God created both men and women in his image and likeness. Scripture portrays men in both their strengths and weaknesses, their successes and failures. While noting that they are incomplete without women, and share equally in the privileges and tasks entrusted to them by God, men have nevertheless been given specific responsibilities by God.
As leaders in the early church1Ti 3:2See alsoAc 6:2-6; 1Ti 2:12 The role of teaching and exercising authority is here restricted to men. Interpretations vary as to whether Paul is reflecting cultural circumstance or establishing theological principle; 1Ti 3:8
To be good fathers to their childrenEph 6:4See alsoGe 37:3-4 Jacob’s favouritism was the cause of resentment developing in the family; 1Sa 3:12-13 Eli is rebuked for having failed to father his sons properly; Col 3:21
Ge 19:4-5 The ungodliness of the men of Sodom lay in sexual immorality; Ge 38:8-10 Onan’s ungodliness lay in failing to fulfil his obligations to his brother’s wife; Nu 16:1-35 Korah’s ungodliness lay in rebellion against God’s leaders; 1Sa 2:12 Eli’s sons’ungodliness lay in their abuse of the sacrifices; 1Ki 16:29-33 Ahab’s ungodliness lay in intermarriage and idolatry; 2Ki 21:1-9 pp 2Ch 33:1-9 Manasseh’s ungodliness lay in idolatry, divination and human sacrifice; Mt 2:16 Herod’s ungodliness lay in the wholesale slaughter of infants; Mt 14:3-11 pp Mk 6:17-28 Herod the tetrarch’s ungodliness lay in immorality and murder; Ac 8:9-23 Simon’s ungodliness lay in the practice of magic; Jude 4-19 The ungodliness of men in the church lay in their rejection of apostolic doctrine and lifestyle.
Examples of fearful men
Ge 26:7-9 Isaac’s fear of the Philistines led him to lie; Nu 13:26-33 The spies’fear led them to give a bad report; 1Sa 28:5-7 Saul’s fear of the Philistines led him to enquire of a medium when the Lord did not answer him; 2Sa 3:7-11 Ish-Bosheth’s fear of his brother led him to stay silent concerning sin; Jn 19:4-16 pp Mt 27:19-26 pp Mk 15:9-15 pp Lk 23:13-25 Pilate’s fear of the crowd led him to condemn Jesus Christ, even though he knew he was innocent; Ac 24:24-25 Felix’fear arose from the message of the gospel.
Examples of weak men
Lev 26:36-39 Men who are disobedient to God will be weak; 1Sa 3:12-13 Eli’s weakness lay in failing to restrain his sons; 1Ki 21:1-16 Ahab’s weakness lay in his allowing his wife to rule his life and his kingdom.
Dictionary of Bible Themes Scripture index copyright Martin H. Manser, 2009. As Editor, Martin Manser wishes to thank all those who compiled or edited the NIV Thematic Study Bible, on which this work is based.