Meekness, Jesus and Moses Had It

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The Book of Zephaniah is not one of the most quoted or referenced from God’s Word but it gives us today’s scripture of the day. This is a profound Bible verse for many reasons. The last statement is important in being humble and not too presumptive that you have “attained the mark.” Paul said,

Philippians 3:12-16 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. 16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

It’s believed Paul’s letter to the Philippians was written while he was in prison, probably at Rome about ad 62. It’s also believed Paul was beheaded in Rome about ad 64. That means after all that had been revealed to Paul and all he had accomplished for the work of Jesus Christ, he was still not willing to say, “I got it made, I’ve arrived in God’s sight.” We should always remember to judge ourselves but also remember that God, the Lord Jesus Christ will be the final judge  and make the determination if we “made it or not.”

My reason for writing this post has more to do with the first statements in Zephaniah’s verses.

Seek the Lord all you MEEK of the earth, Who have upheld His justice.

Zephaniah ties being “Meek” with those that will uphold the justice of God. Maybe you are wondering how can being humble, lowly, quiet, gentle, easily imposed on or submissive be linked to “upholding God’s Justice.” For some odd reason that I don’t understand, my KJV study Bible gives 2 Strong’s Concordance numbers for meek used in this very famous and quoted Bible verse. The 2 numbers are the same number??? (H6035*H6035)

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If you’ve read “My Disclaimer,” you understand that I am not a Bible scholar but I am a diligent student studying God’s Word. Both H6035 definitions are the same in my study Bible and they line up with the one I have already stated, go figure. But if you look at “Meek” in the Greek text, (G4235) it shines some light on the 2nd possible meaning. It also points to the character of Moses.

Meek G4235

While it too says “mild, gentle, kind” it also adds “The Necessary Balance of Exercising Power and Avoiding Harshness.”

“In the New Testament language of Koine Greek the word for humble was ‘praus’. Borrowed from the military, praus related to horse training. The Grecian army would find the wildest horses in the mountains and bring them to be broken in. When a horse passed the conditioning required for a war horse, its state was described as ‘praus’. The war horse had ‘power under authority’ or ‘strength under control’. A war horse never ceased to be determined, strong and passionate. However it learned to bring its nature under discipline. It gave up being wild, unruly, out of control and rebellious. A war horse learned to bring that nature under control. It would now respond to the slightest touch of the rider, stand fearless in the face of cannon fire, thunder into battle and stop at a whisper.” Robert I Holmes of Storm-Harvest Ministries

How can we apply that to the life of Moses, Jesus and ourselves? Our “fleshly” nature that seeks to gratify itself above all else needs to be submissive to the Will of God. At the same time we should stand and for the “Justice of God” as Moses and Jesus did. Remember when Jesus made a whip and chased the money changers out of His Father’s house with “Righteous Indignation?”

As Numbers 12:3 famously records, “Moses was the meekest man on the face of the earth.” As you read through all that’s recorded of Moses’ attempts to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt and through the wilderness for 40 years, you don’t get the impression that he was gentle, humble or submissive to anyone but God. Often times you read how Moses was angry with them because of their rebellion and lack of faith.

One particular incident tells of a time Moses failed to keep his “righteous indignation under control.”

Numbers 20:2-5, 7-11  Now there was no water for the congregation; so they gathered together against Moses and Aaron. 3 And the people contended with Moses and spoke, saying: “If only we had died when our brethren died before the Lord! 4 Why have you brought up the assembly of the Lord into this wilderness, that we and our animals should die here? 5 And why have you made us come up out of Egypt, to bring us to this evil place?

7 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 8 “Take the rod; you and your brother Aaron gather the congregation together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water; thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their animals.” 9 So Moses took the rod from before the Lord as He commanded him. 10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock; and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?” 11 Then Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank.

Moses messed up bigtime. He didn’t deep his authority under control. It costed him going into the promised land with Israel. Moses failed the “be angry and sin not” test.

