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Greek Word Study - Meek

If you were going to illustrate the word “meek” by using one of God’s animal creatures, which one would you choose? A mouse? A chicken? The lowly turtle? Perhaps you would choose the dodo bird--stupidly waiting to be clubbed into extinction!

It may surprise you to know that the Greeks used this word to describe the well-trained horse. the loyal watchdog, and the work elephant. None of these animals is weak. To the contrary, their very usefulness depends on their strength! Meekness is strength that is obedient to the reins and submissive to the trainer. Just as wild dogs are of no value to men, raw strength is useless until it is controlled.

Only two men were ever called meek in the scriptures--Moses and Jesus. They were strong, but their lives were yielded to God. Their strength was under control. When Moses faced the Pharaoh and when Jesus faced the Pharisees, they were still obedient to God's reins. Even the seeming violence at the cleansing of the Temple might be understood as a loyal watchdog chasing intruders out of the yard.

Meekness is a virtue in the kingdom of heaven (Matt 5:5). It is part of Christlikeness that is produced in us by his Spirit (Gal 5:23). It should be our constant attitude as we represent God’s kingdom to outsiders (1 Pet 3:15).

Remember that meekness does not grow out of weakness, but from power held under control. Meek is not weak in the Greek!