Meekness

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

Numbers 16:1 “Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men:
2 And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown:
3 And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD?”

During the early days of Evangelist John R. Rice’s ministry, he was being maligned by Pastor J. Frank Norris from Texas. Dr. Rice wrote a kind, humble letter that basically told Pastor Norris that he, John Rice, did not deserve all of this attention and that their focus should instead be on the Lord and on winning souls. What Dr. Rice did is an excellent example of meekness in conflict. 

In our first passage, Numbers 12, Moses (a Jew) is being attacked in verses 1-2 by Aaron and Miriam for being married to an Ethiopian (African) woman (today called interracial marriage). Like many wickedly do, they didn’t think twice about “speaking evil” (Jms. 4:11) about one of God’s children who also happened to be their own authority. While verbalizing their pride in vs. 2, God reveals to us in vs. 3 that Moses was the meekest man on the earth at the time. 

A few chapters later in Numbers 16, Korah and his wicked gang decide to winch authority from Moses. In this very serious conflict, we see Moses’ meekness. How he responds in meekness is how you too, dear reader, need to act in conflict. 

  • – First off, what was Moses’ first response to this conflict? 
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  • Numbers 16:4 “And when Moses heard it, he fell upon his face:” 
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  • Instead of “lifting” himself up, Moses lowered himself to his attackers. From Pro. 13:10, we learn that pride causes contention. Yet, pride is our usual response to conflict. “You are not listening to me!” “You are interrupting me!” “You don’t appreciate all that I have done for you!” “I know what I’m talking about!” “Listen to me!” “You insulted me!” Instead of puffing himself, Moses prostrated himself. This outward posturing was a very shocking, unusual, and humbling response, especially from a leader! 
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  • – Moses’ meek verbal response did not talk about himself but rather God. 
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  • Num. 16:5 “And he spake unto Korah and unto all his company, saying, Even to morrow the LORD will shew who are his, and who is holy; and will cause him to come near unto him: even him whom he hath chosen will he cause to come near unto him.” 
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  • When conflict comes, do not focus on you. Focus on the issue and on what God says in Word about the matter. When Stephen, in Acts 7, is attacked by the Sanhedrin court, Stephen’s lengthy defense never says one word about himself. Heed this lesson, friend! Even when Moses finished his rebuke of Korah and his company in vs. 11, Moses never focused on Himself but rather “the Lord” and “Aaron” even though Moses’ enemies had specifically attacked Moses. 
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  • Num. 16:11 “For which cause both thou and all thy company are gathered together against the LORD: and what is Aaron, that ye murmur against him?” 
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  • – Moses’ meekness still displayed the power and authority given to him by God. (Read Moses’ commands to Korah in Num. 16:6-7, and Moses’ scolding in vs. 8- 11.) 
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  • Meekness in conflict, as we noticed, keeps the focus off of you and onto God/what God commands. As a result of the ability and authority only coming from God, the meek person still retains their authority in Christ Jesus. Not “this is what I think” but rather “Thus saith the Lord in…”. 
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  • – By the way, meekness usually doesn’t seem rewarding at first! Stephen was stoned. Jesus who was “meek and lowly” was crucified. Moses probably looked ridiculous to Korah and his rebellious gang. I can testify that most of the time people do not respond positively to outward showings of meekness. However, Jesus promised in Mt. 5:5 that the meek will be blessed and the meek will inherit the earth! Right and biblical responses aren’t always seen in the positive at first, but know that God is always watching and will definitely reward you! Okay, so let’s wrap this article up with some examples of meekness in conflict for the home. 
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  • – Husband, your wife brings a conflict to you. To respond in meekness, you will, like Moses, (#1) lower yourself mentally and physically to your wife. Mentally, you will not think you or your position are superior and your wife is inferior as “the weaker vessel”. Physically, you will not tower over her, but rather, sit beside her and/or hold her. (#2) Like Moses, you will not focus on self and talk from your view points. True meekness focuses on God, relies upon God, and quotes God’s Word. If you cannot focus solely on God and quote specific Scripture for your viewpoint, you need to shelve the conflict until you can. Do not let your pride blind you to this! (#3) If you follow the previous steps of biblical meekness, you will display proper power and authority since it will all come from God’s might and God’s Word. Every child of God that speaks “their mind” instead of “the mind of Christ” and speaks their opinions and their words instead of “thus saith the Lord” loses the argument before it has even begun. 
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  • – Wife, you are specifically commanded in I Peter 3:4 to be of “a meek and quiet spirit”. You may very well know more on the topic than your husband, but meekness will humbly give your husband’s view a chance and will make doubly sure that your side is supported Scripturally. Maybe even, your husband is in sin. Restoring someone still requires that it be done in the “spirit of meekness.” (Gal. 6:1) 
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  • – Parent, like Korah’s company, your offspring may feel themselves your equal, that they know more than you, that you are too bossy, etc…. How do you respond? Meekness will respond to this conflict with (#1) lowering yourself. Regularly remind yourself and your offspring that you are indeed weak, but that (#2) your authority and abilities come from God. If you need to constantly remind your kids that you are in charge, you aren’t! Your pride has gotten the better of you. (#3) Constantly remind your children/teens in conversation that you are under God’s authority and are obligated to obey all of God’s law. As such, your children must obey you as you obey God! Hence, the focus is off of you and onto God and His Word! 
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Always remember to display meekness in conflict.