You have also given me the shield of your salvation: and your right hand has held me up, and your gentleness has made me great.
Gentleness is love in action. Geologists tell us that the silent influences of the atmosphere are far more powerful than the noisy forces of nature: quiet sunshine than thunder, and gentle rain than earthquake. So the gentleness of God is His grandest excellence. His gentleness shows itself in the goodness which teaches us to know Him and inspires us to become like Him; in the mercy which, remembering that we are but dust, forgives our sins and blots out the record of our iniquity. The spirit of the New Testament reveals the gentleness of God as manifested in the life of our Saviour; for gentleness was the prevailing disposition of Jesus. Jesus was gentle in all His words, and meek in all His actions. In His disposition you have a picture of the spirit of the Almighty God. And His object is ever to make us truly great.
I. THE GENTLENESS OF GOD IN THE INSPIRATION OF HIS LOVE. Love is the strongest force we know. Impelled by it, the wife has not feared to suck the poison from the wound of her husband, and love has ever been willing to lay down its life to save its beloved. Love is refining and elevating in proportion to its purity and power. Even the love of a dog makes a bad man better than he otherwise would be. There is a hunger for love in the human heart. The prisoner for life is the better for the love of the rat who creeps about his dungeon. One of the worst characters portrayed by Charles Dickens is that of Bill Sykes — a creature apparently without natural affection — yet even he had a soft place in his heart, and was moved with pity when trying to drown his faithful dog. The most helpless being in this world is a newborn child; and it is this very helplessness that appeals so strongly to our love. But when you realise that you are loved of God, it makes you great in noble deeds. Love calls forth love. God's gentleness is known by its record in the Bible and by its inspiration in our carts. And so the New Testament tells me of a fact — that in the heart of God there is love for me. But what should be the result when we know that our Saviour laid down His sacred life for us? Surely, that love, when it is felt in our heart, shall make the feeblest man great.
II. NOTICE HIS GENTLENESS IN THE PLEADING OF HIS SPIRIT WITH EVERY MAN. The Holy Spirit pleads with every man; and we are taught not to grieve God by resisting that hallowed influence.
III. THE GENTLENESS OF GOD IN GIVING US THE POWER OF THE RISEN LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST. May God make us great —
1. In our friendship to one another.
2. In our obedience to God.
3. In our actions.
4. In bearing our trials. You are one of God's jewels. But the polishing on the wheel must be if it is to shine brilliantly.
5. In our homes. Let us put away our littleness of character, and our feebleness in charity, and all that makes us mean and unlovely. We should be great in action as in thought. It is far more noble to be great than to be a king. Be great because God in His gentleness intends to lead you to paradise to be kings and priests. Let your actions be worthy of your high destiny; and may the gentleness of God uplift you from sin, and make you His children, whose lives shall adorn the Gospel of our Saviour.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.