As Rose completed her articles on what the Bible says about women, it struck me that we needed an article series devoted to discussing what the Bible defines as the man’s role. While Rose did an excellent job debunking some of the common atheist arguments about the way women were treated in the Bible, this series is more meant to point out the role God intended for man, not necessarily the one he always adopted. There are certainly examples in the Bible where men do things wrong and treat women poorly. That does not necessarily mean they are condoned. The Bible is a book of history and records events as they happened, whether the actions were right or wrong.
The second characteristic of Biblical manhood we find in the Bible is obedience. We find it exemplified twice in the first eleven chapters of Genesis by two different Biblical individuals. The first is Abel in Genesis. Genesis 4 tells us that Abel and Cain both brought offerings to the Lord. However only Abel’s was accepted. Why exactly Cain’s offering was rejected and Abel’s was not is not explicitly stated in Scripture but based on later context, it becomes clear. The payment for sin always was a blood sacrifice. Cain’s offering was not a blood sacrifice. Abel’s was. While it is not stated in Scripture, it would appear Cain and Abel had at least an idea that God expected a blood sacrifice given that God said that if Cain had done well, he would have been accepted. This strongly implies that he knew what it meant to do well. Abel, by contrast, did do well by bringing a blood sacrifice.
Abel’s example of obedience cost him. Cain in anger and jealousy killed him. At this point, two lineages were spawned. One was the descendants of Cain, who were wicked and followed after their own desires. The other was the lineage of Seth, Adam and Eve’s third son, which began as a lineage that called upon the Lord. Gradually, however, this lineage fell away from God and until it reached a point where there was just one righteous family left: Noah and his family.
From Noah comes the second great example of obedience. Consider what he was asked to do. God told him to build a boat in the middle of a land mass, which he may or may not have done before. Not only that, the boat was bigger than probably any other boat ever built at that point. Further, there is a possibility at least that rain had not fallen prior to the flood. Yet the Bible later tells us Noah was a preacher of righteousness. Thus he was undoubtedly telling people about the coming judgment. So God is asking Noah to build a boat, on land, that he may never have done, and there may never have been rain. Can you imagine how he must have been mocked? You think atheists on the internet are bad, consider that the world before the Flood was so wicked that there were only eight people saved from judgment. As bad as it is now, it would have been much worse then. Noah would have had every excuse to simply walk away, ignore God’s commands and put a stop to the mockery. That is not what he did. Genesis 6:22 tells us “Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.”
Noah did exactly what God told him to do. There is no record of him complaining, no record of him questioning. He just did what God said, and led his family in doing the same. Sometimes one choice has a massive impact on humanity. In Noah’s case, his choice ensured mankind’s very survival. The fact that you are reading this article is a testament to Noah’s obedience.
As men, we are prone to want to do our own thing. There is natural, built-in independence in many men that drives them to experiment and test boundaries. That can be good. Some testing is good. Man’s ideas are not infallible. It is wise to test what man says. However, what men need to realize is that their natural independence needs to be subservient to the commands of the Lord. That is not always easy, but, long term, that is by far the wiser choice. In Noah’s case, his obedience saved the existence of humanity. Your choices may not have that big of an impact but it will have an impact on your family and friends. “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15