Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Few Good Men

Anyone out there looking for a good man? Or is there anyone out there wanting to BE a good man, but doesn't have a role model to learn from? It seems that good men are hard to find these days!

Proverbs 31 gives us a great example of a godly woman, and we find qualifiers for Elders and Deacons in the New Testament which gives us a good idea of what a godly man should look like, but there is a description of the young man David, prior to his kingship, that really jumped out at me as a great example of a godly man.

1 Samuel 16:18 says, "One of the young men answered, "Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the Lord is with him."

Still just a young man, David already has a good reputation among the people. That's something to think about when a young lady is considering a young man. Is he held in high regard, or does he have a reputation that's less than desirable? No one should be making excuses for him.

David was skillful in playing the lyre. A man should not despise the arts as being silly or feminine. Chest-beating lifestyles depict a man who is insecure. A godly man recognizes and values the gifts of art that God gives to men and gives time to knowing them better.

David was a man of valor. Remember Chivalry? It seems to have gone completely out of mind in our day and age. A godly man remembers Chivalry - he is a man of virtue, a servant of God and of man.

David was a man of war. This doesn't mean that he went around picking a fight. In the Psalms he continually pleaded with God to deliver him from his enemies that he might have peace. However, David knew how to protect and defend, and he was obedient to God to drive out the enemy and establish the Kingdom in its place. So does any godly man.

David was prudent in speech. A godly man knows when to speak and when to be quiet and listen - he guards his mouth. His speech is not that of a fool, throwing words into the wind or speaking only in order to impress. A godly man's word is well-considered and carries weight.

David was a man of good presence. Like his speech, a godly man carefully considers his ways. He continually asks God, 'Will this glorify you if I do it?"

And most important of all these characteristics, the Lord was with David. In order for a man to be godly, he must - of course! - be with the Lord. Any man who isn't cannot possess the virtues listed above, for it is only by the Spirit of the Lord that any of us can walk in righteousness. This is a point that cannot be denied or ignored. Even when David sinned, he had a heart of repentance unto restoration and this only comes from walking with God.

So, ladies, if you are considering marriageable men you would do well to keep a Biblical example in mind. And remember, the scripture says he was ruddy and handsome and that's a good thing, too! Young men, if you are looking for a good role model for manhood, look first of all to your Lord and Savior, and then consider King David. Be one of those few on the narrow path - seek out Godliness as shown in the Scripture and in your older Christian brothers so that you will be able to disciple others, also. There are good men that can be found after all - now go find them!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Turn and be Healed

Most Christians are familiar with the passage from 2 Chronicles 7:13-14. These verses occur during the telling of King Solomon's dedication and consecration of the Temple. It was a grand and solemn occasion and the entire host of Israel attended. There - amongst the sacrifices, feasts, and song - was Solomon's message about the promises of God to His people; and along with His promises came stipulation and judgement for failure to obey His word. The passage from II Chronicles reads thus:
"When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land."

Here we see judgement for the disobedience of God's people - not for the unbeliever - and God's instruction on what we should do when judgement falls. (And, by the way, locusts and pestilence aren't always in the form of pests and pandemics.) When Believers realize that it is they who have sinned and brought judgement on themselves and their land, we can read throughout Scripture about how we can humble ourselves and seek God's forgiveness and mercy. Today I came across a passage in 1 Samuel that revealed more on this subject.

"And Samuel said to the people, "Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the LORD with all your heart. And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty. For the LORD will not forsake his people, for his great name's sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you a people for himself ... I will instruct you in the good and the right way. Only fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you. But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king." ~ 1 Samuel 12:20-25

Again we see promise, stipulation, and judgement set out for us. We American Modern Believers have the opportunity to repent from our sin and see our country healed, but we must forsake our empty ways. We - the Church - have run after things that will not satisfy: wealth and prosperity, eternal youth, success, pleasure, fame; and I don't just mean individually, but as the CHURCH. We have chased after the wind and failed to seek after God. We have become idolators and we are reaping the whirlwind.

But, we can still repent, turn from our wicked ways and seek God's face - He promises He will not forsake us and will heal our land. If we refuse to turn and continue to chase after idols, the result is plain - we will be swept away, we and our king.