Your Gentleness has made me Great

The snow has melted enough this week to be able to see the seesaw in our neighborhood playground.

Soon, children will be back at play, laughing as they go up, crying when they pinch their heels or hit their chins on the way down.

Seesaw fun in the summer

Yet, they all persist in loving the seesaw. It’s funny to watch a young child hop on one side and plead with a larger sibling to get on the other. The lack of balance frustrates the little one until the sibling adjusts to make it more fun, using just one arm or leg instead of using his or her full weight.

In a Psalm about being equipped for battle, The Psalmist wrote, “Your gentleness made me great.”

Gentleness seems out of place in all the talk of bows, arrows, strength, sinking enemies, and beating the enemy as fine as dust in Psalm 18. Why would the Psalmist choose to extol God’s gentleness?

The root word for gentleness in Hebrew, anah, meant to be bowed down or afflicted. It wasn’t a term often applied to victorious warriors. Rather, it denoted the meekness and humiltiy of the conquered slave. 

The submissive affliction of the Savior made the Psalmist-warrior great. As if on a see-saw, when the Savior was bowed down, the Psalmist was lifted up. Victory was wrapped up in the Savior’s defeat.

David wrote this Psalm long before Isaiah ever prophesied: “Upon Him was the chastisement that brough us peace, and with His wounds we are healed.”

Author Elizabeth George wrote, “The Old Testament term for gentleness described a mature, ripened shock of grain with its head bent low.” The fuller the grain became, the lower it would bow to the earth. 

This is such an awesome picture for the gentleness of Christ. 

When He humbled Himself and became a man, He filled His earthly body with the weighty glory of heaven. When He bowed Himself to the earth, taking the full weight of God’s wrath for my sin, He lifted me up to be able to accept forgiveness and eternal life. 

His gentleness made me great.

But He didn’t keep gentleness to Himself. 

Though my own holiness weighed no more than a dried leaf, He used His strength to steady the seesaw and filled me with His Holy Spirit so that I too could be so full of the fruit of gentleness that I could also be bent low so that others could be lifted up. 

He gently rescues us, like lost lambs, so that we can be agents of gentle rescue to others. Are we willing to sacrifice self to serve our gentle Savior? “He rescued me because He delighted in me.” 

He said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

When we mirror His gentleness, we mirror His love, and we are made great in Him.

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