Show courage like a man

Another translation from the Portuguese of the devotional thoughts published in Deus Conosco.

Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. Job 40:7 NIV

Job wanted to challenge the Lord about his situation. Now, he has his chance. Speaking with irony, God invites Job to prepare himself, in order to get the best of God.

Obviously, no one is so manly that he can confront the Lord and win.

But in faith, we all, men and women, must be “men:” “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13).

Demand an answer from God, never. Be courageous in faith and constant in hope, always.

ADDITIONAL THOUGHT IN ENGLISH: In our politically correct world, to say, “act like men” (ESV), probably doesn’t come across well, nor does it communicate Paul’s point about the need for valor. Other translations, some probably sensitive to the feminist agenda, cut out the reference to men and go with something like, “Be courageous.” The NIV translation probably is a good middle approach, preserving the masculinity of the verb, but giving the sense of the word, in which courage is the key. The phrase translates a single word, andrizomai, lit., “be a man,” used only here in the NT. Thistleton says the contrast is not only gender, for courage, but age as well, for maturity, and translates the word, “show mature courage.” The word certainly reflects Paul’s challenge in 1 Corinthians for the Christians to grow up spiritually.

God’s command to Job is, lit., “gird up your loins like a man,” probably indicating preparation for battle. If Job is going to take God on, he’d better be ready for the clash! The old English phrase, now out of vogue, “Fight like a man!” gets close to the idea. But as good as a man may fight, it will never be enough to overpower the Almighty.

The two verses serve to contrast the foolishness, on the one hand, of taking God on, but the ever-present necessity, on the other, of the manly trait of courage, both for men and women who live in Christ and serve the Master.

J. Randal Matheny

Be pithy.

What do you think?