Meekness, Canah כָּנַע, Anah עָנָה

David Mitts

“He has told you, mortal one, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?” (Mic 6:8, NASB)


To listen to the audio-only version click below 

Giving Opportunity Message

Render to Caeser or God


To find our place in this world requires a humility and openness to walking with God. In Micah 6:8 the Lord instructs us as mortals to do justice, to love kindness and to walk with God in humility. What does it mean to be humble or as it is often translated, to exhibit meekness?

God is a God of boundaries. He establishes and honors territories. Borders matter to God. Transgressing a border is offensive to God.

“You shall not displace your neighbor’s boundary marker, which the ancestors have set, in your inheritance which you will inherit in the land that the LORD your God is giving you to possess.” (Deu 19:14, NASB)

Boundaries define inheritance and respect for boundaries is a quality that qualifies us for our inheritance.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Mat 5:5, NKJV)

To have an inheritance you have to honor and value inheritance! People dishonor boundaries will always struggle with their place in the world.

Finding our place in the world is called humility or meekness. Meekness is not the absence of identity as some try to persuade us but the appropriate honor and respect for our true identity and through that identity our assigned inheritance.

There are a couple of Hebrew words that reveal this to us. The first is Canah which is translated as humility.

“and My people who are called by My name humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2Ch 7:14, NASB)

kaph  = open palm, thus bend, open, allow, tame
nun  = seed, thus continue, heir, son
ayin  = eye, thus watch, know, shade

The story: The opening (kaph) of the seed (nun), thus, the going down of the root to provide a firm foundation for the plant above ground. The parable is the going down (kaph + nun) of the eye (ayin); to bow the head.

The word ends with the ayin, which is all about perspective. In our lives we mostly deal with the results of things, the surface manifestations of the deeper roots of character. This is what is “normally” seen. It is also what we are most aware of in ourselves. God is calling us to go deeper into that which below the ground, the seed contained in the roots. Canah is really urging us to uncover the why’s of what we are doing. It is only by seeing things correctly with the eyes of our heart being enlightened that we can hope to heal our land. 

Paul describes this process: “For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,” (Eph 1:15-18, NASB)

The hope of His calling is embedded in our heart, and He is wanting us to go deep enough to know ourselves and operate in His spirit and according to His truth. Knowing ourselves is part of the process of humility. We have to operate with humility of self-awareness. 

This leads us to our second word for humility, anavah.

““In the wilderness it was He who fed you manna which your fathers did not know, in order to humble you and in order to put you to the test, to do good for you in the end.” (Deu 8:16, NASB)

Manna is the test for this kind of humility. The verse tells us that God fed Israel with manna to humble them which was in service of their destiny, to do good for them in the end.

This definition of humility is to learn the lessons of boundaries. In this case, the opposite of humility is desiring something beyond yourself that is not yours, coveting.

There is a greed that takes us beyond the provision of God and His equipping for our unique destiny. Let’s learn the lesson humility through manna:

“When the sons of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “It is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat. “This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Everyone gather as much as he will eat; you shall take an omer apiece according to the number of people each of you has in his tent.’” The sons of Israel did so, and some gathered much and some little. When they measured it by the omer, the one who had gathered much did not have too much, and the one who had gathered little did not have too little; everyone gathered as much as he would eat. Moses said to them, “No one is to leave any of it until morning.” But they did not listen to Moses, and some left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and stank; and Moses was angry with them.” (Exo 16:15-20, NASB)

To fulfill our destiny in God, we have to learn the lesson of the manna. The quantity of an “omer” is a sheaf of grain. It speaks of the measure of what we listen to from the Lord.

“And He was saying to them, "Take care what you listen to. By your standard of measure it will be measured to you; and more will be given you besides. "For whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him."” (Mrk 4:24-25, NAS95)

We are each called to hear certain things from the Lord. There are boundaries to our manna, to our heavenly bread.


Meekness, or humility is learning to live inside the boundaries God has set for us that allow us to focus on our destiny and apply our heart.

We need to become committed to the specific assignments of the Lord.

Coveting is really a state of ungratefulness. We have not in our lives because we ask amiss.

“You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (Jas 4:2-4, NAS95)

This is the opposite of anavah, humility. We violate boundaries because our eyes are looking constantly beyond our place. You see we are called to a specific territory with boundaries. Learning to live in that territory and be glad is the lesson of anavah.

Focus produces power. Think of a laser beam which is focused light particles. It can cut through steel. The power of focus is determined by the aperture of perspective. Our perspective is determined by what rules our heart. 

Our heart is designed for covenant, for oneness. Love is evidenced by sacrifice. It is when we are willing to lose our life that we gain eternal life. Losing our life is surrendering our perspective, our seeing to the perspective of who we love. We learn this in human relationships, and it impacts our love of God.

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.” (1Jn 4:11-21, NAS95)

Meekness is developed through love. When we learn to see life through the eyes or the perspective of another, we develop the humility of both canah and anavah. We honor territory and boundaries of another. Rather than being about fulfilling our own needs in the relationship we lay those down and honor the boundaries set forth by God and in that we discover our true calling and purpose, our inheritance. Our Pastor back in Jacksonville taught us that what you make happen for another God will make happen for you.

Activation of meekness and humility: Ask the Lord who He has assigned you to. It will be those important relationships in your life. Seek what you can do to help them fulfill their hopes and dreams and trust that by doing that yours will too.



 Push Notifications are disabled


B.E.S.T. Shabbat

 Add to homescreen