Today, Sunday November 13
“Your Gentleness Has Made Me Great”
“You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great. You enlarged my path under me, So my feet did not slip.
I have pursued my enemies and overtaken them; Neither did I turn back again till they were destroyed. I have wounded them, So that they could not rise; They have fallen under my feet. For You have armed me with strength for the battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me. You have also given me the necks of my enemies, So that I destroyed those who hated me. They cried out, but there was none to save; Even to the LORD, but He did not answer them. Then I beat them as fine as the dust before the wind; I cast them out like dirt in the streets. You have delivered me from the strivings of the people; You have made me the head of the nations; A people I have not known shall serve me. As soon as they hear of me they obey me; The foreigners submit to me. The foreigners fade away, And come frightened from their hideouts.”
Psalm 18 is a great song and Psalm of praise and victory! David writes this Psalm after he has finally been delivered from King Saul and been exalted to the throne of Israel as king. In the early years of his reign, David experienced God subduing the nations around him and giving him great victories over them. In this Psalm David is expressing his love to the LORD and is giving God the glory and praise for all that He has done in making him great!
One of the great lessons we learn from the life of David and his Psalms is humility. Before God can trust us with great authority, we must be willing to be a person under authority. David said that “God’s gentleness had made him great” (v. 35). Though David was a man of war, he recognized that it was God's gentleness that made him what he was. The word “gentleness” here means "condescension." God “condescended” from heaven to look down and call David (1 Sam. 16). God “condescended” to bend down and mold David (v. 35), and reach down and save David (v. 16); and then God lifted him up to the throne (vv. 39-45).
This reminds us of what Jesus, the Son of David, did when He "stepped down" to come to earth as a servant and die for our sins. Philippians 2:5-11 says this so clearly: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
In Mark 9:35, Jesus told His disciples and us also for that matter: “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all." Jesus also told them in Matthew 11:28-30: "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND rest for your souls. "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (NASB) We can learn from Jesus what it is to have a humble heart. Remember Jesus washed the disciple’s feet as a servant just before He went to the cross! (John 13).
Joseph had to learn the lesson of humility before he became the ruler of Egypt. He had dreamed that his dad and brothers would bow down to him but instead his brothers throw him into a pit, sell him into slavery, and he ends us in a prison in Egypt. Can you imagine his humiliation as he sits there in that prison and thinks about bragging to his brothers about his dreams. Can you imagine the humiliation of David after he had been anointed to be the next king, kills Goliath the giant, leads the armies of Israel, and becomes a national hero, then spends the next ten years of his life fleeing from King Saul like a fugitive.
Yes my friend, God’s “gentleness” is what teaches us what humility is, and how we can experience it as we turn to the Lord in the times of our trials and suffering.
What is the Lord doing in your life right now?