In today’s world, the stereotype of a good Christian is someone who is reserved, unassuming, and would not hurt a fly. This “meekness” is very different from how Jesus uses the term in Matthew 5:5.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
RJ Rushdoony’s soon-to-be released book Sermon on the Mount* has this to say regarding the passage:
The word translated as meek is praos. When we look at the origins of this word in classical Greek, we find it used …in the sense of making mild, taming, bridling. It was used of gentling a horse, or breaking him to harness and bridle. If we forget this fact, we lose the meaning of the word. The meek are not the impotent, nor are they the timid and mousy ones. They are the strong ones who have been broken to harness, gentled by the Lord and His Spirit, and made fit for the Lord’s use.
The word meek is the opposite of unbridled anger and passion; it refers to the bridled man.
It is the purpose of the law-word of God, and of the Holy Spirit, to bridle a man. The untamed and evil nature of unregenerate man leads to “the works of the flesh,” i.e., of fallen human nature (Gal. 5:19–21). The fruit of the Spirit includes, among other things, meekness (praotes), the humbling and taming work of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22–23).
It is the tamed of God who shall inherit the earth. They have both faith and stability.… To “inherit the earth” must be taken seriously and literally. Only those who are harnessed by God’s Spirit to His law-word have the stable, disciplined, and Spirit-governed capacity to rule the earth. The calling of Christ’s saints is to judge or govern the earth. The word judge is used in the Old Testament sense of to govern, as in the Book of Judges.
We are made meek by the Spirit, and broken to harness, in order to be usable by Him, and to rule in Him. (p. 21-22)
Christian education is the means by which we instill Biblical meekness in our children. This is no small concern since the meek are destined to be the heirs of the earth.
*(copyright 2009 Ross House Books)
- Andrea G. Schwartz
Andrea Schwartz is Chalcedon’s family and Christian education advocate, and the author of eight books including: A House for God: Building a Kingdom-Driven Family, The Biblical Trustee Family: Understanding God’s Purpose for Your Household, Empowered: Developing Strong Women for Kingdom Service, Woman of the House: A Mother’s Role in Building a Christian Culture, and The Homeschool Life: Discovering God’s Way to Family-Based Education. She’s also the co-host of the Out of the Question podcast, and Homeschooling Helps (weekly live Facebook event). She can be reached at [email protected].