You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great. Psalm 18:35 NIV
How have you seen God’s gentleness?
- When a friend understands your struggle with infertility, God may gently tell you that he understands too.
- When someone in the drive-thru ahead of you pays for your Starbucks, God may gently encourage your own charity.
- When your voice catches in your throat as you listen to a heated debate, God may whisper for you to keep your mouth shut.
King Saul hunted David across Israel, seeking to murder the man whom God had anointed as the next king. Yet, in a moment of divine opportunity, God led Saul into the caves near the Crags of the Wild Goats while his army stayed outside.
Unknown to Saul, David lurked in the back of the cave with his own army. King Saul—the man who murdered men, women, and children for giving David bread—stood a few inches away, vulnerable to David’s righteous indignation. God had promised David, “Behold, I will give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it shall seem good to you.”
What seemed good? Grieved by his king’s hatred, David could have pulled his dagger and ended Saul’s life. He and his men could have rushed from the cave like bears and slaughtered Saul’s army. Then, David could have taken the throne.
Instead, David cut a corner of Saul’s garment. But guilt washed over him, and he staggered from the cave, fell on his knees, and confessed to his king. David refused to slaughter his hunter. In a moment of divine opportunity, David chose an unusual path: gentleness.
Just as David showed Saul gentleness by honoring him as God’s anointed, God showed David gentleness by shepherding him onto the throne of Israel.
Slowly, each tribe chose to follow David. The tribe of Judah came first. Then, seven years later, the remaining tribes came to David, asking him to rule as their king. Not with force but with gentleness, God fulfilled his promise to David by making him king over all of Israel.
Think of some ways you can gaze on God’s gentleness.
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Autumn Wilson is a writer and perpetual student of church history. She lives in Dallas, TX, where she studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. On any given day, you can find her staring at a blank Word document, wrangling third graders at church, furrowing her brows at Anselm, or creating homemade escape rooms.
Rebecca Riddle is a lover of loose-leaf tea and biblical languages. She currently studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. Grateful for remote learning, she chooses to live in North Carolina, where you can often find her outdoors in the company of her dog and a Canon.