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Meekness...Synonym for Moses

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
July 19, 2022 12:00 am

Meekness...Synonym for Moses

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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July 19, 2022 12:00 am

Meekness is not weakness. It is strength under control. And it also an attribute that God regards very highly. So let's join Stephen in this message as shows us how to be more like Moses and less like the rest of Israel.

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Not only did Pharaoh oppose him, but the Hebrews rebelled against his leadership as well. Moses responded with meekness.

In fact, meekness is a character trait that best defines Moses. Correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth. Isn't that interesting? You find someone who is in opposition to you. Do we start a quarrel? Are we great for the soapbox debate?

Or do we with meekness share with them our point of view? Welcome back to this vintage wisdom series through the book of Exodus. Moses was no stranger to opposition. He faced it from all sides. This is Wisdom for the Heart. Today we bring you Stephen Davies conclusion to his series called, Out of Egypt. Stephen takes a closer look at the meekness of Moses in a message called meekness, synonym for Moses.

This character trait of Moses is one that we all need to adopt. I'll never forget an event that occurred when I was 15 or 16 years of age. I was downtown Norfolk on the street with my father. We were passing out invitations to the servicemen center. That was in the day when the servicemen wore their blues and their whites and their hats. And we would go out and pass out these invitations to come to the center.

And, of course, the streets were not a very safe place even then. And I'll never forget walking up to a particular gentleman who wasn't wearing a uniform, but we extended an invitation. I was a little bit in the background and my father handed him an invitation to come to the servicemen center.

And in the quickness that was so quick, it took me by surprise. This gentleman took his hand and he slapped my father as hard as he could. And, of course, I had just about pulled out the pom-poms and I was going to say, hey, you can deck this guy dead. Take it to him. Teach him a lesson.

Put him on the pavement. And I'll never forget just standing there and in the briefness of just a second or two, I began to watch my father because he wasn't responding. And this fellow was just looking at him waiting to see what he would do. And my father then looked at him and in a very quiet tone said, do you feel better now? I'll never forget that as long as I live.

Because that was the most tremendous illustration of what I want to look at tonight. It is the quality that should be in all of our lives as we mature in the Holy Spirit. It is called meekness. Now, in the scripture, there are only two men that are called meek. One is Moses and the other one is Jesus Christ. And whenever you see that in the scriptures in such a rare form, it waves the flag and it calls out, stop right here and find out what's happening.

Why is this so rare? In fact, what is this that we are to have in our lives? Now, before we get to Moses's story, let's take a biblical perspective on this characteristic called meekness. Take your Bibles and turn to the book of Galatians in chapter five. And we have so much scripture to look at. I'll read it as soon as I find it. And you follow along as quickly as you can.

You may beat me there. But the fruit of the Spirit, that is the quality of those that are submitted to the Spirit of God, are these qualities. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness. That's the word prautis, which may be meekness in your translation. In other words, we discover right from the outset of our study tonight that meekness is a fruit of the Spirit. It cannot be engineered by the flesh.

It cannot be made up. It can only come to the individual who is submitted to the or yielded to the Spirit of God in their life. And it's interesting in our culture today, we hear of people who are supposedly meek who may not know Jesus Christ. Mahatma Gandhi is an illustration of someone who is supposedly a very meek man. And yet I propose to you tonight that meekness cannot come to someone who does not know Jesus Christ. There may be some characteristic, there may be some gentleness, but there will be ultimately some ulterior motive, either consciously or unconsciously.

Perhaps an individual does this and it is their way of proving by way of innate pride that they are better than another. Perhaps it is a way of salvation, but it is the individual that knows Christ that is submitted to the Spirit of God that can actually have this fruit, meekness. Turn to Colossians, keep heading to the right. Colossians chapter 3 verse 12. And he makes it very clear, verse 12. And so as those who have been chosen of God, who's he referring to?

He's referring to the believer. Those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility. And there's the word, meekness or gentleness. And patience, bearing with one another and forgiving each other.

Whoever has a complaint against anyone, just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. The words put on literally mean to clothe yourself. And this is not a gift. There are gifts of the Spirit, the gift of helps, the gift of administration, the gift of teaching, the gift of mercy, the gift of hospitality. He's not talking about gifts disposed by the Holy Spirit at conversion. He's talking about fruit, which means that this is something that must be developed. There is the clothing, there is the discipline, there is the activity.

