The meek will he guide - ענוים anavim, the poor, the distressed; he will lead in judgment - he will direct them in their cause, and bring it to a happy issue, for he will show them the way in which they should go.
The meek will he guide - The humble, the teachable, the prayerful, the gentle of spirit - those who are willing to learn. A proud person who supposes that he already knows enough cannot be taught; a haughty person who has no respect for others, cannot learn of them; a person who is willing to believe nothing cannot be instructed. The first requisite, therefore, in the work of religion, as in respect to all kinds of knowledge, is a meek and docile spirit. See Matthew 18:3.
In judgment - In a right judgment or estimate of things. It is not merely in the administration of justice, or in doing “right,” but it is in judging of truth; of duty; of the value of objects; of the right way to live; of all upon which the mind can be called to exercise judgment, or to come to a decision.
And the meek will he teach his way - The way in which he would have them to go. The “methods” by which God does this are:
(1) By His word or law,
(a) laying down there the principles which are to guide human conduct, and
(b) in numerous cases furnishing specific rules for directing our conduct in the relations of life;
(2) by His Spirit,
(a) disposing the mind to candor,
(b) enlightening it to see the truth, and
(c) making it honest and sincere in its inquiries;
(3) by His providence - often indicating, in an unexpected manner, to those who are sincere in their inquiries after truth and duty, what He would have them to do; and
(4) by the advice and counsel of those who have experience - the aged and the wise - those who have themselves been placed in similar circumstances, or who have passed through the same perplexities and embarrassments.
By all these methods a peson who goes to God in humble prayer, and with a proper sense of dependence, may trust that he will be guided aright; and it is not probable that a case could occur in which one who should honestly seek for guidance by these helps, might not feel assured that God would lead him aright. Having used these means, a peson may feel assured that God will not leave him to error.
God has placed in the church, as His appointed helpers, men of varied talents, that through the combined wisdom of many the mind of the Spirit may be met. Men who move in accordance with their own strong traits of character, refusing to yoke up with others who have had a long experience in the work of God, will become blinded by self-confidence, unable to discern between the false and the true. It is not safe for such ones to be chosen as leaders in the church; for they would follow their own judgment and plans, regardless of the judgment of their brethren. It is easy for the enemy to work through those who, themselves needing counsel at every step, undertake the guardianship of souls in their own strength, without having learned the lowliness of Christ. AA 279.1
Impressions alone are not a safe guide to duty. The enemy often persuades men to believe that it is God who is guiding them, when in reality they are following only human impulse. But if we watch carefully, and take counsel with our brethren, we shall be given an understanding of the Lord's will; for the promise is, “The meek will He guide in judgment: and the meek will He teach His way.” Psalm 25:9. AA 279.2
In the early Christian church there were some who refused to recognize either Paul or Apollos, but held that Peter was their leader. They affirmed that Peter had been most intimate with Christ when the Master was upon the earth, while Paul had been a persecutor of the believers. Their views and feelings were bound about by prejudice. They did not show the liberality, the generosity, the tenderness, which reveals that Christ is abiding in the heart. AA 279.3Read in context »
When Zipporah rejoined her husband in the wilderness, she saw that his burdens were wearing away his strength, and she made known her fears to Jethro, who suggested measures for his relief. Here was the chief reason for Miriam's antipathy to Zipporah. Smarting under the supposed neglect shown to herself and Aaron, she regarded the wife of Moses as the cause, concluding that her influence had prevented him from taking them into his counsels as formerly. Had Aaron stood up firmly for the right, he might have checked the evil; but instead of showing Miriam the sinfulness of her conduct, he sympathized with her, listened to her words of complaint, and thus came to share her jealousy. PP 384.1
