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 gentleness of God — it is a wonderful word: a word that never could have originated with man. There are gods of might, grim and terrible. Man has never invented a god of gentleness. Jove is but a hurler of thunderbolts. Unto us our God hath revealed Himself, and lo, He is our Father, Almighty and Everlasting, yet His chosen emblem is the Breath, the Dew, the Lamb, the Dove, — all that sets forth the gentleness of our God. How best may we get hold of this wondrous truth? Gentleness is many sided. The word is rendered condescension, goodness, patience — but gentleness is more than these, or less. With us it may be but a lack of energy, a lack of decision. What passes for gentleness may be only a colourless mixture of weakness and unconcern, a forbearance that amiably smiles at everything and everybody, because it is less trouble than doing anything else. But it is difficult to think of gentleness in an intense nature. How can such an one be gentle? It is David, the valiant champion and captain of Israel, brave, heroic, chivalrous David, the man, too, of fierce passions, who gives us this experience. He knew as well as any the power and majesty of the Most High. And yet as he looks back upon his life he sees that the greatness of it has grown up out of the gentleness of God. We see the gentleness of God bearing in this brave soldier its own fruit, making him gracious and gentle; and at such times it is that he rises to his highest greatness. For myself I think I get furthest into the heart of this truth when I think of gentleness as the grace of one who puts himself in our place, making himself so one with us that he understands how we feel, taking our weakness and our difficulty and doubt and fear as his own. God is our father and mother too — setting ever before Himself the loftiest purpose concerning us, yet ever seeing our weakness, feeling it, and stooping tenderly to help us. That is the gentleness of God. If I am to think of God as the sublime, the majestic only, what hope have I? What allowance can be made for weakness, for ignorance, for peculiar difficulties? But if the infinite love and gentleness of God do bring Him down to be one with me in my very flesh and blood, one with me in all the round of daily life and circumstance, then I may set out with confidence. If He understand me in all my peculiarities and needs, and be ever ready to help me, then may I triumph — His gentleness shall make me great. This perfect understanding of us away by ourselves, and this perfect sympathy with us, this separate love and separate help, is the very strength and sweetness of the Gospel of Christ. God is not consumed, as some have thought, with an incessant craving for His own glory. God is consumed with an incessant longing for the welfare and blessedness of His children. All things are set and perfectly adjusted to this end. You to whom the beginnings of the life of God are a perplexity, goodness is a despair — He calls you to Himself that His gentleness may make you great. His purposes concerning us are altogether too great to be won by force; they can only be fulfilled by His gentleness.
(Mark Guy Pearse.)
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.