There have been many times in my life that I have asked myself the question, “What am I called to do?” Well, there is one thing that I know for sure … since I am a man, God called me to be just that – a man. I will never forget the day, that my wife, Amy, told me that I am the one that sets the pulse for our household. She asked me if I ever watched long distant running races and went on to explain about “the rabbit.” The rabbit is a runner who isn’t actually competing but runs out ahead and sets the pace for the runners. Amy said sometimes she feels like she’s out ahead of the family trying to pull the rest of us along. She told me that I should be like the rabbit for our family – out in front – setting the pace. Amy went on to say that when I’m in a funk, as she likes to call it, it can be felt by her and our girls. It affects the mood, or pace, of the whole family.
CALLED TO SET THE STANDARD
At first, this hit me like a ton of bricks. On the inside I was fuming. What about you, I thought, why should I have to bare such a heavy responsibility? Are you kidding me I thought? That’s when the Holy Spirit step in and said, “she’s right Adam”! Amy’s words, ” you are the one that sets the pulse for our household”, was really her way of admonishng me in a loving way. She was reminding me that God has called the men to set the standard for their household and to uphold it. Men who set the standards for their household protect him and his family. Initially I didn’t realize the depth of what my wife was sharing with me. I had mistakenly taken my wife’s comment as an assult upon my character, I was totally wrong.
So when I came across the follwing portion of scripture in the Bible, it all started to come together, the awesome responsibility that men are called to bear. God spoke to Moses and his brother Aaron on how men to assemble around the tribal standard.
WHAT IS A STANDARD
The Hebrew word for standard is degel, it means flag or banner and it speaks as to how Israelites were to organize themselves when encamp around the tabernacle of God. The Israel were made up of twelve tribes, each tribe came from the decedents of Jacob’s twelve sons. And each tribe had its own banner, there were four standards representing four divisions that three of each tribe fell under.
Biblical reference says that each tribe (family) were to pitched their tent some distance away from the tabernacle. At the sounding of a trumpet the community would assemble or break camp. At the sounding of both silver trumpets everyone must gather around the tabernacle. But when only one trumpets was sound then only the leaders – the heads of each tribe were to assemble before Moses. Only the priest were permitted to sound the trumpets, Aaron’s decendants.
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: The Israelites are to camp around the tent of meeting some distance from it each of them under their standard and holding the banners of their family.
The modern day definition of standard interesting enough, also refers to leadership, organization and movement of a party. It has a strong military and political connotation as well.
Joshua J. Mark Ancient History Encyclopedia, has this to say about how significant the standard was.
The Standard was important as a rallying point, symbol of pride and, more practically, as a means of communication in battle. A trumpet blast would draw the attention of the troops to the Standard which would then direct which action should be taken on the field. The Standard bearer would lower, raise, wave, or make some other motion with the Standard to indicate what the next move was for the troops or to change some tactic or formation. So important was the Standard to the armies of Rome that battles were fought for their return. In the time of the Roman Republic the Standards were imprinted with the letters SPQR which was an abbreviation for Senatus Populusque Romanus(Senate and People of Rome). The Standard, then, represented not only the legion or cohort which carried it but the citizens of Rome, and the policies the army represented.
IT IS GOD WHO ESTABLISED THE STANDARD
Oh! How I pray that men would once again raise the standard that Jesus has established, in their homes. If only men would place Jesus at the center of their home (camp) ….that was standard when the children of Isreal encamped themselves around tabernacle of God, some distance away, they did this out of reverence for God. It was a time when men recognized God as Lord and King, not man. It was a time when priest represented God on earth and lead God’s people in ways that brought Him glory. Today Jesus is our great High Priest.
Today we are all called to be a royal priesthood. We no longer have to pitch our tents afar off from God, because when we accepted Jesus His Spirit filled us. To be a Christian is to be Christ-like.
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possessionm that you may declare the praises of him who called you ot of darkness into his wonderful light.
The purpose of this post, is to call men to arms and to rally around God. Recognizingf that God has established a standard to be carried out and that men are the ones called to be the standard bearers.
And the light of Israel will be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame; and it will burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day. And he will consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: and it shall be as when a standard-bearer fainteth.
In other words when the standardbearer fails the whole company or army is thrown into confusion, and flees. I beleive that this very same thing occurs in a home where the men don’t take their rightful roles of leadership, by not establishing a Godly standard at all or by giving his responsibility over to his spouse. More on that, next week.