Be The Man: A Father's Day Reflection
“I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, and show yourself a man..."
-1 Kings 2:2
King David was a man who was very much flawed, yet still commended as being a 'man after God's own heart' (Acts 13:22)-which in and of itself should be a great encouoragement to us that God speaks of David like this in His Word. David was a man who knew what it was to be unjustly persecuted (King Saul), to have tremendous faith and slay a giant (Goliath) when everyone else cowered in fear, a man consumed at times with a passionate vision for the Glory of God as well as a man who poured out his heart and soul to God (see the Psalms). He was a man who danced before the Lord and found great pleasure in God.
But, he was also the man who committed adultery and was arranged the death of a man loyal to him who happened to be married to the woman with whom he had an affair (see Bathseeba and Uriah). He wasn't a great parent, at times profoundly neglecting and isolating his children with disastrous results (see Absolom).
In short, when David was living as God intended, he soared to incredible heights. When he was not-he really, really blew it.
Still, God loved David. He was faithful to David, even when David was, well, less than faithful.
This is good news for all of us who feel like we spend more time falling down and stumbling around than we would care to admit.
The words from the text above are some of David's last words to his son, Solomon beore David dies. They are powerful words and in this small sentence, we see some important things we men, we husbands and fathers must remember:
1) We are only here for a short period of time. Even if we live to be 100, time flies. Our lives are a mist, a vapor. In this text, David tells Solomon he 'is about to go the way of all the earth. ' Meaning: like everything that lives on this earth, there is a cycle of birth, life and death. At the end of the day, the days end.
When we live in light of this fact, we are not being morbid, rather we learn more of what it means to live wisely, to choose wisely in terms of what is and is not important.
There is nothing more important than to live our lives for Jesus Christ, following Him, loving God and loving others in this brief time we have called 'life.' You are not your job. You are not your paycheck. You are not the car you drive or the clothes you wear or the house you have. You are an image bearer-made in the immage of God, and He wants all of us to live for His glory. This is where life is found.
When David lived this out-he was at his best. When he didn't' ? Well, he fell into all sorts of trouble.
2) David tells his son: 'Be strong.' Knowing what we know of David, and what he wrote of the strength of men in the Psalms (or trusting in the strength of men), David isn't telling Solomon to be a tough guy. He's giving Solomon valuable information: for Solomon to lead as King, he will need to be strong, and Solomon would know that the kind of strength his father spoke of was only found in God.
In our culture today, the tides are raging against Christianity and many a man is backing down and going with the flow, conforming to the pattern of the age.
Our wives and children, our churches and this culture needs men who are strong in the Lord. Be strong.
3) David concludes by telling Solomon to 'show himself a man.' Throughout David's life he had seen great examples of godly men (Samuel immediately comes to mind as does Nathan and David's mighty men), and men who were terrible examples (King Saul immediately comes to mind, and, I wonder if David thinks of the times he himself was weak and did not show himself to be a man?)
This is a call to stand firm. To not compromise. To be a man after God's heart. To be a man of integrity.
Our culture today suffers from a lack of men who will stand for Christ, take up their crosses and follow, shine in the darkness. This is tragic as the culture is in a terrible downward spiral into darkness.
Our families, our church, our nation needs men like the kind of man David challlenges his son to be. The time to do so is now, for sooner than we would like to think, we will all go 'the way of the earth.'
May we all 'Be strong, and show (ourselves to be) a man...
I hope to see you this Father's Day!
Grace and Peace,