8 Minute Read

Today’s Bible Reading:

2 Kings 8:1–9:13
Acts 16:16-40
Psalm 143:1-12
Proverbs 17:26

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

2 Kings 8:11 (NLT): “Elisha stared at Hazael with a fixed gaze until Hazael became uneasy. Then the man of God started weeping.”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Ok. I realize that the verse I have chosen for today 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” refers 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: “the man of God.”

The official title, “man of God,” is used 78 times in the Bible. 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:


Deuteronomy 33:1 (NLT): “This is the blessing that Moses, the man of God, gave to the people of Israel before his death:” [emphasis mine]


1 Kings 17:18 (NLT): “Then she said to Elijah, ‘O man of God, what have you done to me? Have you come here to point out my sins and kill my son?’” [emphasis mine]

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 every one 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 unbiblical. Read the following New Testament verse as the Apostle Paul wrote to Pastor Timothy:

1 Timothy 6:11 (NLT): “But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.” (1 Timothy 6:11) [emphasis mine]

In this text, 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 this verse, we realize that 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/teachers are “men of God.” 

While present-day “men of God” struggle with sin like Moses and the rest of the Old Testament prophets, 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 lovingly 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 faithfully preach God’s Word and lead in a way consistent with Scriptural principles, then their position as a “man of God” needs to be taken seriously. They are to be regarded as examples to mimic (Hebrew 13:7) and leaders to follow (Hebrews 13:17).

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 and are to be regarded as such.

They are “men of God.”

Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Kristina Paparo on Unsplash