I want this in my life. And when I yield to the Spirit of God, it can be a garment that clothes my character, my attitude. But I want you to notice it is not only a fruit, but it is also a virtue. Turn back to the book of Psalms, chapter 25, verse 9. And we read here that God leads the meek or the humble. It's the same word in the Septuagint or the Greek translation of the Old Testament.

Same Greek word here. He leads the meek in justice. Note this. And he teaches the meek his way. The qualification for entering the classroom to be taught by the Holy Spirit is what? Meekness. It's a virtue. Before I define it, let's look at one other passage. First Peter, First Peter, chapter three, verse four. Let it be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable quality of a gentle or a meek and quiet spirit.

Note this. You ought to underline it in your text, which is precious in the sight of God. Imagine that having a quality about our lives that God considers precious. What exactly could be the definition then of meekness from these passages?

I've given it to you. We could define it this way. Meekness is a gentle disposition resulting from submission to the Holy Spirit. Now, with that in mind, let's take a look at the illustrations of meekness that we have in scripture. We'll find the first in Numbers, chapter 12. Let's start with verse one. Then Miriam and Aaron, that's the sister and brother of Moses, spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman. And they said, Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? You ought to circle the word only. That's the problem.

It's not the Cushite woman. Has he not spoken through us as well? And the Lord heard it. Look at verse four. And suddenly the Lord said to Moses and Aaron and to Miriam, You three come out to the tent of meeting.

So the three of them came out. Then the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud and stood at the doorway of the tent. And he called Aaron and Miriam.

And when they had both come forward, he said, Hear now my words. If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord shall make myself known to him in a vision. I shall speak with him in a dream. But not so with my servant Moses. He is faithful in all my household with him.

I speak even openly and not in dark sayings. And he beholds the the glorious form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant against Moses? So the anger of the Lord burned against them and he departed. But when the cloud had withdrawn from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous as white as snow. As Aaron turned toward Miriam, behold, she was leprous. Then Aaron said to Moses, Oh, my Lord, I beg you, do not account this sin to us in which we have acted foolishly and in which we have sinned.

Now, right about there, I draw a pause. And I if I were Moses say on your knees, you have spoken against me and I have never tried to vindicate or to answer back or to defend. And by the way, those are three qualities of a meek person. He is a person who does not vindicate himself. He is a person who does not defend himself.

And he is an individual who does not reject one's opponent, as we'll look at in a minute. But Moses does something that is almost incredible to believe. Verse 13. And Moses cried out to the Lord, saying, Oh, God, heal her, I pray. Isn't it interesting there in that scene, if we could observe it, that Moses doesn't say, Lick my feet and kiss my hand and do obeisance. God has spoken for me.

No, none of that. He does not seek revenge. Let's go back to verse three. Now, the man Moses was very meek.

More than any man who was on the face of the earth, and do you notice that that is in a parent parenthesis? That comes along just as an aside. It helps us understand how he could respond in a way that we find almost too incredible to believe.

Never vindicating, never defending. There's another illustration of meekness. Let's go to Matthew Chapter 11. Look at verse 25. At that time, Jesus answered and said, I praise thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou didst hide these things from the wise and intelligent and didst reveal them to babes. Yes, father, for thus it was well pleasing in thy sight. All things have been handed over to me by my father, and no one knows the son except the father. Nor does anyone know the father except the son and anyone to whom the son wills to reveal him.

And boy, is that ever a foundation for someone to be filled with pride. And yet Jesus Christ, who obviously was more meek than even Moses, says these next words to the nation Israel. Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. We ought to stop there because we can't appreciate his words unless we understand a little bit of this passage. Weary has the idea of someone working to the point of utter exhaustion.

Now, this is all used figuratively. He's speaking of the nation who is trying collectively by the rules and the regulations of the Pharisees and the scribes to somehow please God. And they are working and working hard, and they are weary.

They are utterly exhausted because they don't sense that they are pleasing him, and they're not. So he says, all those who are weary and heavy laden, come to me, and I will give you rest, spiritual rest. Then he says, take my yoke upon you.

The yoke would be that which was part of the harness to direct an animal, and that animal would be under the authority of the one holding the reins. That individual would be under the sway of its master. He is saying, take my yoke upon you and learn from me. The word learn is the same word we get disciple from. But become my disciple. Learn from me because I am gentle. That's the word meek.

