By Irvin Himmel
Men of strength and power are discussed in the Scriptures. Some men are mighty in that which is good; others are mighty in working for Satan. Some men are physically powerful; others possess inward might. Let us study some of these mighty men.
Mighty in Wickedness
It is stated in Gen. 6:4 that “There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” Some Bible scholars think the “giants” in this passage were men of violence — robbers, bandits, attackers, tyrants, or lawless persons who plundered the weak. When the sons of God (descendants of Seth, righteous men) married the daughters of men (possibly descendants of Cain, wicked women), the offspring became mighty men, that is, men of notoriety. These heroes of antiquity achieved their renown through iniquity. The next verse says, “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Men became so mighty in wickedness that God sent the flood to destroy them from off the earth.
In Isaiah’s time there were men who were mighty in the use of strong drink. “Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink” (Isa. 5:22). What irony! There are men today who are mighty in drinking of liquor! And some of these are able men-able to mix the drinks to make them even more intoxicating! The only might such characters possess runs in the direction of evil.
Mighty in Physical Strength and Valor
An angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, saying, “The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valor” (Judg. 6:12). One of the reasons God chose Gideon to be a leader in Israel is that he was brave and courageous. A servant of King Saul reported that young David, a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, was “a mighty valiant man, and a man of war” (1 Sam. 16:18). And it is said of Naaman, the Syrian captain, that he was “a mighty man in valor” (2 Kgs. 5:1).
One could be physically strong but cowardly, or one could have a brave heart in spite of physical weakness. The mighty men of war in Old Testament days were strong in body and in courage.
Mighty in Wealth and Influence
The Bible describes Boaz as “a mighty man of wealth” (Ruth 2:1). He had other qualities that were outstanding. The only power that some men have is in material prosperity and the influence that accompanies wealth. It is the strength of their riches and their monetary influence that prompts people who walk after the flesh to honor them as “mighty.” Paul said, “not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called” (1 Cor. 1:26). The gospel has never had much appeal to the high and mighty. How many millionaires, kings, governors, presidents, generals, and others of high rank according to the world’s standard have truly accepted the call of the gospel? Not many! The very demands of the gospel appear foolish to men who glory in the power of wealth and the prestige of high office.
Stephen paid tribute to Moses when he said, “And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds” (Acts 7:22). Although he was not eloquent, Moses’ words were powerful because he spoke as God directed. His deeds were mighty because he showed “wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness forty years” (Acts 7:36).
It is said of Jesus of Nazareth that He was a prophet “mighty in deed and word before God and all the people” (Lk. 24:19). He spoke as one having authority, and not as the scribes (Matt. 7:29). Some officers who were sent to arrest Him returned without Him, exclaiming, “Never man spake like this man” (John 7:46). His works displayed “the mighty power of God” (Lk. 9:43).
Mighty in Conviction and Faith
Christians with strong faith are taught to bear the infirmities of the weak. Paul wrote, “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves” (Rom. 15:1). True spiritual might .will never be ours unless we realize our human weaknesses and frailties. “Therefore,” said Paul, “I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Cor. 12:10).
Mighty in the Scriptures
The Bible reports that Apollos, an eloquent Jew from Alexandria, was “mighty in the scriptures” (Acts 18:24). To be mighty in the Scriptures one must be acquainted with the Scriptures, and this requires much study and meditation. One must know how to “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15), or how to correctly use the Scriptures. Furthermore, to be mighty in the Scriptures one must believe the Scriptures and make a sincere effort to practice God’s word. Today, there are very few people, even among preachers, who are mighty in the Scriptures. There is an urgent need for more men who are able and strong in understanding and expounding the Scriptures.
May God help us to be mighty in the things that are good and worthwhile. The Lord wants more mighty men in the great work of the kingdom.
Truth Magazine XXI: 34, pp. 535-536
September 1, 1977