what gives us the poise to remain calm in the face of controversy, to intentionally accept disagreeable circumstances which are beyond our control, to be still and wait for His direction, before charging forth into questionable actions and circumstances. 

There’s a profound connection between gentleness and not thinking you’re all that, and there’s also a connection between the “fear” (as in awe) of the Lord and meekness. The “fear” of the Lord is the cause of gentleness, of humble patience. Because, respecting God and being certain of His hand gives us the quiet confidence we need to press on, to endure with gentle patience the long tunnel, keeping our eyes fixed on the light, however dim it may seem at times, confident of the tunnel’s end, and the rich reward awaiting there. 

~SLM

Proverbs 1 Let Us Pray…

I found this prayer by Rosmarie Scott while researching the meaning of Probervbs 1:7, and I think it is beautifully said and written:

Come, O blessed Spirit of Holy Fear, penetrate my inmost heart, that I may set Thee, my Lord and God, before my face forever. Help me to shun all things that can offend Thee, and make me worthy to appear before the pure eyes of Thy Divine Majesty in heaven, where Thou livest and reignest in the unity of the ever-Blessed Trinity, God world without end. Amen.

And, I second that Amen!

~SLM

Proverbs 1:1-6 the Fear of The Lord

The first 7 verses of chapter 1 in the book of Proverbs outline what the study of the Proverbs are meant to accomplish. Verses 1-6 state that they are a means for attaining wisdom and discipline, for understanding and guidance, and for insight into the riddles, parables and sayings of the wise.  And then there is verse 7 which states: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

It is said that in order to make a journey, all you need to do is take the first step, and in the study of Proverbs, the first step is coming to understand the meaning of verse 7. The “fear” of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. It seems to me that the key to whatever else the proverbs of Solomon may say, that this is important, and has been given prominence, as it is the finishing thought of the prologue of the entire book! So grasping what is meant by “the fear of the Lord,” becomes the first step on the path to wisdom.

The fear of the Lord is to have a reverential awe respect of God and his power, to trust in him and believe in his character.  To God, nothing is impossible, and as his children, we must trust in his ability to guide and protect us. He is so vast and all-encompassing that we cannot even begin to fathom all of the knowledge he holds; it’s the wisdom of the ages, the workings and laws of the universe, of physics, of all that we see, and of all that we are unaware.  To fear the Lord is to hold God in such high esteem as to be fearful that you would disappoint him. It is an understanding that our knowledge is limited, and that God’s is not, and that God is the root, the foundation, the beginning of knowledge.

So the fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom, and wisdom is the ability to apply understanding to our daily lives.  Understanding is the result of knowledge, and knowledge is the seeking of truth, the quest of the unknown. Therefore the first step in the pursuit of wisdom is to recognize and admit that we just don’t know all the answers – we don’t know it all! We fell from grace, when we ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and it was at that moment when we supposed ourselves as equal to God in our knowledge and understanding.  So in the effort to gain true wisdom, we must first reverently and humbly admit to God (and ourselves) that we do not know, and are not equal to him in his vast wisdom.

This, then is how the journey begins.

~SLM