I am meek and humble in heart, and you shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke, my teaching, is not burdened down with legalism. It is not filled with laws that you may do to obtain acceptance.

It's easy, and my load is light. So from these two illustrations, we learn that meekness does not defend oneself. It does not vindicate one's character. It does not reject one's opponent. But meekness is compassionate.

It is patient. It is strength, as someone has defined it, under control. Now, let's get as practical as we possibly can and trace this word through several passages of Scripture and take a meekness test tonight and see how well we do. Of the times used in Scripture, we can create several questions. The first would be this. Let's call this the biblical tests for meekness.

The first is, how do I respond to opposition? 2 Timothy chapter 2, let's start with verse 22. Now flee from youthful lust and pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels. And the Lord's bondservant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with meekness, correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth.

Isn't that interesting? You find someone who is in opposition to you, probably someone who denies Jesus Christ, but perhaps even that person who has a different point of view. How do we respond? Do we start a quarrel? Are we great for the soapbox debate? Or do we with meekness share with them our point of view?

How do I respond with people that I disagree with? That is a test of meekness because I think that all of us have the tendency to dig in, especially as this passage indicates, do you notice that the one who was meek is literally the one who was right? Look at verse 25 again. With meekness, correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth. You're right.

They're wrong. And that's the great opportunity to really take it to them. But he says, do you respond in gentle patience to those who oppose you? Secondly, how do I respond to an unbelieving spouse? Head right to First Peter. First Peter, Chapter three. Look at verses one to four again. In the same way you wives be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be one without a word.

I underlined that powerful thought. They may be one literally to Christ or implied to Christ without a word by the behavior of their wives. As they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. Evidently in this early church, there were many women who were following Jesus Christ. They were more responsive to the claims of Christ. And there were many husbands who had not yet followed him.

And they were having tremendous friction and difficulty at home. He provides, in effect, a formula, a way, a pattern of life to win them to Christ. Obviously, this is not 100 percent because God's sovereignty is involved and not ultimately the responsibility of the wife. But he's saying, wives, look, if you want to win your husbands, here is the way. Let them observe your chaste and respectful behavior. Verse three, not your adornment, just external adornment, the braiding of hair, wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses.

Don't try to impress them physically with how you look. You won't win them to Christ that way. But let it be, verse four, the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a meek and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. In other words, you're not going to win your husband necessarily by never missing a service in church. You are not going to impress your husband or win him to Christ by becoming involved in all kinds of church activities. You are not going to win him to Christ by putting notes in his sock drawer like God loves sinners.

That isn't it. You will win them to Christ or you will impress on them what they are missing when they see your meek spirit. But then you just notice down in the chapter there the third question, how do I respond to unbelievers in general? First Peter 3, verse 10, Let him who means to love life and see good days refrain his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking guile, and let him turn away from evil and do good.

Let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears attend to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. And who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation. Do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you.

That's great. If anybody comes along and asks you why you believe in Jesus Christ, whip that portable soapbox out and preach him three points. Get red in the face. Dig in. Oh, the last phrase. Do it with gentleness and reverence. He says, Respond in such a way. Yeah, with the truth, you give them the answer, but let it be with a meek spirit.

Not, Oh, have I got the answer for your life? We can straighten the mess out if you'll just listen. No, with meekness and gentleness. Fourth, how do I respond when confronted by the truth? Turn to James.

Just back a few pages. Chapter one, verse 19. You want another quality of meekness?

Here it is. This, you know, my beloved brethren, let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness in meekness, receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. How do you and I respond when confronted by the truth of scripture?

Verse 22. Prove yourselves doers of the word and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he's like a man who looks at his natural face in the mirror.

But once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. He is speaking to the believer. He is saying, when you come to scripture, how do you respond when you are confronted with truth? He is suggesting we are to respond in humility or the word prato, in meekness. We receive the truth. So it isn't just how we respond to people that we know are wrong. How do we respond when we know we are wrong?

Ouch. Teachability is a symptom of meekness. Now, fifthly, and this is three points to it. How do I respond in different situations, such as when a brother falls in sin? Did you know the word occurs there? Turn back to Galatians chapter 6, verse 1. Brethren, even if a man is caught in a trespass, you who are spiritual, straighten them out.

No. You who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of meekness. That is, if we go back to our definition, a patient gentle disposition.

