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Friday, September 12, 2014

Discipline Unto Prayer # 10

Meekness Of the Man of God

Deut. 34:10-12; Numbers 12:3

The prophet Micah described the man who pleases God as the one who loves mercy and walks humbly with his God (Micah 6:8). Moses was outstanding in his humility, not only in his own days but through all time. In connection with this, it is helpful to realize that he was a man who loved mercy. He had reason to do so, since he himself owed everything to the grace of God. There seems to be no greater man in all the sacred record - certainly not in the Old Testament; and the mark of his greatness is that he was very meek.

A Christ-like Virtue

His meekness was not a superficial guise which he assumed, but a profound characteristic of the man. The actual statement about him was made in connection with a period of great provocation. He was tested - tested severely and often; and from it all emerged the Divine verdict that he had passed the test: he was indeed a truly meek man.

Meekness is, of course, a Christ-like virtue - "I am meek and lowly in heart" (Matthew 11:29). Perhaps it is one the greatest virtues, for it was the Lord Jesus Himself Who not only pronounced a special blessing on the meek, but promised that they should inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5). He knew very well that meekness is not natural to humanity; indeed it was in order that men might be instructed in this quality of life that He called them to come unto Him and to take His yoke upon them. "Learn of Me, ..." He commanded, with the clear inference that we sinners would never be meek or lowly unless we did.

This was certainly true of Moses. Nobody would suggest that the man Moses was naturally meek. Nor would the years of training and luxury in the Egyptian court have taught him such a lesson. He learned much from the Egyptians, but he certainly never learned meekness. His outburst in Egypt, and the one flash of impatience in the wilderness which cost him so dearly (Numbers 20:8-12), give clear indications of the kind of man he was by nature. The more wonder, then, that this man, of all men, should be meek, and the supreme wonder that he surpassed all others in this Christ-like virtue.

Not that Moses was a mere dreamer. Meekness is not a characteristic of the contemplative; it is a virile virtue. Moses was a man of action. "In all the mighty hand, and in all the great terror ..." He was the leaders of the greatest venture of all history, the pioneer of the nation of Israel. God was mightily with Moses. When Joshua took over the leadership of the people there was no greater encouragement which God could give him than to assure him that he should have the same backing: "As I was with Moses, so I will be with thee" (Joshua 1:5). What was the explanation of the wonderful experiences of Divine power which Moses had? Surely this very fact, that he was meek above all other men. His meekness was his strength.

Meekness Because of Mercy

As we have said, the prophet made a close association between mercy and meekness: the man who loves mercy will walk humbly with his God. It may well be that the greatest contributory cause to the supreme meekness of Moses was that his life was transformed by an overwhelming realization of God's mercy to him. It is possible, of course, to take God's  blessings in the wrong way; to become conceited, as the Jews did, vainly imagining that God's kind treatment of them was due to some innate superiority of theirs. Such men may use the right phrases, and talk of God's grace, but it is only phraseology; they cannot be said  to "love mercy." If, however, we do appreciate the amazing patience of God, and His goodness to the utterly undeserving, then we begin not to boast of mercies, but to love mercy. There is surely nothing so calculated to make us truly lowly in heart as a realization of the greatness of God's grace, even to us.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 11 - (Mercy At His Beginnings)

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