The shield of thy salvation - In all battles and dangers God defended him. He was constantly safe because he possessed the salvation of God. Everywhere God protected him. Thy gentleness, ענותך anvathecha, thy meekness or humility. Thou hast enabled me to bear and forbear; to behave with courage in adversity, and with humility in prosperity; and thus I am become great. By these means thou hast multiplied me. The Vulgate reads, Disciplina tua ipsa me docebit; "And thy discipline itself shall teach me." In this sense it was understood by most of the versions. The old Psalter paraphrases thus: Thi chastying suffers me noght to erre fra the end to com.
Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvations - Thou hast saved me as with a shield; thou hast thrown thy shield before me in times of danger. See the note at Psalm 5:12.
And thy right hand hath holden me up - Thou hast sustained me when in danger of failing, as if thou hadst upheld me with thine own hand.
And thy gentleness hath made me great - Margin, “or, with thy meekness thou hast multiplied me.” The word here rendered gentleness, evidently means here favor, goodness, kindness. It commonly means humility, modesty, as applied to men; as applied to God, it means mildness, clemency, favor. The idea is, that God had dealt with him in gentleness, kindness, clemency, and that to this fact alone he owed all his prosperity and success in life. It was not by any claim which he had on God; it was by no worth of his own; it was by no native strength or valor that he had been thus exalted, but it was wholly because God had dealt kindly with him, or had showed him favor. So all our success in life is to be traced to the favor - the kindness - of God.
It is the mingling of judgment and mercy that makes salvation full and complete. It is the blending of the two that leads us, as we view the world's Redeemer and the law of Jehovah, to exclaim, “Thy gentleness hath made me great.” We know that the gospel is a perfect and complete system, revealing the immutability of the law of God. It inspires the heart with hope, and with love for God. Mercy invites us to enter through the gates into the city of God, and justice is sacrificed to accord to every obedient soul full privileges as a member of the royal family, a child of the heavenly King. 6BC 1072.1
If we were defective in character, we could not pass the gates that mercy has opened to the obedient; for justice stands at the entrance, and demands holiness, purity, in all who would see God. Were justice extinct, and were it possible for divine mercy to open the gates to the whole race, irrespective of character, there would be a worse condition of disaffection and rebellion in heaven than before Satan was expelled. The peace, happiness, and harmony of heaven would be broken up. The change from earth to heaven will not change men's characters; the happiness of the redeemed in heaven results from the characters formed in this life, after the image of Christ. The saints in heaven will first have been saints on earth. 6BC 1072.2
The salvation that Christ made such a sacrifice to gain for man, is that which is alone of value, that which saves from sin—the cause of all the misery and woe in our world. Mercy extended to the sinner is constantly drawing him to Jesus. If he responds, coming in penitence with confession, in faith laying hold of the hope set before him in the gospel, God will not despise the broken and contrite heart. Thus the law of God is not weakened, but the power of sin is broken, and the scepter of mercy is extended to the penitent sinner (Letter 1f, 1890). 6BC 1072.3Read in context »
It was not enough for the disciples of Jesus to be instructed as to the nature of His kingdom. What they needed was a change of heart that would bring them into harmony with its principles. Calling a little child to Him, Jesus set him in the midst of them; then tenderly folding the little one in His arms He said, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” The simplicity, the self-forgetfulness, and the confiding love of a little child are the attributes that Heaven values. These are the characteristics of real greatness. DA 437.1
Again Jesus explained to the disciples that His kingdom is not characterized by earthly dignity and display. At the feet of Jesus all these distinctions are forgotten. The rich and the poor, the learned and the ignorant, meet together, with no thought of caste or worldly preeminence. All meet as blood-bought souls, alike dependent upon One who has redeemed them to God. DA 437.2
The sincere, contrite soul is precious in the sight of God. He places His own signet upon men, not by their rank, not by their wealth, not by their intellectual greatness, but by their oneness with Christ. The Lord of glory is satisfied with those who are meek and lowly in heart. “Thou hast also given me,” said David, “the shield of Thy salvation: ... and Thy gentleness”—as an element in the human character—“hath made me great.” Psalm 18:35. DA 437.3Read in context »
We should come into a position where every difference will be melted away. If I think I have light, I shall do my duty in presenting it. Suppose I consulted others concerning the message the Lord would have me give to the people; the door might be closed so that the light might not reach the ones to whom God had send it. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem, “the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto Him, Master, rebuke Thy disciples. And He answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.”—The Review and Herald, February 18, 1890. TM 104.1
My brethren, in His great mercy and love God has given you great light, and Christ says to you, “Freely ye have received, freely give.” Let the light bestowed on you shine forth to those in darkness. Let us rejoice and be glad that Christ has not only given us His word, but has given us also the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God, and that in His strength we may be more than conquerors. Christ is saying: “Come unto Me. To Me belong right counsel and sound judgment. I have understanding and strength for you.” By faith we must rest in Christ, remembering the words of one who was inspired of God to write, “Thy gentleness hath made me great.” Ask God to give you much of the oil of His grace. Carefully consider every word, whether it be written or spoken.—The Review and Herald, December 22, 1904. TM 104.2Read in context »