This article on Psalm 37:1-11 looks at what meekness is.

Source: Clarion, 1998. 2 pages.

Psalm 37:1-11 - Meekness is Not Weakness

But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace.

Psalm 37:11

Psalm 37 is put together in the form of an acrostic. The first letter of each stanza of four lines follows the sequence of the letters of the alphabet. Thus the first stanza begins with the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the next with the second letter, and so on. An acrostic functioned as an educational tool, assisting the youth in learning the Psalm. Other examples of acrostics are Psalms 25, 34, 119 and 145.

Psalm 37 counsels children of the Lord on the matter of life’s choices. How then will you live? Will you cater to the pressures of society, or will you live each day as a humble servant of the Lord? Will you envy the prosperity of the wicked, or will you bend your neck in submission to the Lord’s will? In verse 11 the psalmist gives us sound advice: Not the wicked but the meek shall inherit the land.

Those words sound very similar to the third beatitude that our Lord Jesus Christ proclaimed. When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on the mountain. He sat down and taught His disciples saying,

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth...Matthew 5:3-5

Clearly Christ was alluding to Psalm 37:11. This Psalm unfolds the character of the meek. The meek are those who with humility and gentleness view their role in relation to God as that of a servant. They are not proud and they do not pursue their own personal gain. Their prime concern is the Lord, His kingdom and His church, His Name and His glory.

Meekness is not weakness but a quality that must permeate our entire personality. The meek are not spiritual pushovers but they go forth in the strength of the Lord and in the power of His might.

The first eleven verses of Psalm 37 lay down six imperatives whereby meekness will grow and develop in us. The first rule is:

Do not fret because of evil men nor be envious of those who do wrong. The success of evil men is superficial and not to be envied. Their happiness is temporary and has no deep roots. It makes little sense to get all worked up over something that lasts only a few decades, when what we receive in Christ lasts an eternity.

The next three rules direct us to the Lord. We are to trust in Him, delight in Him and commit our way to Him. The meek submit to God’s will and do all things in total dependence upon Him.

Those who trust in the Lord will find Him to be a source of great delight.

By keeping our eyes off the “prosperity” of the wicked we also commit our ways to the Lord. Translated literally, “commit your way to God,” is “to roll one’s way to God,” that is, take the burden off your shoulders and lay it on God. You see, the meek need not worry because they leave the dominion of creation and of their own lives in the hands of the Lord.

The fifth rule for the meek is: Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him. That’s exactly the opposite style of those who live without the Lord. They cannot wait but want to have position and possession right now. The meek know God will destroy the wicked and vindicate the godly.

Yet a little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look well at his place, he will not be therePsalm 37:10

The sixth rule governing the meek is stated in verse 8: “Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!” When you are meek you do not rebel or lash out at God or your neighbour and you are sensitive to the emotions and feelings of others. The meek always bend under God’s hand. They do not give up on God because they know He will not give up on them.

These are the characteristics of the meek. How much are they seen in us?

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