He is saying bind up that brokenness, the medical term restore, and do it just as patiently as the doctor binds your broken limb. Why should we be so meek about that? Note the last part of the phrase. Each one looking to yourself lest you too be tempted. You see, when we respond in that way, we are not revealing the true spirit of meekness.

And we've forgotten that we are made of flesh too. So how do we respond to a brother or a sister when they fall into sin? It should be in meekness.

Secondly, when I meet with the church family, this is great. Ephesians chapter 4, verses 1 to 3. He's talking to the church, exhorting them toward unity. He says, I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beg or entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and meekness or gentleness with patience.

There's the word gentleness. Showing forbearance to one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the spirit and the bond of peace. There could be the implication, and we find in other passages, that there was trouble in the church. And he is begging them, even though there is a faction that knows they're right and there may be one that knows they're wrong, or perhaps there are disagreements, or there are differences of opinion, when you meet together as a body, something that should be clothing your meeting, enveloping your structure, is this attitude of meekness.

It is patience toward the person next to you, the person behind you and in front of you. He says, I beg you, for the sake of unity, let your church, let this church right here be an illustration of everything else that follows in this chapter. That is the unity of the body, verse 4, one spirit, verse 5, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father. And he is saying, I want your fellowship to be one, unified, because it illustrates all this other stuff. When we meet as a body, when there is the potential for disagreement, and mind you, as this church grows, and there come into this fellowship more and more people from various backgrounds with varying opinions about a variety of different things, how do we respond? It should be with a patient disposition toward people in this room. Thirdly, how do I respond when I rub shoulders with an antagonistic world?

Head a few pages to the right to the book of Titus, chapter 3, verse 1. He says, remind them to be subject. That is, remind the believers to be subject to the rulers, to authorities, and to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be uncontentious, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.

The word gentle is the word meekness. Now, who is he saying we're to respond this way to? To an antagonistic world, because there comes in your life and in mine the attitude that we'd like to take other people by the throat. I would like to take sometimes this country by the throat, the Supreme Court by the nap of the neck, crooked politicians. I'd like to shake them, people who reject Jesus Christ and make life difficult.

They're in the political arena where they bring into voting all of these issues that hurt the family. And yet when the blood boils, when it's time to respond, or when there's an opportunity for them to see something in us that responds to the character of Jesus Christ, you're not there to see meekness. And I can imagine in this early church where people were being thrown to the lions that this would have been startling. And yet as we face persecution, as we face opposition, as we see this country going down the tubes, and it makes us hurt, it angers us, still this world has to see in us something that is striking. And he gives it there several things, uncontentious, gentle, showing every consideration for all men. In other words, ladies and gentlemen, meekness should characterize our lives as we respond to anyone and to every situation. I love this promise in Matthew, chapter five, verse five. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. One day you'll have this planet, you will rule and justice will reign.

It's worth it. And let's do our best to bring people to Jesus Christ. And as we witness to them and share truth with them, let's remember that we are to be gentle and patient and compassionate, even though we hate their sin, we love them.

And I think it's in that situation, wherever you are right now, that we reveal a quality that is unmistakably divine, it is meekness, a patient disposition to those we know. Thanks for joining us today here on Wisdom for the Heart. Today's message is the conclusion to Stephen's series called Out of Egypt. When we come back next time, we're going to move directly into the next series from Exodus called Down from Sinai. Stephen first preached through Exodus back in 1989.

The quality of the recording and the tone of Stephen's voice has changed since then, but what hasn't changed is the truth of God's Word. We hope these messages from our Vintage Wisdom collection are a blessing to you. Between now and our next broadcast, we'd enjoy hearing from you and learning how God is using this ministry to build you up in the faith. Please take a few moments and drop us a note. Our mailing address is Wisdom International, P.O. Box 37297, Raleigh, North Carolina, 27627.

Let me give you that again. You can write to us at Wisdom International, P.O. Box 37297, Raleigh, North Carolina, 27627. Drop us a note today.

It would be very encouraging to hear from you. If you need assistance, our phone number is 866-48-BIBLE. Call us any weekday at that number. We have staff and volunteers on hand to take your call right now.

Once again, that's 866-48-BIBLE. That's all for today. I'm Scott Wiley, and on behalf of Stephen and the entire Wisdom team, thanks for listening. Join us tomorrow for more wisdom for the heart. We'll see you next time.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-22 17:57:28 / 2023-03-22 18:08:31 / 11

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