Beliefnet
Safe Place with Ruth Graham

Speak that I may hear

The truth very clear.

The truth that is very dear

To my heart, dear Lord.

And if it isn’t

Make it so.

That I may know I walk with You.

The definition of meek in Webster’s College Dictionary is: “1. humbly patient or docile, 2. overly submissive or compliant; spiritless; tame; 3. gentle, kind. Far be it from me to disagree with Webster! But… the Bible said Moses was the meekest man in the world. (“Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men who were upon the face of the earth.” Numbers 12:3) Other versions of the Bible use the word, “humble”, “quietly humble”,”patient”.  Other definitions use “devout”, “pious”, “gentle”.

The context of this statement is during an event in Moses’ life when he had been misunderstood and  harshly criticized by his family for marrying and Ethiopian woman. They began to question whether he was the only one who could hear God speak or be God’s leader. Were they just as good as Moses? “Meek” is from a root word meaning, “affliction” (Dake). Certainly at the time Moses was afflicted by the unfair condemnation of Aaron and Miriam – his own family. He seemed to be patient and gentle waiting on God to justify him.

We also know that Moses could be rash and quick to act – like when he killed the Egyptian. I don’t picture him “docile” – ever. He was submissive to God but far from “spiritless” and “tame”. Looking at Moses’ life – he was a leader of leaders, one of the greatest, if not the greatest – he couldn’t have been too tame or docile to lead that many people out of Egypt to the Promised Land for 40 years!  He wasn’t tame or spiritless when he confronted Pharaoh over and over again. We know he struck the rock, probably in impatience and anger.

But God had prepared him to lead His people. God molded him to be the kind of leader God wanted him to be. God honed Moses’ patience. He was not perfect but he depended on God in everything and God communicated with him in amazing ways. He was the one on Mt. Sinai when God wrote the Ten Commandments on the stone tablets. He was the one whom God passed by and let him see God’s back. Yes. A powerful leader.

I’ve heard it said that “meekness is power under control”. I like that definition and I think it fits Moses. He allowed God to tame his spirit through the trials and tribulations of leading the people through the wilderness. Settling arguments – not  getting sidetracked or quitting. Surely in all those years he must have wanted to quit! He listened to God’s voice and obeyed what he heard.

God makes promises for the meek. “The meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace.” (Ps. 37:11) Matthew 5:5 says, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” “The meek will he guide in judgment; and the meek will he teach his way.” (Ps. 25:9)

How did Moses go from a rash murder to the meekest man on earth? He spent time with God. He waited on God. He heard God’s voice and obeyed. We can do the same.

 

 

Wasn’t it refreshing to have the news full of worship and the Cross of Jesus lifted up? His name was lifted up and He got the honor. No one else could have done that! Pope Francis had such a dear expression even when he was exhausted and being jostled by the crowds. He never exhibited any impatience or annoyance. You could see the result of many hours on his knees in prayer.

I didn’t get to see all of the coverage since I was traveling but I watched as much as I could. I found it inspiring and comforting. It was such a contrast to the violence, politics, sex – bad news – that usually fills the news. I wish the news outlets would take a cue and realize that inspirational, good news, hope, comfort would serve them well. They think the negative stuff is the only thing that sells.

But all we have to look at is  the recent movies that have been successful: “War Room”, “The Blindside”, “Courageous”, “When the Game Stands Tall”…among many others.

I am  convinced – I am sure there has been a study – that the violence of movies and video games results in violence in our society. Money has power. Once these inspirational movies start outselling the violent, sick ones, there will be a change. But, sadly, violence and sex sells.

Let’s support inspirational movies that have good moral values for our children and families.

Thank you Pope Francis for inspiring us all by your humble, godly example.

Didn’t you just love the little Fiat in the motorcade between the sleek, black behemoths? I did. (I know the security detail needed the big cars but it was a wonderful illustration of self-importance taking a  back seat to humility.)

 

About 4 years ago, we had an earthquake in my area of Virginia. When the ground begins to shake you understand uncertainty in a whole new way!

Life is uncertain – to put it mildly. Especially these days. The stock market is up and down like a rollercoaster – can’t be certain about that! Politicians lie with ease – can’t trust them. People going about their normal day are shot randomly by terrorists – don’t feel safe. Governments are teetering on the brink of disaster – can’t depend on them. Family members die unexpectedly. We are being told by some to stock up on water and canned goods for the soon-coming disaster. Life is uncertain. Otherwise we wouldn’t need insurance!

We try to insure against uncertainty so we will feel more secure. But there really is no insurance for life. Yes. We can buy “life insurance” but it only pays out if you die! So maybe it is misnamed – call it “death insurance”. But there is nothing that can protect us from death itself. God says “It is appointed unto man once to die and after this the judgment.” We will all die. The mortality rate for each generation is 100%.

So what are we to do? We look for a rock, a shelter, a stronghold. We look for safety in something or someone. But we find nothing is guaranteed. The Psalmist calls God his “rock”, “shelter”, “stronghold”. He learned it from his life experience. David knew betrayal, assassination attempts, he fled for this life more than once, was attacked by a lion. He was  cursed by others and slandered. He felt loneliness, hunger, thirst. He slept in caves. He was in battle many times. He faced down a giant. David knew all about uncertainty.

And what did He say? “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Ps. 46:1) “We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.” (Ps.33:20) “In the shelter of your presence you hide them from intrigues of men; in your dwelling you keep them safe from accusing tongues.” (Ps. 31:20) “The is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made. The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.” (Ps. 145:13-14)

Now, you go through the Psalms and find your own verses! (Start with Psalm 23.) It will be such faith building exercise!