Biblical Manhood, Part 3of4, Pastor Phil Sessa

2Samuel 10:11-12, “11 And he said, If the Syrians be too strong for me, then thou shalt help me: but if the children of Ammon be too strong for thee, then I will come and help thee. 12 Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God: may the Lord do what seems good to him” (KJV and ESV combined).

When David heard of the ensuing battle this he sent Joab and all the mighty men against the Ammonites. John Piper shares, “As it developed, the Ammonites were arrayed at the walled city to protect it, the Syrians were gathered in the open field, and Joab, with the Israelites, were sandwiched in the middle. So Joab took charge of one group of men and set himself against the Syrians, and the rest of his men he put in the charge of Abishai, his brother, and set them against the Ammonites. In verses 11 and 12 Joab gives this great word of challenge and faith to Abishai…If the Syrians are too strong for me, then you shall help me; but if the Ammonites are too strong for you, then I will come and help you. Be of good courage, and let us play the man for our people and for the cities of our God, and may the Lord do what seems good to Him”

Brother’s Keeper: I wrote a message years ago, and one which Evans had shared called Brother’s Keeper or Brother’s Killer concerning the question that Cain posed to the Lord (after he killed his brother Abel) when he asked, “Am I my brother’s keeper”. The answer to that question should have been answered by Cain himself, and the answer should have been a resounding, yes. However the question was asked as a harsh challenge and I imagine in a sarcastic tone. Men cannot live as islands unto themselves. The writer of Proverbs wrote, “as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another man (27:17).” As the proper tool shapes and sharpens iron for its desired use, so a man benefit intellectually and theological through being sharpened by a keener mind and encourages improvement of good character which the face will reveal by their personal friendship. Men need to live the Christian life, and need the kind of conversion mentioned. Furthermore, men need other men in battle; they do need to be one another’s keeper. Joab was there to help his brother in battle. Israel was in the middle between two armies that desired to destroy them. Abishai was sent against the Ammonites; Joab went against the Syrians. Piper shares again saying “It is wise battle strategy, when the enemy is widespread and diverse, that we not engage all the troops in one place. It is also wise to have everyone doing most of the time what they are best at.”

Men you have perspective, gifts, and talents, etc…, that you add to the battle against the enemy. You need to humbly ask another brother at times to battle alongside you. The enemy has sent attacks on men, and men must band together to fight. It takes humility to ask for another’s help. Many will perhaps pray and ask God for help, but often His body (the church) is the help that He supplies by His good hand. Men fight together, and are to hold one another accountable by and to the Word of God. Men seem to be ferocious in sports (which is temporal), and timid about the things of God (which is eternal). Men can scream at a sports event and this is seen as commendable, but when men get serious about the Lord, then they are deemed a fanatic. Why oh man do you allow the world to set the rules to govern your life? We are far too influenced by our culture and it’s dictates. Yet John write, “15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever”, 1John 2:15-17. The three temptations listed are the same three that the first man (Adam, Genesis 3) disobeyed God concerning, and these same three were the three that the second Adam (Christ, Matthew 4, Luke 4) would not fall victim. The temptations never changed, neither did the Word of God, but only one of them held to the Word of God and defeated the enemy.

Let US play the men. The ESV states “let us be courageous for our people”. I love the term “US”. There are many that try to be what Tony Miano calls Nomad Christians. These men try to live the Christian life alone; they try to be lone ranger pastors, or nomad evangelists. However, even the Lone Ranger had a sidekick. No Christian is an island, even Christ (not that He had a need) traveled with His disciples. There are so many verses that deal with such terms as “us”, “one another”, etc… how can one possibly be a man of God alone? One cannot obey the Bible apart from the one another verses. The writer of Hebrews commands, Hebrews 10:24-2524 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” Many Christians assemble (similar to all the pieces in a puzzle box) but they never assemble (putting each piece in its strategically designed location). Men are to play the man at home by taking the lead role as the Bible commands, and loving their wives as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5). Men must train, nurture and discipline their children (Proverbs 22:6). As shared previously, as men of God we need to biblically man up!

Examine yourself; ask others to examine you, especially those close to you like your wife. Then make the necessary changes all for His glory!

To be continued…

Blessings Until the nets are filled…Phil, The Evangelist

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