THE SEARCH FOR A MAN
By Bruce Daugherty
Bruce's Beat 7-1-2015
What is man? For some, he is just a money maker; a provider of material things. If he has provided material wealth, he has fulfilled his role. Is a man supposed to be anything more?
Jeremiah was told: “Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem; see now and know; and seek in her open places if you can find a man, if there is anyone who executes judgment, who seeks the truth, and I will pardon her.” – Jer. 5:1. God told Ezekiel, “So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.” – Ezek. 22:30.
Isn’t this the pressing need of our day? Homes where men lead their families in godliness, wisdom, judgment, and love of the truth? This is about more than the male species; more than the ability to father children; more than providing just the minimums of food, clothing and shelter. Isn’t this why we have leadership shortages in the Church?
Noah was one among many wicked people, “but Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” – Gen. 6:8. Have you ever thanked God for Noah? Without him the human race would have ended. We have life because of righteous Noah.
God revealed why He chose Abraham. “For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice, that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.” – Genesis 18:19. Abraham turned from the drift and bareness of idolatry to serve the true and living God. When we live by faith, we are living in the shadow of the father of the faithful – Gal. 3:7-9.
Moses was raised up to be the deliverer of the Hebrews in bondage in Egypt. Yet after their liberation the children of Israel soon forgot God and rebelled against Him at Mt. Sinai. But Moses interceded before God on behalf of the people – Ex. 32:30-32. Though a rebellious generation died in the wilderness, the new generation reached the promised land through the courageous leadership of Moses.
Isaiah penned a portrait of the Messiah: “A man will be as a hiding place from the wind, and a cover from the tempest, as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” – Isa. 32:2. Jesus is the extreme example of courageous manhood. He is the storm shelter from sin. He is the river of life in the desert of this world. He is the mighty rock that provides shelter and shadow from the drift of worldly tides. – John 14:6; 1 Cor. 10:4.
There have been courageous men from Church History who, though they did not restore ancient Christianity, they pointed men to the source of the truth, the Bible. We can give thanks for men like John Wycliffe, Jan Hus, and William Tyndale who took their stand and sacrificed so much to place the Bible in the hands of the people.
There have been outstanding leaders in Restoration History who, having looked into the Bible, were determined to “speak where the Bible speaks; and be silent where it is silent.” Men like Barton Stone, John Mulkey, Thomas and Alexander Campbell, and many others, blazed a trail in a weary wilderness of religious creeds and traditions. They were refreshing rivers from the dryness of the religious practices of their day.
Later leaders like David Lipscomb continued to be refreshing benefactors to mankind through their humble determination to be obedient to God. Lipscomb‘s writings and influence to avoid departures from the word of God became a hiding place from the storms of religious change that were sweeping the land. Even now, we live and are refreshed because of his shadow.
Today, there is a need for men to lead their families and protect them from the ravages of sin. Men need to set an example of holy, godly living. Men need to demonstrate the values of faith, love, and devotion to God. Men need to lead wisely, and not give into voices of extremism on the right or the left. Men need to wisely look for ways to fulfill the evangelistic mission of the Church. Men must insist on the truth being taught, and not accept smooth speech and flattery – Rom. 16:18.
The search for a man continues. Will you answer God’s call?