(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were on the face of the earth.)
What is meekness? It is not the repudiation of self-defence. Everything that is made has a right to exist, or God would not have matte it; and, if any other creature trespasses on this its birth-charter, it is justified in defending itself. Neither is meekness a mental incapacity to discern insults and injuries. A man who cannot do that is not meek but stupid. Nor is meekness a natural mildness which is incapable of being provoked. There are people of such a temper — or, rather, non-temper. It is no credit to them. We may call such people soft; but it would be a misnomer to call them meek. In fact, unless they can be stirred up, they are incapable of meekness; for the more natural fierceness a man has the more capable he is of meekness, and he upon whom anybody that comes along may make his scratch is anything but a meek person. Neither are they meek who are restrained from exhibiting resentment by fear or self-interest. They are cowards. All these are negative qualities. And it is impossible that meekness should belong to this tribe; for it must be immensely positive and tremendously energetic since it is to subjugate the earth and inherit it. The first element in meekness is docility — a willingness to learn, a readiness to go through the drudgery and labour connected with learning, a disposition to suppress the impatience which prevents us from learning. The second element is self-restraint, both toward God and toward man. The tendency of trouble is to irritate, to render the soul peevish, angry, morose, rebellious. But the meek soul has learned in the school of Christ. It accepts the truth that "all things work together for good to them that love God"; and, therefore, disciplines itself to patience under trial. Meekness educates man up to a Godlike standard. It stores up strength in the soul — a strength that shall prove available in the emergencies of life. The meek men are the men of might. They have broad shoulders and strong backs, or they could not carry this load of other men's ignorance, infirmity, and sin; and it is meekness that squares their shoulders, toughens their tendons, and develops their muscles. The meek men are, if the exigency arises, the most terrible of the earth. There are bounds to the exercise of meekness. Paul indicates this when he says: "What will ye? Shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love?" When the meek man does take the rod, he lays it on until the work is thoroughly done.
(H. M. Scudder, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)