TLIC Psalms. January 30. Your Gentleness.

Read Psalm 18:34-45. 34He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. 35You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great. 36You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip. 37I pursued my enemies and overtook them, and did not turn back till they were consumed. 38I thrust them through, so that they were not able to rise; they fell under my feet. 39For you equipped me with strength for the battle; you made those who rise against me sink under me. 40You made my enemies turn their backs to me, and those who hated me I destroyed. 41They cried for help, but there was none to save; they cried to the Lord, but he did not answer them. 42I beat them fine as dust before the wind; I cast them out like the mire of the streets. 43You delivered me from strife with the people; you made me the head of the nations; people whom I had not known served me. 44As soon as they heard of me they obeyed me; foreigners came cringing to me. 45Foreigners lost heart and came trembling out of their fortresses.

In a section of the psalm that is replete with violent war imagery (I beat them fine as dust), this phrase stands out – your gentleness made me great. There may not be a more profound thought in the entire psalm. But what does it mean?

David knows that the only reason his reign over Israel has been great is because the Lord has been gentle with him. This is what true greatness is – knowing that everything you have, every success, every victory, every accomplishment is from the gentle hand of the Lord Jesus. All is gift for the Christian. Nothing is earned or deserved. Nothing.

Jesus’ true greatness was also in his gentleness, his humility and meekness. Jesus is the head of the nations because first he was the substitute lamb for the nations. The nations will come cringing to Jesus knowing that his subjugation of them is one of gentleness and love.

What about you? Have you come to your gentle savior-king? Is it Christ’s gentleness that makes you great? Or something else?

To live is Christ is to come to the One who is gentle and lowly in heart and find rest for our souls, and true greatness for our lives.

Prayer. Jesus, may your gentleness empower me and become my gentleness. Thank you for your humility in living and dying for me that I may live forever with you. Amen.


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