Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Sometimes you find a nugget of pure gold lying almost on the surface of your Bible reading, a treasure of Good News truth you never saw before.
That's what happened when I decided to check into the meaning of the word "meek" as it is in Numbers 12:3 (KJV). I have always been perplexed the way the word is used there. Verses 1 and 2 tell us of the painful heartache Moses must have felt when his two siblings, Miriam and Aaron turned against him--a cruel blow for him to endure.
Having to contend with Pharaoh, ruler of the world's greatest empire and all his courtiers--that was nothing compared to this heartache. Also, enduring all the trials the unbelieving Israelites heaped upon him on their way to the Promised Land--all that he could endure more easily. But when his own siblings, older than he in his own family, turned on him, that was agony!
Why does the Bible writer then say immediately in parentheses, "Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth"? Seems an irrelevant thing to say just then! Did Moses just take it all lying down?
And then I looked up the real meaning of the Hebrew word `anav, which is translated "meek." It does not mean to be a floor-mat, someone who is cowardly. The word has built in to it the meaning of one who has endured many setbacks, many humiliations, many oppositions, many put-downs, and yet has stood firm and said "No!" to discouragement. It is a very active word, not a passive one; not taking what's doled out to you like a weakling, but triumphing over it all.
It's a word that denotes a strong, beautiful character, trusting God when everything seems to be against you. It's the pearl character, having to endure the irritations that have come so close to you and transforming it all into a precious jewel.
Have you met trials and even persecutions, mysterious setbacks? Take heart!
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: May 16, 2001.
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