The children of Ammon saw that they stank before David b/c of what they had done to his servants (see the opening of chapter 10) so they hired 33,000 men to fight against Israel. Joab goes out to battle and finds himself surrounded by a strong and valiant enemy. Not sure if he has what it takes to defeat them, he divides the host with Abishai…
2 Samuel 10:11-12 And he said, If the Syrians be too strong for me, then thou shalt help me: but if the children of Ammon be too strong for thee, then I will come and help thee. Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the LORD do that which seemeth him good.
… and it seemed good to the Lord to grant the Israelites the victory.
As Christian men, we must recognize that we are in a real battle with a real enemy; that there is much at stake (Ephesians 6:10-12; 1 Peter 5:8) and that we have a duty to our God, to our families, and to our churches. And in order to stand firm in this fight, there are times when we will have to take courage and PLAY THE MEN.
I. FROM THE BIBLE, WHAT "A MAN" IS SUPPOSED TO BE/DO
A. A hard worker who provides for the needs of His family
1. Work is not a part of the curse. God gave man a job to do in the garden (Genesis 2:15).
2. Hard labor was made a part of the curse for man's benefit (Genesis 3:17-19). A man is not afraid to break a sweat, get his hands dirty, and go out and break his back to put food on the table (Psalm 104:23).
3. Nothing worth having comes in the absence of hard work. It is good to work with one's hands (Ephesians 4:28). In all labor there is profit (Proverbs 14:23).
4. A man that won't work and provide for his family is worse than an infidel (1 Timothy 5:8) and is not fit to be in fellowship with God's people (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12).
B. Protect, nurture, and love his family
1. A real man is a gentleman. He loves his wife and isn't ashamed to admit it or to show it. He follows Christ's example in giving of himself for her (Ephesians 5:25-33).
2. He treats her with honor as the weaker vessel (1 Peter 3:7).
3. He diligently strives to please his wife (1 Corinthians 7:33).
4. He doesn't leave the child rearing completely to the wife, but takes an active role in the raising and disciplining of children (Ephesians 6:4).
C. Leads his family
1. Being the head of the home does not mean that the man is superior to the man anymore than Christ's submission to the Father makes Him inferior to the Father (1 Corinthians 11:3).
2. It does mean that he is ultimately responsible for the spiritual, physical, emotional welfare of his family and will give account to God for his handling of that responsibility (Hebrews 11:17).
3. A man should be willing to make the final decision in a given matter and must take initiative to lead his family in the right direction.
II. WHY IT WILL TAKE A REAL MAN TO SERVE GOD
A. To do right despite the inevitable opposition
1. Self-denial is essential in following Christ (Luke 9:23; 1 Corinthians 9:25-27)
2. We are commanded to endure hardness (2 Timothy 2:3)
3. We are promised persecution (2 Timothy 3:12; Matthew 5:11-12)
B. To focus on what's truly important
1. Too many men don't do what they're supposed to do because they're too distracted with toys, hobbies, games, sins, the pursuit of material wealth, etc.
2. A real man will establish the proper priorities in his life (2 Timothy 2:4; Matthew 6:33).
C. To keep doing right no matter what
1. Men don't quit (1 Corinthians 16:13).
2. God is searching for a man to stand in the gap (Ezekiel 22:30).
Henry Varley once said, "The world has yet to see what god will do with and for and through and in and by the man who is full and wholly consecrated to Him."
When DL Moody heard that, he answered in his heart, "By the grace of God, I will be that man."