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Defensiveness, the Opposite of Meekness

Updated: Feb 12, 2020

(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) Numbers 12:3.

I received a phone call this morning from a single mother who has only been in Christ for a few years. (For Her Testimony Click Here.) She had been reading in Job and it had struck her how that it was the taunting and provocation of Job's friends that really got him started making self righteous statements. That opened the door to do a little pastoring on the subject of meekness.

For too long I had equated meekness with humbleness of mind. Then I noticed that humbleness of mind and meekness were mentioned as two distinctly different things in a King James bible. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering, Colossians 3:12. They couldn't be the same thing.

If we had no other verse using the word meek other than Numbers 12:3 (opening verse), we should be able to get the definition. To be meek does not mean that you are some kind of milk toast christian that anyone can walk over. Moses was not afraid to kill in righteousness, pronounce fierce judgments or take his people to war in righteousness. What distinguished Moses was his reaction when he was verbally attacked. He let God handle it. In Numbers 12 Miriam would have been far better off if Moses had just screamed back at her that he was God's chosen leader.

Korah and his gang (Numbers 16) would have fared far better if Moses had gotten all defensive and yelled that it was he, Moses to whom God had given the 10 commandments. Instead Moses spent his wrath talking to God. To Korah he merely told him to come out the next day with his censer, he would let God pick between them. That didn't work out real well for Korah.

Likewise, Jesus Christ defined himself as meek and lowly of heart. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls, Matthew 11:29. We see this played out in Pilate's Judgment Hall. Imagine having the power to have men crucified. Imagine the pleading that Pilate had heard in his life. I'm sure that he had seen everything from men begging him while on their knees to men cursing him as they were lead away.

Now stands a man in front of him who is trusting God. But Jesus yet answered nothing; so that Pilate marvelled, Mark 15:5. Paul admonished Titus to remember how that; Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession. Titus 6:13. What was that confession? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin, John 19:11. Jesus Christ trusted the Father even to the laying down of his life.

I have learned that if God will not rise to my defense, I probably don't deserve or need defending. If God will rise to my defense, it will be done far better than if I did it myself. I can only look back with regret at the many times that God might have defended me, but I was too quick to run my mouth. There are few uglier times in my life. No person is ever worse then when they are defensive.

Peter admonishes us that true beauty is in meekness. He calls it; the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price, I Peter 3:4. In my 38 years of marriage, we have had more than a few arguments. I'm not proud of it but I haven't always been fair or civil in my speech. When my wife has retaliated in kind we both degenerated into two fools regardless of who was right. When she simply absorbed my cruel mouth and stared back at me, it sent daggers into my heart, not always at the moment, sometimes it would take until the next day. Her most effective weapon against my idiocy is meekness.

In being meek she has not abandoned her principled thoughts or ideas. From time to time we find a suitable occasion to discuss our differences. In fact, I find her input invaluable about 2 weeks after she says it. Her meekness as we differ is her greatest asset to getting me to eventually consider what she says.

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