Act Like a Man

Psalms 109:9-10 (HCSB)
“Let his children be fatherless
and his wife a widow.
Let his children wander as beggars,
searching for food far from their demolished homes.”

Psalm 109 is an imprecatory or cursing psalm, which means that it’s a psalm in which curses are pronounced on those who have caused the crisis in view. In other words, they are honest expressions of pain in the face of intense grief, accompanied by pleads to God for judgement to be enacted against those who are causing the writer’s pain.

The psalmist in Psalm 109 petitions God to vindicate him by bringing on his enemies the troubles that they deserve for the accusations that they have brought forth. Among the list of curses described in this psalm, verses 9 and 10 call for distress to be placed upon the accuser’s family. The psalmist entreats God to cause the accuser’s children to be “fatherless,” his wife to be a “widow,” and his children to experience further distress by having them “wander as beggars, searching for food far from their demolished homes.”

(One thing that I love about scripture… is its honesty.)

Leaving children fatherless and their mother as a widow, is of the more stressful predicaments that a family could possibly face. The lack of a spiritual leader in the home leaves the household unguided. It leaves it naked and exposed to an innumerable onslaught of potential issues due to being unprotected. It’s why we see throughout the Old Testament the importance of looking out for the orphan and the widow…

Exodus 22:22-24 (HCSB)
“You must not mistreat any widow or fatherless child. If you do mistreat them, they will no doubt cry to Me, and I will certainly hear their cry. My anger will burn, and I will kill you with the sword; then your wives will be widows and your children fatherless.”

Deuteronomy 27:19 (HCSB)
“The one who denies justice to a foreigner, a fatherless child, or a widow is cursed.’ And all the people will say, ‘Amen!’”

Psalms 146:9 (HCSB)
“The Lord protects foreigners
and helps the fatherless and the widow,
but He frustrates the ways of the wicked.”

Zechariah 7:10 (HCSB)
“Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor, and do not plot evil in your hearts against one another.”

Malachi 3:5 (HCSB)
“I will come to you in judgment, and I will be ready to witness against sorcerers and adulterers; against those who swear falsely; against those who oppress the widow and the fatherless, and cheat the wage earner; and against those who deny justice to the foreigner. They do not fear Me,” says the Lord of Hosts.”

In the New Testament, James defines proper religion in the context of caring for the family which has lost its spiritual leader…

James 1:27 (HCSB)
“Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”

In 1 Timothy 5, Paul encourages Timothy to “support widows” and to teach the church to do the same. When writing to the church in Colossae, Paul speaks directly to the husbands and fathers, reminding them of their duty to their families…

Colossians 3:19 (HCSB)
“Husbands, love your wives and don’t be bitter toward them.”

Colossians 3:21 (HCSB)
“Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so they won’t become discouraged.”

Such things are reserved for men, not immature boys who neglect such responsibilities.

A friend of mine recently shared a quote that he had heard at a Biblical Counseling Conference in Lafayette, Indiana…

“You get the men in the church serious about the things of God and everything else will fall into place.” – (Pastor Steve Viars, quoting one of his mentors.)


Here is part of Paul’s final exhortation to the men in his first letter to the church in Corinth…

1 Corinthians 16:13 (HCSB)
“Be alert, stand firm in the faith, act like a man, be strong.”

I couldn’t have said it any better…

Godspeed, to the brethren!