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.
The idea here is, goodness manifested in gentle dealings, in loving kindness and tender mercy — an exhibition of the goodness of God which had often awakened his heart's warmest gratitude and led him to ascribe praise to Jehovah. The idea of lowliness enters into the meaning of the word gentleness; it is indeed essential to it. Gentleness is put in contrast with greatness. There is first God stooping down to that which is lowly, and as the result of this, His condescension, we have the gentle tender rule of His loving administration.
I. THE GENTLENESS OF OUR FATHER'S RULE. It was due to the Father's gentleness —
1. That we were brought under His genial sway.
2. That we have been kept in the school of Christ. There He conquers our dulness and wilfulness by His gentleness.
3. The gentleness of the Divine rule is revealed to us in the experience of life. Illustrate from our days of sin, days of punishment, days of affliction, days of weariness, and the hour of death.
II. THE EFFECTS WHICH THIS GENIAL SWAY PRODUCES IN US. Sept. reads, "Thy discipline." The Chaldee paraphrase reads, "Thy word hath increased me." There are some Christians of whom you feel that their humility — so beautiful and sincere and unpretending and unobtrusive — is an honour to them. Do you know the secret of this their greatness It is the product of Divine culture. We know some Christians whose zeal for God and God's house is such that they are made honourable by it. It is because the Divine gentleness has been so sweetly realised as to create a passionate desire to make some expression of its gratitude. Saviour Divine! may Thy gentleness make us gentle — gentle in thought, in intent, in speech, in action, — that we may live gentle lives of loving devotedness to the God whose discipline and leadings are ever tender and kind!
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.