No believer has so little from God but there is ground for praise,
nor so much but that he has need to call upon God.
Praise is the blossom of prayer.
II Samuel 1
1 And David spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul:
2 And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;
3 The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.
4 I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.
5 When the waves of death compassed me, the floods of ungodly men made me afraid;
6 The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me;
7 In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears.
8 Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of heaven moved and shook, because he was wroth.
9 There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.
10 He bowed the heavens also, and came down; and darkness was under his feet.
11 And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: and he was seen upon the wings of the wind.
12 And he made darkness pavilions round about him, dark waters, and thick clouds of the skies.
13 Through the brightness before him were coals of fire kindled.
14 The LORD thundered from heaven, and the most High uttered his voice.
15 And he sent out arrows, and scattered them; lightning, and discomfited them.
16 And the channels of the sea appeared, the foundations of the world were discovered, at the rebuking of the LORD, at the blast of the breath of his nostrils.
17 He sent from above, he took me; he drew me out of many waters;
18 He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them that hated me: for they were too strong for me.
19 They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay.
20 He brought me forth also into a large place: he delivered me, because he delighted in me.
21 The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness: according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.
22 For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God.
23 For all his judgments were before me: and as for his statutes, I did not depart from them.
24 I was also upright before him, and have kept myself from mine iniquity.
25 Therefore the LORD hath recompensed me according to my righteousness; according to my cleanness in his eye sight.
26 With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful, and with the upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright.
27 With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself unsavoury.
28 And the afflicted people thou wilt save: but thine eyes are upon the haughty, that thou mayest bring them down.
29 For thou art my lamp, O LORD: and the LORD will lighten my darkness.
30 For by thee I have run through a troop: by my God have I leaped over a wall.
31 As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.
32 For who is God, save the LORD? and who is a rock, save our God?
33 God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect.
34 He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet: and setteth me upon my high places.
35 He teacheth my hands to war; so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.
36 Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy gentleness hath made me great.
37 Thou hast enlarged my steps under me; so that my feet did not slip.
38 I have pursued mine enemies, and destroyed them; and turned not again until I had consumed them.
39 And I have consumed them, and wounded them, that they could not arise: yea, they are fallen under my feet.
40 For thou hast girded me with strength to battle: them that rose up against me hast thou subdued under me.
41 Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies, that I might destroy them that hate me.
42 They looked, but there was none to save; even unto the LORD, but he answered them not.
43 Then did I beat them as small as the dust of the earth, I did stamp them as the mire of the street, and did spread them abroad.
44 Thou also hast delivered me from the strivings of my people, thou hast kept me to be head of the heathen: a people which I knew not shall serve me.
45 Strangers shall submit themselves unto me: as soon as they hear, they shall be obedient unto me.
46 Strangers shall fade away, and they shall be afraid out of their close places.
47 The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation.
48 It is God that avengeth me, and that bringeth down the people under me,
49 And that bringeth me forth from mine enemies: thou also hast lifted me up on high above them that rose up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man.
50 Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name.
51 He is the tower of salvation for his king: and sheweth mercy to his anointed, unto David, and to his seed for evermore.
II Samuel 1 – J. Vernon McGee
2 Samuel 22:36—Thy gentleness hath made me great.
The triumph of God’s gentle goodness will be our song for ever. In those far distant ages, when we look back on our earthly course, as a grown man on his boyhood, and when the words of this Psalm shall express our glad emotions, we shall recognize that the Hand which brought us thither was as gentle as our mother’s; and that the things we craved, but failed to receive, were withheld by his gentle goodness. Our history tells what gentleness will do.
The Apostle besought the Corinthian converts by the gentleness of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:1). Though there were abuses amongst them that seemed to call for stringent dealing, he felt that they could be best removed by the gentle love which he had learned from the heart of Christ. The wisdom which is from above is gentle as well as pure; and in dealing with the sin that chokes our growth, it is probable that gentleness will do more than severity. The gentleness of the nurse that cherishes her children; of the lover to her whom he cherishes above himself; of the infinite love which bears and endures to the uttermost; is the furnace before which the foul ingredients of our hearts are driven never to return. We might brave the lion; we are vanquished by the Lamb. We could withstand the scathing look of scorn; but when the gentle Lord casts on us the look of ineffable tenderness, we go out to weep bitterly.
That He has borne with us so lovingly; that He has filled our lives with mercy even when compelled to correct; that He has never altered in his tender behavior towards us; that He has returned our rebuffs and slights with meekness and forbearance; that He has never wearied of us this is an everlasting tribute to the gentleness that makes great.