Greatness by Gentleness
2 Samuel 5:10
And David went on, and grew great, and the LORD God of hosts was with him.

"Thy gentleness bath made me great." So wrote David when he rehearsed the history that had culminated in his advancement to the throne of all Israel. He admits, therefore, that he was a "made" man, but not a "self-made." man. Here in the narrative of his prosperity he confesses that it had been the Lord who established him king, who also exalted his kingdom; and then in a Psalm of devotion he ascribes all his glory to Divine grace.

I. WE CONSIDER THE GREATNESS DAVID HAD JUST REACHED. Six successive steps, at the least, had the eternal God taken in his behalf on the way to his advancement.

1. He caused that a full and loyal call should come from the realm over which he was now to rule as the second king (ver. 1.)

2. The Lord trained David for the position he was to occupy by a long and intricate process Of providential discipline (ver. 2.)

3. Moreover, God had chosen David intelligently, years before, and announced him as the man who should come after Saul (ver. 3.)

4. Then, too, God helped on David's greatness by providing for the stability of his government a capital and a royal abode (ver. 7.)

5. God's gentleness made David great in that a perpetual presence was vouchsafed to him for his entire life (ver. 10.)

6. Then, also, God had made this monarch great by opening his intelligence so that he should understand the meaning of Divine Providence, past and future, and admit its special reach (ver. 12.)

II. THE GENTLENESS IN THE DIVINE DEALING WITH HIM from his first recognition as a shepherd-boy to this final establishment of him in the throne of Israel; is that in particular among the attributes of God which he acknowledges just now. The poet Goethe has left behind him, in his autobiography, this somewhat curious sentence as a revelation of personal fact: "I was especially troubled by a giddiness which came over me every time that I looked down from a height." Many people, since his day and before it, have had the same characteristic disturbance; but it has more often been a height of ambition than merely a height of tower or precipice. But there is no symptom of giddiness in the quiet ascription of his gratitude: "Thy gentleness has made me great."

1. God's gentleness had borne with David's want of memory.

2. Then, also, there was David's want of faith, with which the Almighty bore in a like spirit of gentleness.

3. To this we may add that God's gentleness is disclosed in his patiently bearing with David's want of courage.

(C. S. Robinson, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And David went on, and grew great, and the LORD God of hosts was with him.

WEB: David grew greater and greater; for Yahweh, the God of Armies, was with him.

Going and Growing Great
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