DAILY BIBLE READING:
2 Kings 8:1–9:13
BIBLE VERSE(S) FOR TODAY:
2 Kings 8:11 “Then he stared steadily at him until he was ashamed. The man of God wept,”
REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):
Ok. I realize that the Verse for Today that I have chosen is a little unusual. But, I want you to reflect on a phrase that appears in it.
“The man of God”
As we read 2 Kings 8 and come across verse 11, we realize that the designation, “man of God,” is referring to Elisha. He is God’s prophet and was set apart by God to speak to God’s people on His behalf.
Elisha, in that role, got a title: “man of God.”
But, as we read elsewhere in the Old Testament, we realize that this title is used of other men that God chose to speak and lead on His behalf.
The official title, “man of God,” is used 78 times in the English Standard Version of the Bible (KJV – 78; NIV – 82; HCSB – 83). It is used to speak of the men who God set apart to speak to His people and lead them.
An overwhelming majority of the time, it was used to refer to Moses and Elijah as in the following verses:
“This is the blessing with which Moses the man of God blessed the people of Israel before his death.” (Deuteronomy 33:1)
“And she said to Elijah, ‘What have you against me, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my sin to remembrance and to cause the death of my son!'” (1 Kings 17:18)
The title, “man of God,” does not mean that these men were sinless. The flaws of the men who wore this official title are well documented in Scripture. It did, however, acknowledge that these men were set apart by God for a special task. They were to speak to God’s people on His behalf and lead them in the ways of the Lord.
When we come to the New Testament, in a new era, where we are told that everyone of us is on equal footing at the cross (Galatians 3:28), we may think that the phrase, “man of God,” would no longer apply and wouldn’t be appropriate.
But, that conclusion would be wrong. Read the following two references in the New Testament as the Apostle Paul wrote to Pastor Timothy:
“But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.” (1 Timothy 6:11)
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
In these two texts, the Apostle Paul was calling Pastor Timothy a “man of God.” It was fitting because Timothy was called by God to speak to God’s people on His behalf and to lead them. However, since it was the New Testament era, Timothy wasn’t a prophet – he was a pastor.
From these two verses, we realize the the phrase, “man of God,” is still used in the church age. Men who have been called by God to pastor God’s churches wear the title just as the prophets of old did. Pastor / preachers get this designation.
While present day “men of God” sin like Moses and the rest of the Old Testament prophets did, it is also true that they are set apart by God for a special purpose. No man should go into the pastoral ministry unless there is a clear calling upon his life from God.
When these “men of God” are in sin, they need to be confronted. If the sin continues and they do not respond with repentance when taken through the steps of discipline found in Matthew 18:15-17, they need to be rebuked publicly in a church setting (see 1 Timothy 5:19-20).
When these “men of God” preach, those who listen need to search the Scriptures to see if the things being said align with the truth of the Bible (see Acts 17:11).
But, if there is no big sin to confront and these men are faithfully preaching God’s Word and leading in a way consistent with Scriptural principles, then their position as a “man of God” needs to be taken seriously.
This does not mean that there are special privileges for these men or anything of the sort. It does not mean that they are better than any other follower of Jesus. It simply means that they have a calling upon their life to teach and lead God’s people on His behalf.
They are “men of God.”
DAILY BIBLE READING: