Greatness in Gentleness

Gentle Greatness

Blows hammered shields. Clouds hurled hailstones. God’s voice thundered. Eyes watered from the haze of smoke as fire fed on everything in sight. Sweat, blood, and rain wet the lips of warriors as cherubim soared overhead.

Powerful imagery pours forth from Psalm 18 as David recounts the LORD’s rescue, His battle training, and David’s ultimate victory.

Then David tucks in verse 35. I’ll give you several versions for comparison:

  • NIV: “ . . . you stoop down to make me great.”
  • NRSV: “ . . . your help has made me great.”
  • NASB: “And Thy gentleness has made me great.”

Gentleness? This jarred me like the scratching of a needle on an old LP.

David presents a picture of God humbly giving of Himself to help His servant, David.

Chew on that for a minute.


The Rock and Shield of verse 2.

The God with smoke coming from His nostrils and fire from His mouth in verse 8.

The One shooting arrows and scattering the enemy in verse 14.

Stoops to give His creature a moment of greatness.

He could’ve simply sent help. One angel. Maybe two.

God made Himself available. A personal assist from the LORD of hosts.

Gulp. I think we’re supposed to copy this one.

Jesus said, “ . . . for I am gentle and humble in heart.” (Matthew 11:29 NIV) Paul chimed in, “Let your gentleness be evident to all.” (Philippians 4:5)

As you train this week, consider three things:

  1. Verse 35 was not an afterthought. What is God telling us about true strength? Click To TweetPerhaps that true strength operates best from a position of gentleness and humility?
  2. Note, too, that Psalm 18 has three parts: God’s rescue of David, God’s training of David, and David’s victory. The chapter pivots on God’s training, and specifically verse 35. Apart from God’s help/gentleness, David’s victory doesn’t happen.
  3. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV) Gentleness, a fruit of the Spirit, reflects God’s character.

Look for opportunities this week to train your gentleness. Who would God have you make great? Your spouse? Your kids? Your boss? What would God have you do? How can you stoop? Help? Exhibit gentleness? What must shift to make way for humility?

Make another great today with your gentleness.

Workout of the Week: Greatness in Gentleness

Memory Verse: Psalm 18:35 (NASB) “And Thy gentleness has made me great.”

Meditation Passage: Psalm 18

Just Do It: Stoop down to make someone great today.

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