May God Raise Up the Meek and the Good
By Rev Lawrence Chan
July 17, 2022
Jesus said: “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). “Meek”(πραΰς) in the original language does not mean “caring meticulously” or “good at reading someone like a book.” When used with horses, it can mean “tamed” or “under control.” Used with medicine, the word can mean “relieving pain.” Disciples’ lives are “meek” because those who believe in God put themselves under the sovereignty and control of the LORD. In doing so, their lives and what they do have the effect of taking pain away. We cannot rely on ourselves to become “the meek” and earn the blessing of “inheriting the earth” (receiving everlasting peace). “Meekness” and “spiritual poverty” are symbiotic. Those who are poor in spirit know they have nothing to rely on, and so they look up unto the LORD alone and are happy to be controlled by Him. After all, it is the work and promises of God that give us a place in the Heavenly Kingdom (See Psalm 37:9, 11, 27, 29, 34).
The more there are proud and wild people in the world, the more valuable are the meek and good people. In the face of vice and unrighteousness, people tend to mobilize and put together whatever power they have to fight, even bringing in more arguments for using violence. But in doing so, in their attempt to counter the unrighteousness, they themselves have become unrighteous. For example, when under attack, using a reasonable level and means of force to defend the territory and protect civilians’ lives is understandable. But violent treatment of surrendered soldiers and deliberate attack on the opponents’ civilians and civil facilities cannot rightfully be called a “just war.” Indeed, all powers need to be subject to restraints from above. Christians should all the more restrain themselves out of reverence for God’s sovereignty. They should believe that only the power released under the guidance and control of the Lord is good and beneficial.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, when the world has become not as you have expected, let us cling to the truth: “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit” (Zechariah 4:6). Whether in social participation or in spreading the gospel to win souls for the Lord, we are not fighting against flesh and blood. For this reason, we should not deploy the mentality and means of the world. In the light of the truth, reflection on experience and prayer, we must exercise ethical discernment. The purpose of discernment is not to prove that our thoughts and actions are correct but rather to submit what we think and do to God in obedience to Him and to glorify Him so that they are truly good.
Brothers and sisters, wherever we are in the global village, we must believe in a better way than “fight or flight.” It is like what the psalmist says: “Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture” (Psalm 37:3).
May the Lord raise up meek and good people for this city. May we be among them. Amen.