In Psalms 18:35, David wrote, “Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.” David recognized the mercies the Lord gave. The protection, empowerment, and provisions were tender manifestations and contemplations of a sovereign and righteous God. As we examine our lives, we see God’s gentleness has made a difference. Here are some ways that God’s gentleness can impact our lives.
He’s our protector.
God’s gentleness has the qualities of mercy, grace, love, and judgment. He can use each of them simultaneously while not neglecting the other traits. Indeed, God would be justified in letting David’s enemies win as punishment for his indiscretions. He was a lousy father, murderer, and adulterer. He was undoubtedly punished for his sins, but the divine intervention of the Lord had a bigger plan for David’s life. His story says he was a shepherd boy who wasn’t first in line to hold the world’s most influential crown.
However, David was anointed and trained over ten years before he was fully equipped to rule over the land. The endurance of this process showed God’s gentleness as He didn’t throw David into the position before the “fullness of time.” In the first portion of Psalm 18, David talks about the ways and tactics of Saul and his enemies. In verse one, you may notice that David separated Saul and “enemies,” considering the respect given to the fellow king despite his evil tendencies and motives.
David illustrates a hopeless image of being surrounded by “cries of death” and scared of the floods of ungodly men. David explains the sorrows of hell and the snares of death. Eternal death would be better than being tortured by the prospect of suffering. In his condition, David called out to the Lord. It wasn’t in God’s plan for David to surrender to his enemies, especially Saul. In modern times, we gave the same promise about the evils of the day. Isaiah 54:14-17 reminds us that no weapon formed against us shall prosper. We give God the praise because He protects us.
Our prayers reach His ears.
David’s cry for help not only made it to heaven’s throne but “even into His ears,” which means the plea pierced the being of God. We could say the same for our prayers, petitions, and cries for attention from God Almighty. Until the hostility between the throne of heaven and us is taken away by the mediator Jesus Christ, our cries can’t reach the necessary height for action.
1 Peter 3:12 reminds us, “The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open until their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” Therefore, we can’t ignore the privilege of our concerns and prayers reaching the Savior’s ears.
God is gentle with His children but tough on their enemies.
In Psalm 18:7-15, David reflects on the force of God when defending the covenant man. The Lord shook the earth so hard that the foundations and hills were also moved. His person blew smoke from his nostrils and fire from his mouth. The Creator parted the heavens and came down with dark clouds under His feet. Although the consequences of His power reached earth in the worst way, He mounted a cherub and flew, soaring on the wings of the wind.
Indeed, God has the power to call on His creation in subservience. In Matthew 12:29, Jesus is quoted saying, “or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first binds the strong man?” We view our enemies as mighty and strong when we are being opposed. However, thanks to our Heavenly Father, the believer can access the tougher man who can connect the dark world and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly territories.
His gentleness delivers us.
The enemies’ strength was so powerful that David understood it was God who delivered him from his enemy because they were too strong. The Lord’s gentleness discussed messages of forgiveness, love, and the need for a spiritual cleaning of the masses despite the world hating Him. Despite His unpopularity, His gentleness guided Him to the cross on Calvary. He could access the throne in heaven, but His gentleness allowed our sins to jump into His skin.
Even though He was innocent, His gentleness died on the cross for our sins. His gentleness battled the grave and sent our salvation. The power of man’s sin was too much of an adversary for our willpower and the flesh’s desires. Our Savior’s gentleness convicted our soul in our defeated and lost condition.
His gentleness leads us to obedience.
David knew the importance of cleanliness and obedience. In Psalm verse 20, he wrote, “The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands.” Even our obedience isn’t glory attributable to us through our abilities. The empowerment and cleansing of the Holy Ghost provide the necessary instruction and desire for compliance. Therefore, our obedience is effortless from our own hands.
Hebrews 5:8 tells us that Jesus learned obedience through His suffering. Through Jesus’ suffering, we’re given the gentleness of His guidance. David ends Psalms 18:49 and 50 by thanking the Lord and singing His praises. The psalm starts with a frantic plea for help but finishes with singing God’s praises. This praise is personal to David as he wrote, “great deliverance giveth He to his king, and showeth mercy to His anointed.”
Yes, as our Lord, Savior, and King, Jesus deserves all adoration and praise. If He never does anything else for us, He’s already done enough for us. He gave His life so that we would have salvation. God’s gentleness dramatically impacts our lives because it’s a part of His love for us. If He didn’t love us the way He does, He wouldn’t be gentle with us but tough on our enemies. We should thank God daily for how gently He handles His children.