You have given me the shield of your salvation. Your right hand supports me; your gentleness has made me great. You have made a wide path for my feet to keep them from slipping. Psalm 18: 35-36 NLT
These verses must have been in Paul's mind when he wrote the letter to the Ephesians and ended with encouraging them to put on the full armor of God. Paul talk about the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation but the imagery is similar. Paul also talks about having feet ready to spread the good news -- some translations say the good news of peace. And here it is God's gentleness that has made the psalmist great. Both this imagery and Paul's imagery seem odd. Can you dress in armor and bring peace? Can God's gentleness really make one great?
One thing I am learning more and more recently is about God's dichotomy. God loves the world and sends his only son .... to die in order to save us all. Jesus is the Messiah, the one to save God's people but he doesn't have an army. In fact, he is executed by the very ones who have conquered the land. These things make no sense.
Can God really give us greatness and strength by being gentle with us?
I come from the school of high criticism and perfectionism. The way I have learned it, those are the ways that make one great. But are they, really? Am I not better off with gentleness? Perhaps God's ways of gentleness have more to being great and good and strong.
Think about these things.... Amen.
Copyright 2011 Amelia G. Sims