Endowed with such gifts of leadership as David posessed, placed in a position where his will to display them and his power to enforce them were practically supreme, the king of Israel yet retained that which preserved him from the fate of the tyrant and dictator. For David knew that there was something greater than human might and human leadership, however overwhelming in numbers and invincible in force and strategy they might appear. He was sufficiently spiritually equipped to know final victory over the enemy was not won by the vastness of armies and sheer ability of leadership. The brilliance and valor of David must have appeared outstanding both to the enemy and to his own followers, but this did not deceive him, even at the moment of his greatest triumphs, into attributing the credit to himself. In the second book of Samuel and the twenty-second chapter, we find a humble, self-revealing confession of David: "Thy gentleness hath made me great."

It is evident by a perusal of this chapter that David did not minimize his task as leader of his people and commander-in-chief of his armies. He was primarily a man of peace; he fought not for the sake of conquest and domination, but for the sake of righteousness. Aware of enemies both within and without, he depended on the might of Spirit; even at the height of physical warfare waged without let or hindrance, he knew that there was no greatness apart from gentleness.

He who was to be called the Son of David came teaching that same lesson. Christ Jesus declared that he brought not peace, but a sword. His reputation was that he stirred up the people; nevertheless it was his gentleness which made him great; it was his meekness that made him mighty.

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June 14, 1941

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