Word Study - Humility and Meekness

Humility

Old Testament - Hebrew - aw-naw (Strong's #6031, 6080); to abase oneself, chasten oneself, submit oneself, gentleness, to weaken oneself.

kaw-nah (Strong's #3665); to bend the knee, to bring down low, to bring into subjection, to be under something.

shaw-fawl (Strong's #8217); depressed (like a hollow in the ground), to be brought to a low point (literally), to lower oneself, to be lowly, to bring/lay/ make/put something lower than its usual place, to debase.

New Testament - Greek - tap-i-nos (Strong's #5011); depressed (low), humiliated in circumstances or disposition, of low degree (estate), lowly

tap-i-nof-ros-oo'-nay (Strong's #5012); humiliation of mind, modesty, humbleness of mind, humility of mind, lowliness of mind.

tap-i-no-o (Strong's #5013) to depress (low in geographical terms), to humiliate or humble as in the condition of the heart, abase, bring low, humble self.

Latin: humilis - low, base - from humus meaning ground. Innate gentleness and mildness as well as absence of assertiveness and pride, a lack of boastfulness and vanity.

Meekness

A calm temper of mind, not easily provoked (James 3:13). According to the dictionary it means to be; humble, submissive, soft and gentle in nature, patient and mild in disposition and spirit.

Meekness can also be said to be power and authority under control - in our case, submitted to the indwelling Christ.

Old Testament - Hebrew - aw-nawv (Strong's #6035); of a humble mind, gentleness, recognizing its own lack and its need of God.

New Testament - Greek - prah-ooce' (Strong's #4239); mild, gentle, humble.

Galatians 5:22-23 speaks of the fruit of the Spirit. Notice that meekness is mentioned, but not humility. A study of these words will reveal that often in Scripture, and different Bible translations, they are used interchangeably, simply because they have almost identical meanings.

Many examples of humility/meekness exist in the Bible, with the best being Jesus.

Study the following people: Jesus (Matthew 11:29); Abraham (Gen 18:27,32); Job (Job 42:2-6); David (1 Sam 18:18-23); John the Baptist (John 3:29,30); Paul (Acts 20:19); Moses (Ex 3:11); Jacob (Gen 32:10); Joshua (Josh 7:6); Jeremiah (Jer 1:6); Daniel (Dan 2:30); Elizabeth (Luke 1:43).

Humility/meekness is an attitude of the heart and a decision of the mind (will) to follow God and submit to Him out of a desire to please Him. Scripture instructs that we must humble ourselves (1 Peter 5:6), and to "put on" humility like a garment (1 Peter 5:5; Col 3:12). Romans 13:14 says to "put on Christ." This means in submitting to Him, He becomes our humility.

How does it apply to the Christian Today?

Humble believers willingly submit to God and one another. With Humility as their clothing, their grace to walk before God and the world increases.

It means they always remain in a place where they have a pure heart that sees God (Matt 5:8). They remain utterly dependent upon God, and have a capacity to wait on Him, to separate themselves from self-interest, fame, fortune and recognition. They have a lack and freedom from pride or arrogance, showing a low estimate of their own importance or worth, and are not proud, not pretentious, but courteous and respectful.

The measure of obedience in a person's life is a good yardstick to determine humility. Generally speaking, if a person is disobedient, it also means they are not humble. However, someone may be humble, but disobedient simply because they don't understand God's instruction to them. The opposite of humility is pride.

Being humble has to do with walking in the Truth and Light of Christ. Truth brings submission because it exposes our true self. Realizing what we are really like, produces a humility of mind within us. We see that we can't judge someone else because the capacity for the same sin lies within us, causing us to display God's grace and mercy to those around us.

Isaiah 66:2 tells us that God's eyes are upon those who are humble before Him - He gives attention to them. Humility releases God's grace towards us (James 4:6), with the following consequences;

We follow the Road to honor (1 Kings 3:11-14), it leads to riches (Proverbs 22:4), it brings blessings (2 Chronicles 7:14,15), it guarantees exaltation (James 4:10), it ensures God's presence (Isaiah 57:15), it makes truly great (Matthew 18:4), it unlocks more grace (Prov 3:34; James 4:6).

Yours in His Love and Anointing

Jan van Rooyen

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