Biblical Manhood, Part 4of4, Pastor Phil Sessa

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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)).

Rest in God’s Sovereign Hand: “May the Lord so that which seems Him good, was the cry of Joab.” This is a bold statement, but one that He found rest in also. The battles ultimately rested on the shoulders of the Lord, and not on the shoulders of Joab and Abishai. I imagine they fought as if the battle depended upon them, but knowing that the outcome was not really in their ultimate control. Joab urged the army to “be strong” and recognized that the outcome of the battle depended ultimately upon the Lord (cf. 15:26) (John MacArthur). If we believe it, we will proclaim it, and it would seem that the opposite is true as well (Romans 10:9,10)! Joab, I imagine was a leader who exemplified faith, and I further imagine that his faith inspired others to have faith (not in him, but in the One who he placed his faith in. As men are we ok with that or must we control every situation? Can we rest assure as has often been said by Charles Stanley, “Obey God and leave ALL the consequences to Him!” Can you surrender to God’s sovereign hand?

Recall Ezekiel when the Lord asked him, “And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” God asks the question, and Ezekiel states, that God knows the answer to the question. He trusted in the Lord’s answer, because God ultimately knew the answer.

Remember Job, who stood in the midst of pain and opposition and yet spoke the words to his “friends” when he said, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him(13:14)” Job assured his accusers that his convictions were not self-serving, because he was ready to die trusting God. But still he would defend his innocence before God, and was confident that he was truly saved and not a hypocrite (v. 16). Despite all that he lost, despite all that he experienced personally, and the fact that his so – called friends pounded their advice on him, he rejected their advice, and being in the midst of his situation, made such a resounded trust statement that spewed from the depths of a desperate heart that trusted the Lord.

By life’s end, a 19th century pastor named George Mueller had built five large orphan houses and cared for 10,024 orphans. The entire time, he depended on God’s response to his prayer of faith to supply the needs of the orphans in his care. He believed that a man that is happy (satisfied) in the Lord is a man that can trust in the Lord that he finds his happiness in. For more on him go to http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/biographies/george-muellers-strategy-for-showing-god

Men are often fixers, we like to fix situations, rather than rest in what God can do when we fight especially on the battle field of prayer. Men simply must fix their eyes upon Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Look at Ephesians 6 which speaks of the armor of God. Remember Paul wrote that letter from prison and described the armor as he looked upon a Roman soldier and the way they were dressed for battle, in times of peace or war. However, unlike a Roman soldier, many of us will never see live physical military combat, but if you are a man of God you will fight many battles on your knees in prayer. You will fight many battles in your mind when tempted by pride, lust, greed, rebellion against God, anger, rage, etc, as you become conformed more and more into the image and character of Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:5; 4:8, Romans 8:29).

How much does Scripture implore us to trust the Lord? I am glad that you asked. I trust in God (Psalm 25:2; Psalm 31:6; Psalm 31:14; Psalm 55:23; Acts 27:25); in God I put my trust (Psalm 56:4; Psalm 56:11); my God, in whom I trust (Psalm 91:2); my eyes are toward you (Psalm 141:8); I have trusted in the Lord (Psalm 26:1); you are my trust from my youth (Psalm 71:5); I trust in the loving-kindness of God for ever (Psalm 52:8); I trust in you (Psalm 143:8); I trust in your loving-kindness (Psalm 13:5); my heart trusts in him (Psalm 28:7); we trust in the Lord (2Kings. 18:22); we trust in his holy name (Psalm 33:21); we are relying on the Lord (Isaiah 36:7); we rely on you (2 Chronicles. 14:11); so that we might trust in God (2Corinthians 1:9); to you I lift up my soul (Psalm 25:1); save your servant who trusts in you (Psalm 86:2); I will trust and not be afraid (Isaiah 12:2); I know whom I have believed (2 Tim. 1:12); God, our eyes are on you (2 Chronicles. 20:12); I will put my trust in him (Hebrews 2:13); we know and believe the love God has for us (1John 4:16); though he slay me I will trust him (Job 13:15); though war arise, yet will I be confident (Psalm 27:3); I believed, even when afflicted (Psalm 116:10); when I am afraid I will put my trust in you (Psalm 56:3). Look to Scripture, and trust in God’s Word doing what it says to increase your faith in Him by His Word.

Where is the Joab of today? Men will you say like Joab, “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”

Note: Much of this series on biblical manhood applying 2Samuel 10:11 was gleaned from John Piper’s message titled, Six Lessons from Joab and Abishai Partnership¸ which can be found at www.desiringgod.com.

Blessings, Until the nets are filled…Phil, The Evangelist

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