In Psalm 18 David has a song to sing! Words penned “on the day when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul” (Ps. 18 Intro). It’s a victory song. An I-was-down-but-now-have-won song. And David has no doubt as to the Source of his triumph. That’s why he begins his song with,
I love you, O LORD, my strength. (Psalm 18:1 ESV)
Though things looked bad, though the cords of death encompassed him, in his distress David cried to God for help. And from His holy temple God heard his voice. And God took up David’s cause.
The LORD bowed the heavens and came down. He rode on a cherub and came swiftly to David’s aid. The heavens thundered as the Most High uttered His voice. Departing His temple, the God of heaven planted His feet next to David’s on terra firma so that, by Him, David could run against a troop. By Him David could leap over a wall. By the God who equipped Him, his feet were like the feet of a deer, able to stand securely on the heights. The God of heaven drew alongside this shepherd boy of the field, and trained his hands for war and provided him the shield of His salvation.
It really is quite a stirring tale. I can only imagine the music suitable for such lyrics (Something along the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah anyone?) Could the crescendo of the song be found in the following verses?
The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation — the God who gave me vengeance and subdued peoples under me, who delivered me from my enemies; yes, You exalted me above those who rose against me; You rescued me from the man of violence.
For this I will praise You, O LORD, among the nations, and sing to Your name.
(Psalm 18:46-49 ESV)
And as I hover over the psalm the greatness of God is evident. His Omniscience. His Omnipresence. His Omnipotence. And, one other attribute I didn’t expect — one that I’m pretty sure isn’t even a word — His Omni-condescendence.
You have given me the shield of Your salvation, and Your right hand supported me, and Your gentleness made me great.
(Psalm 18:35 ESV)
And Your gentleness made me great. Wasn’t expecting that.
Literally, the original word means “humility” or “meekness.” Thus, the idea of God lowering Himself, or condescending to come alongside David. And I guess that’s what happens whenever the God of majestic glory and power determines to aid men and women made of dust (Gen. 2:7), those who are as frail as the grass of the field (Isa. 40:6-8) — He does so in gentleness.
He humbles Himself in a sense. Binding His great strength in meekness. Every time the Creator allies Himself with His creation He lowers Himself in order to be their strength, their rock, their fortress, and deliverer. Thus, in addition to all the other “omni” attributes of God, couldn’t we say He’s also Omni-condescendent? I’m thinkin’ . . .
He’s gotta be! This is how Spurgeon puts it:
It is God’s making himself little which is the cause of our being made great. We are so little that if God should manifest his greatness without condescension, we should be trampled under his feet; but God, who must stoop to view the skies and bow to see what angels do, looks to the lowly and contrite, and makes them great. — (The Treasury of David, Spurgeon)
God humbling Himself in order to deliver His people and make them great. Hmmm . . . has a familiar ring to it, doesn’t it (Php. 2:5-8). Requires Omni-condescendence I think.
An attribute of His amazing grace. An attribute for His everlasting glory.