Sabbath School Summary
By Dr Masimba Mavaza | Meekness in the Crucible
Memory Text: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5, NKJV).
We don’t hear the word meek used much, except maybe when reading about Moses or studying the Beatitudes. It’s not hard to figure out why, either. Meekness is defined as “enduring injury with patience and without resentment.” No wonder we don’t hear much about it; it’s hardly a trait well respected in cultures today. Sometimes the Bible translates this word as “humble.” Again, humility isn’t a character trait seen as desirable by most cultures either. But meekness, enduring injury with patience and without resentment, is one of the most powerful characteristics of Jesus and His followers. And yet, it’s not an end in itself: meekness of spirit can be a powerful weapon in the hands of those who are in the midst of pain and suffering. Indeed, the crucible is a great place to learn meekness of heart, for through our own meekness and broken places we can be powerful witnesses for God.
The Week at a Glance: What is the relationship between suffering and meekness? How can we, in our own meekness and broken places, be a witness to others? How can meekness really be a strength, not a weakness, for the Christian?
SABBATH: Meekness is not taking offense at the offenses of others. When grieved, the meek put up with it. They forgive seventy times seven. To be meek is to endure injury with patience without anger. No wonder it is not a trait hailed in a world where we’re told to fight for our rights. Meekness is at times termed as humility in the Bible. It is a trait of Jesus & His saints. In the crucible, we can learn meekness.
SUNDAY: Meekness has to do with other people. A meek is known by being put with those who’d try his temper. It’s a life of service. Moses endured gossip & Joseph endured betrayal to manifest God’s grace & care for others. Oswald Chambers says we’re to be “broken bread & poured-out wine” for others. Our test can be to others a testimony. Ezekiel was set as a sign to Israel in his afflictions (Ezek. 24:15-27).
MONDAY: The meek sees himself to be less than the least of all men, the chief of sinners, not superior to others, & a debtor of God’s grace. Moses, when given the chance to be esteemed & Israel condemned chose to suffer with his people. It was a test from God on Moses & the patriarch passed his test. We can face a crucible to proof our love for others (Exod. 32:1-14). Grace found Miriam (Num. 12; 16).
TUESDAY: God dislikes sin but He love sinners. We are also to dislike the wrong of others but love them. It’s to dislike the dirt a pearl is hide in but loving the pearl in the dirt. “God does not love us because we are nature lovable. But we become lovable because He loves us.” We are to love & pray for our enemies. Jesus tells of how His Father treat us amidst our sins. We’re to imitate Him (Matt. 5:43-48). Show care!
WEDNESDAY: Those who’re meek seldom complain. They do not talk of being born on a wrong planet or ask “why me?” when tried. They’re dumb with silence in trials & talk only to praise God. It’s awful to be treated unjustly by others & we’re often prone to put things right. But Peter tells us to copy Christ (1 Pet. 2:18-25). Christ’s silence before Pilate when He could talk testifies of His meekness (Matt. 11:29).
THURSDAY: Meekness is the exact opposite of pride. Often, the most proud people & arrogant are those who suffer from low self-esteem. They cover their lack of humility & meekness, sometimes unaware, with pride. They crave for security & worthiness. We find that only in God. Meekness isn’t weakness but shows we’re rooted in God. We’ll be hated for no cause but God’s got us (Ps. 62:1-8, UL, p. 177).
FRIDAY: The difficulties we face can be lessened by that meekness which hides itself in Christ. We’ll rise above the annoyance & insult we face daily with meekness. The highest proof of nobility in Christ is self-control. Anyone who under abuse fails to be calm robs God of His right to reveal in him His own perfection of character. Lowliness of heart is the strength that gives victory to the followers of Christ.
—Read Ellen G. White, “The Importance of Seeking True Knowledge,” pp. 453, 454, in The Ministry of Healing; “The Sermon on the Mount,” pp. 298–314, in The Desire of Ages; “The Worker and His Qualifications,” p. 630, in Evangelism & The Desire of Ages, p. 301.
UL- The Upward Look
“Be Perfect” (Matt. 5:48)- To be perfect in God’s sight is to love the opposition; and to do this takes a meekness of heart that only God can give.
SUNDAY- “Broken Bread and Poured-Out Wine”
MONDAY- Interceding for Grace
TUESDAY- Loving Those Who Hurt Us
WEDNESDAY- A Closed Mouth
THURSDAY- Our Rock and Refuge
📌 How does humility allow us to “rise above” hurts and annoyances? What do you think is the most important characteristic of humility that allows us to do this?
📌 In your own particular culture, how are the characteristics of humility and meekness viewed? Are they respected, despised, or what? What kind of pressures do you face in your culture that work against you in cultivating these characteristics?
📌 Are there any great examples of meekness and humility among people alive today? If so, who are they, how have they expressed these traits, and what can you learn from them?
📌 Why is it that we so often equate meekness and humility with weakness?
📌 We saw how David sought the Lord as a refuge. But how does that work? How is that refuge always manifested? In other words, how can we, as a church, be a refuge for those who need a refuge? What kind of refuge does your own local church provide? What can you do to help make it a place of refuge for those who need it?