Drinking Deeply

Saturday, May 20, 2006 at 12:39 AM

Be a man!

1 Kings 2
1When David's time to die drew near, he commanded Solomon his son, saying, 2"I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, and show yourself a man, 3and keep the charge of the LORD your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his rules, and his testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn, 4that the LORD may establish his word that he spoke concerning me, saying, 'If your sons pay close attention to their way, to walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and with all their soul, you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.'
I couldn't sleep last Saturday night because of this verse. I figured to share it and what got me all excited about it.

David is about to die. Solomon is king, having basically been handpicked by David over Adonijah. David is at the end of his life. Here was a man who killed Goliath. Served Saul, even when Saul went insane, allowed Saul to live, even after him being delivered into his hands, twice! I think many of us would take the first instance of "oh, I guess God really wants me to do that" and just done it, figuring it was God's will. No, David takes the higher path. "you shall not touch the Lord's annointed." David was a great warrior, a mighty king, a conqueror.

He was also a failure. He had committed adultery, been rebuked, and been restored. His son died because of his sin. He sinfully took a census, doubting God.

Yet through it all, God was faithful, sustaining David and teaching him of God's ways day in and day out. This is passed down so powerfully in a short yet sweet paragraph, and I just love it.
v. 2a) "I am about to go the way of all the earth."
David's fearlessness of death is evident. Yes, he didn't know the name of Christ, but he looked foward to it with eagerness (a la Hebrews 11 and 1 Peter 1). He could repeat with Paul "O Death, where is your victory? O Death, where is your sting?" No, here was a man who, in spite of his sins, in spite of his failures, could delight in the Lord, trusting in Him for salvation. With a sober picture of what death held in store, he charged his son, the king:
v.2b) Be strong, and show yourself a man,
Solomon! This is your charge. I've lived my life out and this is what I want you to remember. Be strong and show yourself a man! Be a man. What does this mean? What does this look like?
v.3a) and keep the charge of the LORD your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his rules, and his testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses,
Being a man entails obedience. Manhood isn't that tough guy who is in open rebellion to authority. In fact, being a man here is defined as complete obedience to the precepts of God. Yes, that should be obvious, and it should be obvious to any and all people and not just those aspiring to be men. But know this, that this is the first calling. One's relationship with their wife, with their children, with their friends, with their church, are all secondary to their relationship with the ruler and source of all the rest. Solomon is called to walk in the ways of the Lord. To keep all that's written in the Law. Yes, all of it. all of it.
v. 3b-4a) that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn, that the LORD may establish his word that he spoke concerning me, saying, 'If your sons pay close attention to their way, to walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and with all their soul, you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.'
Commands in the Bible are always followed by the promises of the Lord. Obey and you will be blessed. Indeed, the reward for obedience is always great. Solomon would prosper in all that he did and whatever he turned to. God would fulfil his promise to David, that he would never lack a person to rule upon the throne. What is the call? Not just an outward obedience (for that was easy), but also the inward one too, the obedience found in the mind and not just in the actions. It's easy to keep from murdering people, just don't have any weapons around when you're angry. But what does Jesus say? If you even look at a brother in anger, you're committing murder. No, God demands "faithfulness with all their heart and with all their soul."

Yes, this is the charge for Solomon by David, and this is the charge for men today. We are not kings and we are not physical warriors. But we still are spiritual ones. So buckle up your armor of God. Gird up your loins. Sharpen your sword, and seek to take every thought captive.

But one thing we do have to remember. We will fail. David failed, miserably. Solomon failed. Every single person with one exception has failed this charge.

But it's that exception that makes all the difference. Do not despair, for the Lord our God is king over all. He has sent His son for us, while we were still sinners and hostile to him, so that we might now live lives that are increasingly in conformity to Him. Yes, failure will come. But the strong man has been bound, the victory won, and the promise of manhood already fulfilled in Christ Jesus.

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Blogger Jessica said...

hmm, good exposition!
the exhortations of david apply to the rest of us, yea? be faithful followers of God, walking in His paths, keeping His commandments.


take every thought captive has been a theme lately.  

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