1 Kings 2:2-3
“I go the way of all the earth; be strong, therefore, and prove yourself a man. And keep the charge of the Lord your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, 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.”
Israel is facing some very serious challenges. Their beloved king has grown old and is on the eve of his death, and the nation is divided between two drastically different successors. Surrounded by enemies and struggling with an array of internal conflicts, Solomon is chosen to take the throne and lead the nation. With what amounts to his final words, we read of a charge given by King David to his teenage son,
“I go the way of all the earth; be strong, therefore, and prove yourself a man…
Today, there seems to be great confusion regarding what it means to be a man. An iconic figure from a few years ago was the Marlboro Man; a cowboy with a cigarette. More recently, we have been introduced to the most interesting man in the world; an aged playboy who consumes alcohol. We have movies like Fight Club, or the Fast and Furious series that portray manhood as living a fast paced life, not worrying about the consequences, and social media taught us a new term – YOLO – meaning you only live once. David had none of these things in mind when he charged Solomon to be a man. Instead, he defined true manhood when he said,
“Keep the charge of the Lord your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, 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.”
A real man is one who looks to the word of God and lives by its principles. A real man is one who will not let culture shape him, but will be transformed by the Scriptures, into the image of Christ. It was Pilate, who looking at the beaten Christ declared, “Behold the Man.” And it is Christ who is the true image of manhood.
Like David, I believe that what our world needs is young people who will step up and act like men. Young men who will not be swayed by culture, but will seek to influence it, by taking heed to the Word of God and live accordingly.