Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Adam, Where Are You? (1 of 3 Parts)

Over the next few posts I would like to offer a blunt challenge to men and husbands and fathers in order that we as men can bring more glory to God. We glorify our Eternal Father by pursuing godliness.

I want to begin with an urgent plea written by King David. Sometimes in our prayer life, there isn’t time to form a nice long eloquent prayer. Sometimes the urgency and tragedy of the moment requires a simple cry, “Save, O Lord! Help, Lord!

Psalm 12:1 Save, O Lord, for the godly one is gone;
for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man.
2 Everyone utters lies to his neighbor;
with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.

3 May the Lord cut off all flattering lips,
the tongue that makes great boasts,
4 those who say, “With our tongue we will prevail,
our lips are with us; who is master over us?”

5 “Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan,
I will now arise,” says the Lord;
“I will place him in the safety for which he longs.”
6 The words of the Lord are pure words,
like silver refined in a furnace on the ground,
purified seven times.

7 You, O Lord, will keep them;
you will guard us from this generation forever.
8 On every side the wicked prowl,
as vileness is exalted among the children of man.

I read this psalm early one morning and meditated on what kinds of troubles would lead David to cry out like this. It was not even an hour later I read a news story online:

News story from the NY Post.
They’ve had 10 wives between them, but that didn’t keep Larry King and Donald Trump from being toasted as fathers of the year Tuesday.

The National Father’s Day Council feted the talk-show czar and the billionaire developer at a charity luncheon at the Marriott Marquis in New York City.
“These fathers play a vital role in the lives of their children,” said Rich Wurtzburger, chairman of the committee that selected the honorees.

He said King and Trump had shown “great dedication to raising their families.”

King, 71, is the father of six kids and has been married seven times.
Asked how a serial husband could be heralded as a great dad, Wurtzburger told The Post:
“The award here is for ‘Father of the Year,’ not ‘Husband of the Year.’ You can see that he is very close to each of his kids.”

Wurtzburger was close-mouthed when asked about Trump’s dalliance with Georgia Peach Marla Maples — while he was still married to Ivana Trump and had three small kids.
“No comment. I don’t know anything about that,” he said.

1 Save, O Lord, for the godly one is gone;
for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man.
8 On every side the wicked prowl (or strut),
as vileness is exalted among the children of man.

It was this psalm and the sad state of affairs indicated by that story that led to this series of posts.

Back to the Garden
Where are the godly men? The sweet psalmist knew the danger in society brought on by the lack of the faithful. Where are the godly men? David was not the first to ask that question. God asked this same question in the garden of Eden. Eve had been deceived by the devil in the disguise of the serpent. She chose to let her conscience be her guide and to seek knowledge apart from God’s Word. Fortunately, she was not the representative of the human race, Adam was. Adam stood there and watched and listened and then took the fruit and ate it himself.

Genesis 3:8
8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”

WHO sinned? Eve sinned. She sinned as soon as she began to consider that God was holding back something good from her - that God had lied. She then encouraged her husband to do the same, so they both sinned. WHO was held responsible? Well, Adam tried to hold his wife responsible and Eve tried to pass the buck to the serpent but WHO did God come looking for. The serpent? Eve? “But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” Where is the godly one that I left in charge? The faithful one has vanished. There are responsibilities to be met but the one I placed here to meet them is missing?

Men, I want you to forget the role that popular culture has tried to fit you into. I want you to turn from the feminized message that even much of the church has taken the lead in teaching. I ask you to turn with me to the ONE authority, God’s Word. You are not accountable to the pattern of this world, you are accountable to the Scripture. If transformation is necessary then I plead with you, let God’s Word change you into the image that God intended for the man.

Men and women were created differently and were given specific roles. Some people teach that after the fall domination and submission came into being - that man and woman were created to be equals and sin changed the man into a domineering barbarian and the woman into a submissive doormat. That is partly true. Sin brought about a distortion in their relationship but man was created to lead and woman was created to submit to his leadership.

Now some of you are beginning to squirm. Every message I have heard preached on Ephesians 5 has been given in a defensive tone and that is sad. God established a beautiful order for all creation. An orderliness that was designed to glorify himself and benefit his creature, but we tip toe around this fact as if God had made a mistake. “Well, God is getting old you know. He’s from another generation. He’s a bit old fashioned in his thinking.”

Every good gift comes from our Father in heaven. God gives good gifts. There’s an intense alliteration. Jesus asked, “if you ask your earthly father for a loaf of bread, will he give you a rock?” No, unless he’s mentally deficient. Well, your heavenly father is not mentally deficient and he gives good gifts and he provides exactly what his creatures need. “And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times.”

In the next post we will turn to Ephesians 5 and enter boldly into God’s Word without tiptoeing, without making apologies and I know we will find something so liberating for men and women that we will be inspired to be changed by God’s Word instead of kowtowing to our twisted culture. Perhaps we can shake off the PASSIVITY that we have been too long encouraged to accept and too content to embrace.
Go To Part 2


Anonymous said...

Amen, Bob!

Within evangelicalism, feminism has had its way, admnistered its poison, and spineless jellyfish of…ahem….men have allowed it to happen, even within the church. I’m sorry, guys, but its our fault. It is time to be men. It is time to cherish the woman for the role that God has given her. This means a return to the godly, biblical, chivalrous exaltation of the role a woman plays in being a wife, a mother…a helpmeet.

No longer should we sit idly by and allow this bastard world define equality between men and women. No longer should we acquiesce to the mundane montras like, “well, in today’s world, a household needs two full-time incomes to make ends meet…that’s just how it is.” It is time to, in the words of the Apostle Paul, by inspiration of God Himself, “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”

This is not some call to hollywood John Wayne machismo (Cuz to be honest, I like Eastwood better). This is a call to strong-minded, determined, biblical godliness and masculinity in a world that is so saturated, pervaded, and perverted with the cancers of effeminate male-passivity, and godless feminist tendencies.

Bob Vigneault said...

Very well said Josh. Thank you for your exhortation brother.