Biblical Masculinity #1: Fear of the Lord

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In an earlier post to this blog, I stated that whatever problem we are facing from evangelical feminism, we have at least as big a problem with Christian masculinity. Also, I stated that the best remedy for feminism is a good dose of masculinity. It makes sense for me to do some blogging on the latter topic. It so happens that my wife and I published a book last year in which we did some reflecting on both men and women as seen through the Book of Proverbs. I found Proverbs to be very stimulating and, well, wise, about all this. So here is the first of a series of comments on proverbial masculinity.

The first and key virtue of godly men is the fear of the Lord. It all starts – or ends – here. Proverbs 14:26 sums it up: “He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge.” Far more important in a man than money, charisma, and all the things the world values is a heart that is turned towards the Lord. For men to minister and lead as God would have us, we must first be men of the Word of God, men of prayer, and men of worship.

I was struck by the significance that Proverbs places on the latter: devotion to public worship. Pastoral experience backs this up, that men who are regular and faithful in public worship tend to be biblical leaders. Men who find other concerns encroaching on their availability to worship God tend not to exhibit godly masculinity in other areas. Moreover, by neglecting the means of grace, men set themselves up to be carried away by worldly currents and the deceit of sin. In sum, a Christian man who often cannot make time to attend faithfully and be a contributing member of a church is not likely to exhibit characteristics of biblical masculinity.

An example of the importance of the fear of the Lord comes from the Bible’s King Saul, Israel’s first kind. Saul was impressive in the eyes of men: “a handsome young man… From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people” (1 Sam. 9:2). Saul had looks and strength, drive and ability. The only thing Saul lacked was a heart that feared the Lord, and as a result he led the people astray. When God finally replaced him, he was gracious enough to give “a man after his own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14). When David was selected as the new and true king, despite his youth and humility, the Lord spoke words that should be remembered by us all: “Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7).

Posted January 29, 2007 @ 9:45 AM by Rick Phillips

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