Their accusations were borne by Moses in uncomplaining silence. It was the experience gained during the years of toil and waiting in Midian—the spirit of humility and long-suffering there developed—that prepared Moses to meet with patience the unbelief and murmuring of the people and the pride and envy of those who should have been his unswerving helpers. Moses “was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth,” and this is why he was granted divine wisdom and guidance above all others. Says the Scripture, “The meek will He guide in judgment: and the meek will He teach His way.” Psalm 25:9. The meek are guided by the Lord, because they are teachable, willing to be instructed. They have a sincere desire to know and to do the will of God. The Saviour's promise is, “If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine.” John 7:17. And He declares by the apostle James, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” James 1:5. But His promise is only to those who are willing to follow the Lord wholly. God does not force the will of any; hence He cannot lead those who are too proud to be taught, who are bent upon having their own way. Of the double-minded man—he who seeks to follow his own will, while professing to do the will of God—it is written, “Let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord.” James 1:7. PP 384.2
God had chosen Moses, and had put His Spirit upon him; and Miriam and Aaron, by their murmurings, were guilty of disloyalty, not only to their appointed leader, but to God Himself. The seditious whisperers were summoned to the tabernacle, and brought face to face with Moses. “And Jehovah came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam.” Their claim to the prophetic gift was not denied; God might have spoken to them in visions and dreams. But to Moses, whom the Lord Himself declared “faithful in all Mine house,” a nearer communion had been granted. With him God spake mouth to mouth. “Wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against My servant Moses? And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them; and He departed.” The cloud disappeared from the tabernacle in token of God's displeasure, and Miriam was smitten. She “became leprous, white as snow.” Aaron was spared, but he was severely rebuked in Miriam's punishment. Now, their pride humbled in the dust, Aaron confessed their sin, and entreated that his sister might not be left to perish by that loathsome and deadly scourge. In answer to the prayers of Moses the leprosy was cleansed. Miriam was, however, shut out of the camp for seven days. Not until she was banished from the encampment did the symbol of God's favor again rest upon the tabernacle. In respect for her high position, and in grief at the blow that had fallen upon her, the whole company abode in Hazeroth, awaiting her return. PP 384.3Read in context »
The language of the meek is never that of boasting. Like the child Samuel, they pray, “Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth” (1 Samuel 3:9). When Joshua was placed in the highest position of honor, as commander of Israel, he bade defiance to all the enemies of God. His heart was filled with noble thoughts of his great mission. Yet upon the intimation of a message from Heaven he placed himself in the position of a little child to be directed. “What saith my Lord unto his servant?” (Joshua 5:14), was his response. The first words of Paul after Christ was revealed to him were, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:6). SL 15.1
Meekness in the school of Christ is one of the marked fruits of the Spirit. It is a grace wrought by the Holy Spirit as a sanctifier, and enables its possessor at all times to control a rash and impetuous temper. When the grace of meekness is cherished by those who are naturally sour or hasty in disposition, they will put forth the most earnest efforts to subdue their unhappy temper. Every day they will gain self-control, until that which is unlovely and unlike Jesus is conquered. They become assimilated to the Divine Pattern, until they can obey the inspired injunction, “Be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” (James 1:19). SL 15.2Read in context »
For years we labored to beat back the prejudice and subdue the opposition that at times threatened to overwhelm the faithful standard bearers of truth—the heroes and heroines of faith. But we found that those who were seeking God in humility and contrition of soul, were able to discern between the true and the false. “The meek will He guide in judgment: and the meek will He teach His way.” Psalm 25:9. LS 92.1
God gave us a precious experience in those days. When brought in close conflict with the powers of darkness, as we frequently were, we laid the whole matter before the mighty Helper. Again and again we prayed for strength and wisdom. We would not yield the point; we felt that help must come. And through faith in God, the enemy's artillery was turned against himself, glorious victories were gained to the cause of truth, and we were made to realize that God gave not His Spirit by measure unto us. Had it not been for these special evidences of God's love, had He not thus, by the manifestation of His Spirit, set His seal to the truth, we might have become discouraged; but these proofs of divine guidance, these living experiences in the things of God, strengthened us to fight manfully the battles of the Lord. The believing ones could more clearly discern how God had mapped out their course, guiding them amid trials, disappointments, and fierce conflicts. They grew stronger as they met and overcame obstacles, and gained a rich experience at every step they advanced. LS 92.2Read in context »