Maybe you think that’s not too big of a deal but as with declaring your own self as being righteous in God’s Eyes, God thought it was a BIG DEAL. Moses didn’t exercise his authority according to God’s direction. Moses didn’t know that the rock that followed them in the desert was a symbol of Jesus Christ but God held him accountable. Was it just for eating of the fruit of a tree God said not to eat of, that Spiritual death of mankind was brought about? I believe it had more to do with not obey God’s Will. The Book of Revelation says we will someday eat of that tree, when God allows it.

The Bible teaches us we should judge what we see and hear concerning the things that come under the guise of Christendom.

1 John 4:1-3 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

Even if they come in the “name of Jesus” we are not to let our guard down. Paul warned us of those who will deceive in the name of “another Jesus.”

2 Corinthians 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

There is a crowd in the Christian world that think it is never appropriate to “judge” and just let bygones be bygones, just check your brain, spiritual discernment and knowledge of the Word of God at the door. Just hope they are a “good person at heart” and that they mean well even if what they say doesn’t agree with scripture. Paul said, don’t fall for it.

A scripture that really got my attention when I first began studying the Bible was a warning from Jesus about the last days.

Matthew 24:4-14, 23-25 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are the beginning of sorrows.

9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.

That’s 4 Deceives, 2 false prophets and 1 false christ = 7 That’s a God # is I ever saw one.

A long time ago I remember hearing a preacher say something but I can’t remember his name. It’s stuck with me though. He said that deception will come into the church through the laziness of Christians. They won’t be “Good Bereans” as Paul told us to be in Acts 17:11. They will follow a preacher that will be “righton” when expounding the Word of God. But over time the preacher will be swayed from the truth of God’s Word in some way.

The congregation under this pastor will question the error or unbiblical principle he is teaching but because the pastor was “spot on” in the past, they will just accept that, “he’s a good man, has had some sound teachings in the past so maybe this is OK too.” But in God’s eyes it’s NOT OK. IT’s what Paul and Jesus was warning about. It’s been a little while since I’ve said this. Don’t believe everything you read or hear preached or taught about the Bible, surely not from me. Be a “Good Berean” and know the Word of God for yourself. If you only do research on the teaching you hear or read to make sure it is what the Bible says, that would take long to do.

Also if your are a “Born Again with God’s Spirit” Christian, you have the Holy Spirit that will teach you. It will bring a feeling of peace in hearing God’s Word in the purity and truth it was intended to be taught. But if it is being perverted, twisted in some way, the Holy Spirit will bring an uneasiness to you, a sense of doubt or questioning the application of God’s Word. Then be a Good Berean, search the scriptures to see if what they said is right. That is what the Apostle Paul said in his letter to the Philippians.

Philippians 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

Obedience to God’s Word, walking in a way that pleases God definitely improves our sensitivity to hear and sense the leading of the Holy Spirit, “this is correct, this is not totally true.” “Willful” sin will have the opposite effect on sensing the leading of God in your life. We should be like the “War Horse,” responsive to the slightest touch and whisper of the Holy Spirit’s leading.

It’s is so easy to lift one Bible verse and then use it out of context. Sometimes you may have to start at the end of the previous chapter to get the real meaning of a verse. Please be a Good Berean for your own sake and for Jesus’ sake. He died for your salvation and to give you to have the Holy Spirit indwell in you to be your teacher. Don’t let the blood He shed for you be wasted because you were lazy about knowing what the Bible says and let someone lead you down the wide path that leads to destruction.

Matthew 7:13-23 Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are MANY who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are FEW who find it.

You Will Know Them by Their Fruits
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

I Never Knew You
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Just because they prophesy, cast out demons and even do wonders “in Jesus’ Name” doesn’t mean they “know Jesus.” They’re the ones who “set traps for God (tell you what day and time God will show up for revival), have a new program or gimmick for every month to try to draw a crowd.”

Pastor B.H. Clendennen used to say, “look out for preachers that set traps for God, they have to come up with a gimmick to get people in, then keep coming up with new ones to get them to say.” What a way to run a church.

If you see this stuff going on in a “Christian” ministry and you don’t have some “righteous indignation” rising up in you, check your “Upholding God’s Justice” thingamabob. Jesus and Moses would have never put up with it and kept quite.

 

 

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