David’s time had come to pass the reigns on to his son. There is a lot there, but we can summarise it with some good advice for all men of God today.
Be a man
Walk in His ways
But of all these things I just want to focus on one today – ‘prove yourself a man.’
That sounds kind of strange today in a culture which seems to be denying gender. What is a man and what is a women are no longer simple questions for a lot of our world.
I don’t want to get into all of that. I just want to look at how the Bible talks about men.
When we hear ‘be a man’ today what is the first thing that comes to mind? Let me throw out some ideas that come to my mind.
Be ready for a fight
Don’t let anybody push you around
If somebody does you wrong be sure to get them back
Don’t be a softy
Demand your way
You have to win
Of course there are times when manly toughness is needed. He must provide for and protect our families. We must stand up for the word of God. We must be ready to ‘fight the good fight’ and to endure hardness.
But the brawler attitude that seems to define manliness in some guys’ eyes is not the definition of godly manhood.
Some of the characteristics of godly men, what it means to be a man, seem contrary to what we think about when we think of the words ‘be a man.’
The word of God uses descriptions like meek, and humble, and gentle, and loving, and forgiving. God men don’t seek their own. They are not easily provoked. They don’t return evil for evil. In fact they return blessing for evil. The bless those who curse them. Real men reflect the love of Christ and are kind and compassionate.
I can’t think of any words to summarise what it means to be a man than these from 1 Corinthians 16:
Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity.
Indeed, let all things be done with love.