I always enjoy reading 2 Samuel 23. If you have time today, take a look. In this chapter it talks about King David’s mighty men. There was Josheb who wielded his spear against eight hundred men and killed them all. There was Benaiah who is said to have “struck down a lion in a pit on a day when snow had fallen.” My favorite has always been Eleazar who battled against the Philistines with such intensity and length that his hand clung to the sword. The NIV translates it as froze to the sword. These were the men of old, whose stories strike something deep in my soul.
Do those guys exist today?
As Christian men, the Kingdom we find ourselves in is “not of this world.” The Israel of the Old Testament was a shadow of the greater spiritual warfare and reality that we face today. In Ephesians 6:12 it says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
As Christian men, our battle is against the schemes of Satan and his desire to make a wreck out of our life, our families, and our community; and it is good to view life as a battle, for Satan is always on the prowl looking to take you out. As men we are called to fight for God’s glory and our families good. We must lead our families physically, emotionally and spiritually. So where do we find these men?
We make them.
Jesus began his earthly ministry by calling 12 men to follow him. There was nothing great about these men; none of them had killed a lion on a snowy day. But that was ok, because they were on a journey of becoming. For three years Jesus poured his life (and gave his life) into these men; teaching them, training them, equipping them. Then he unleashed them and said this, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20). Jesus commanded these men to make men.
So how do you make a disciple? By teaching them all that Jesus commands, aka, teaching them the Bible. The means by which a man becomes a man is by the Word of God. This is why the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:17 speaks of the “Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” And this is also why the Apostle Paul says to young Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:15, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”
Paul understood what it took to be a mighty man of valor and he understood the battle that was raging around young Timothy. Therefore, he pointed Timothy to the weapon that would equip him to fight back against Satan’s attacks.
If we lack mighty men of valor in our Churches, there is no one to blame but the Churches themselves. Let us repent of our pomp and circumstances and equip our men with a weapon that works, the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. And let us pray that someday in the midst of the battle, our grasp upon God’s Word is so tight that when the battle subsides we find our hand frozen to the Sword.