Friday, June 7, 2013

Act Like a Man

One Year Bible
Old Testament passage for Friday, June 7, 2013:  I Kings 2:1-3:2

1 When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son.
2 “I am about to go the way of all the earth,” he said. “So be strong, act like a man, 3 and observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go 4 and that the Lord may keep his promise to me ...   I Kings 2:1-4 (NIV)

The last words of King David to his son Solomon are important.  They are the words of a father passing on the weight of ruling a kingdom to his son.  There are five basic instructions:

1. Be strong
2. Act like a man
3. Pay attention (observe)
4. Walk
5. Keep God's Word

There is another passage of Scripture in the New Testament that is almost identical.  I Corinthians 16:13-14 say:  "Be on the alert, stand fast in the faith, act like men, be strong.  Let all that you do be done in love."  Paul tells us the same five things:

1. Be on the alert.  (Pay attention, wake up, watch!)
2. Stand fast in the faith.  (Keep the Word of God, have convictions, know where you stand)
3. Act like men.  (Same words are used)
4. Be strong.  (Same words are used)
5. Walk in love.  (Walk in obedience -- which is to walk in the love of God)

I believe there are two levels at which we can hear this instruction.  I believe it applies to all -- to both men and women -- in the sense that it is sound and godly instruction.  I believe also that every man should hear the clarion call that is in the core of word from God:  ACT LIKE MEN.

With that in mind, I want to interpret the other four commands in terms of how they specifically apply to men.  The Spirit of God is calling men in our day to rise up and take their place.  This, of course, is along with a call He has also been sending to women.  It seems, however, that the ladies far too often answer this call while men remain slack.  Therefore, to the men:

1. Be on the alert!  Wake up.  Far too many husbands and fathers do not have a clue what is going on in their wives' hearts or in their kids' lives.  As a husband and a father, you are called to be a watchman on the wall.  When the watchmen are doing their job, the city call rest in peace.  Men need to open their eyes, listen to their family, and get in the game.
2. Stand fast in the faith.  The setting of standards in a home must be a cooperative work between husband and wife, particularly with respect to how the kids are to be raised and disciplined.  Men must have firm beliefs and convictions and never leaved to the "little lady" to have all the Bible knowledge and spirituality.  We must be men of conviction.
3. Be strong.  It is natural that most men have greater physical strength than their feminine counterparts, but I do no believe this refers to the physical.  True strength is in the Lord. The strongest thing any man can do is to display surrender to God before His family.  Sometimes, we are strongest when we are vulnerable and admit our faults rather than gruffly hiding behind a rough exterior.
4. Walk in love.  Walk in obedience to God. Display before the world the singular truth that you will always do what God says.  The mixture of obedience and love is powerful in all of us.  Frankly, it is far too rare in the men of our day.

When men do what God has called them to do, their families will be blessed.  David's charge to Solomon was the loving instruction from the heart of a man of God toward his son.  There was a promise God had given to the entire lineage of David.  It was a promise that his family would always be blessed.  I do not know of a man who would not love to see the generations that follow him overflow with God's gracious abundance.  For that to happen, here is the word of God:  ACT LIKE A MAN.

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