by Thomas Watson
“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.”
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
“Blessed are those who are persecuted, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
Christian Meekness (Continued)
Remembering the overall theme is meek people are blessed people.
Meekness towards MAN; Continued:
I shall lay down several MOTIVES or arguments to meeken the spirits of men.
2. Meekness is a great ornament to a Christian. ‘The ornament of a meek spirit, which is so precious to God’ (1 Peter 3:4). How lovely is a saint in God’s eye, when adorned with this jewel! What the psalmist says of praise (Psalm 33:1), the same may I say of meekness. It is ‘lovely for the righteous’. No garment is more befitting to a Christian, than meekness. Therefore we are bid to put on this garment. ‘Put on therefore as the elect of God, meekness’ (Colossians 3:12) A meek spirit brings credit to the gospel, and silences malice. It is the varnish which puts luster upon holiness, and sets off the gospel with a better gloss.
3. This is the way to be like God. God is meek towards those who provoke him. How many black mouths are opened daily against the Majesty of heaven? How do men tear his Name! vex his Spirit! crucify his Son afresh! They walk up and down the earth as so many devils covered with flesh—yet the Lord is meek, ‘not willing that any should perish’ (2 Peter 3:9). How easily could God crush sinners, and kick them into hell! But he moderates his anger. Though he is full of majesty—yet full of meekness. In him is mixed princely greatness and fatherly mildness. As he has his scepter of royalty, so his throne of grace. Oh how should this make us fall in love with meekness! Hereby we bear a kind of likeness to God. It is not profession which makes us like God—but imitation. Where meekness is lacking, we are like brutes. Where it is present, we are like God.
4. Meekness is a noble and excellent spirit. A meek man is a valorous man. He gets a victory over himself! Anger arises from weakness of character. Therefore we may observe old men and children are more choleric than others. Anger argues weakness of judgement—but the meek man who is able to conquer his fury, is the most strong and victorious. ‘He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty; controlling one’s temper, is better than capturing a city’ (Proverbs 16:32). To yield to one’s anger is easy. It is swimming along with the tide of corrupt nature—but to turn against nature, to resist anger, to ‘overcome evil with good’, this is truly Christian. This is that spiritual chivalry and fortitude of mind that deserves the trophies of victory and the garland of praise.
5. Meekness is the best way to conquer and melt the heart of an enemy. When Saul lay at David’s mercy and David only cut off the skirt of his robe, how was Saul’s heart affected with David’s meekness? ‘Saul called back—Is that really you, my son David? Then he began to cry. And he said to David—You are a better man than I am, for you have repaid me good for evil. Yes, you have been wonderfully kind to me today, for you could have killed me. May the Lord reward you well for the kindness you have shown me today’ (1 Samuel 24:16-19). This ‘heaping of coals’ melts and thaws the heart of others. It is the greatest victory—to overcome an enemy without striking a blow. The fire will go where the wedge cannot. Mildness prevails more than fierceness. Anger makes an enemy of a friend. Meekness makes a friend of an enemy. The meek Christian shall have letters testimonial even from his adversary. It is reported of Philip, king of Macedon, that when it was told him Nicanor openly railed against his Majesty, the king instead of putting him to death (as his council advised), sent Nicanor a rich present, which so overcame the man’s heart, that he went up and down to recant what he had said against the king, and highly extolled the king’s mercy. Roughness hardens men’s hearts; meekness causes them to relent (2 Kings 6:22). When the king of Israel feasted the captives he had taken in war, they were more conquered by his meekness—than by his sword. ‘The bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel’ (2 Kings 6:22)