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Show Yourself a Man

What is the measure of a man? Is it his physical strength and ability to overpower others? Is it his physical appearance and appeal to vain women? Is it his intelligence and capacity to outsmart others? Is it his high level education from a prestigious university? Is it his material wealth and potential to obtain more than others? Is it his power to influence and tendency to intimidate others? Is it his family heritage and pedigree? Is it the best combination of these factors?

Many men in the world measure their manliness by their sinful achievements. Champions in violence esteem themselves as great men because they can do harm to others and forcibly take others' property. Some men are proud of their sexual conquests and brag about how many women they have exploited or how many children they have produced. Some think highly of themselves because of their capacity for drinking alcohol, although God's word says, "Woe to those who are heroes in drinking wine and valiant men in mixing strong drink" (Isa. 5:22). Are these the traits of great men?

Of course, none of these measures meet the standard that God has set for a man. Long ago, the prophet and judge Samuel said, "The LORD has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart" (1Sam. 13:14). That man was David, of whom God said, "I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will" (Acts 13:22). If any man seeks to meet the true measure of God's standard, then he must follow in the steps of David to do all the will of God.

Before David left this world, he gave his son Solomon a charge that sets a pattern for every man to follow. Consider David's words from 1Kings 2:1-4:

1As David's time to die drew near, he charged Solomon his son, saying, 2"I am going the way of all the earth. Be strong, therefore, and show yourself a man. 3Keep the charge of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His ordinances, and His testimonies, according to what is written in the Law of Moses, that you may succeed in all that you do and wherever you turn, 4so that the LORD may carry out His promise which He spoke concerning me, saying, 'If your sons are careful of their way, to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.'"

A man shows himself to be a man not by conforming to the world's standards but by being transformed to God's standards. He will keep the charge of God, walk in His ways, and keep His statutes, commandments, ordinances, and testimonies. He will walk before God in truth with all his heart and soul. Surely, he will keep the greatest commandment, which according to the Lord Jesus is, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind" (Matt. 22:37).

When it was his time to rule, the young man Solomon remembered his father's words. The Scripture says that "Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of his father David" (1Ki. 3:3). When God told him to ask whatever his wished, he responded in 1Kings 3:7-9:

7"Now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king in place of my father David, yet I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. 8Your servant is in the midst of Your people which You have chosen, a great people who are too many to be numbered or counted. 9So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?"

Solomon recognized that he was "but a little child," and he wanted to be a man. To be a man, he did not seek strength, power, or wealth, but instead he asked for an understanding heart. In return, God gave Solomon "wisdom and very great discernment and breadth of mind, like the sand that is on the seashore" (1Ki. 4:29). In this wisdom, Solomon showed himself a man.

Today, the true measure of a man is still that which was described by David long ago. A man shows himself to be a man by loving God and keeping His word. Such a man may not be highly esteemed by the world, but he is a true man of God, who is after God's heart to do His will. Will God find such a man, or will He say, "I searched for a man among them...but I found no one" (Ezek. 22:30)? Therefore, let us heed to the word of God and show ourselves to be men. "Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong" (1Cor. 16:13).

Stacey E. Durham




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