“Be a man.”
How many times have we heard that in our lives? What does it mean? Work. Be strong. Face your fears. Be tough. Work and play through the emotional and physical pain. And we do have to do all those things. The level is ratcheted up some when someone says to, “Be a GOOD man”. That means show up not only for work but for your kid’s life; it means to support your wife; coach the ball team or mentor the kid without a father; be a leader at church and in the community; it means to stand up for truth and confront evil wherever it rises up; and it means to do it not just for a few days but for decades if the Lord allocates us the years. That one word ‘good’ raises the stakes and expectations a lot.
In 2 Samuel 23:8-39, we are shown a whole other level when we see what a Mighty Man looks like, specifically King David’s Mighty Men. This is a group of men who show up, bow up, believe, stand their ground and win the day, over and over. These are mature men that are either drawn to, mentored by, or produced from the leadership of a great individual man himself. David was called “a man after God’s own heart” (an elite description over the centuries). He was a man of great faith and great grace, a man of strict beliefs and associated integrity, who had big actions and plans, and who faced big opponents and faced his fears. Who runs with a guy like that?
The author of 2 Samuel says there were 37 mighty men of David. Not many makes this status. Greatest among these was Abishai the brother of Joab who raised his spear against 300. Josheb-Basshebeth similarly raised his spear against 800 whom he killed in one encounter. And how about Eleazar, who stood his ground when the army of Israel retreated around him? He killed the enemy until his hand froze to his sword. It says the rest of the army returned, but only to strip the dead. Now that is a Mighty Man. A man who stands in the gap, alone, and delivers victory when all others around you retreat. “Mighty” is another level beyond good. Where do you set your goal today? Do you value “being a man”? Do you work at being a “good” man? Most of us do. What would happen if we set our goals on being a Mighty Man of God?
In today’s world, most of us don’t take up a spear or sword and physically face the enemy by the hundreds, although some in our military may still confront evil and stand for freedom in legendary ways. But we can stand in the gap, and not retreat when others so easily do now, and stand up for truth, for the orphan or widow, and for the Lord’s Kingdom. We can set a goal of doing this not just for a good day or good week, but for all the decades the Lord gives us on this earth. This is a mighty goal, but today’s Truth is, that just like David’s men had a mighty King, we have a mighty God who inspires greatness. Psalms 113:5 says it well, “Who is like the Lord our God?” Will you join us today in his mighty pursuits?