(Editor’s note: This was originally a paper written for the course Godly Husband at Grace Baptist College.)
The Bible presents to us many examples of husbands. The men portrayed are human, not perfect, with both positive and negative traits. In this paper, the character traits of David, Job, Noah, and Lot will be examined.
David began as a humble shepherd boy, and grew to become king of Israel. He was the youngest son of Jesse, and grew up in Bethlehem.
David’s positive traits include being a man after God’s own heart. When God rejected Saul to replace him with David, He told Saul that He wanted a man after His own heart to rule over Israel. “But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee” (1 Sam 13:14).
David also put his trust in the Lord. Through adversity, David learned to rely on God for everything. In his youth, he was in constant flight from king Saul, who wanted to kill him. In his old age, he was forced to flee yet again, but this time from his own rebellious son Absalom. In all these troubles, he would cry out unto the Lord for help and comfort. “The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me. In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him,even into his ears” (Psalm 18:4-6. See also Psalm 3, Psalms 54, Psalms 57, and Psalms 59).
David also worshiped God unashamed. He wrote most of the Psalms, which is the Bible’s hymn book. 2 Samuel 6:13-23 details his bold, unashamed worship. Verse 14 states “And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.” When his wife Michal confronted him, he responded: “And David said unto Michal, It was before the LORD, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel: therefore will I play before the LORD. And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight: and of the maidservants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall I be had in honour” (2 Samuel 6:21,22).
However, David did not have a perfect morality. David lusted after Bathsheba, and fell to temptation. He did not turn his eyes away when he saw what he should not have looked upon (2 Sam 11:2-4). After the adultery, he did not attempt to get right, but tried to cover his sin with more sin, another negative character trait of his. He tried to cover the adultery with drunkenness (2 Sam 11:13), murder (2 Sam 11:15), and theft (2 Sam 11:27).
David’s trust in the Lord was also not perfect. He was led to trust in human numbers over God (2 Sam 24:2-4), as he had a census taken against God’s will. This resulted in a great plague in Israel.
Job was a man of unknown origin who supposedly lived shortly after the flood of Noah. He lived in the land of Uz, and had seven sons and three daughters, and was wealthy in livestock. He was so wealthy that he was called the “greatest of all the men of the east” (Job 1:3).
Job was “perfect and upright,” in that he feared God and eschewed (shunned) evil (Job 1:1). He constantly offered sacrifices for the sake of his children, and sought to sanctify them (Job 1:5). His second positive trait is that he maintained this testimony through his great affliction. “In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly” (Job 1:22). He had a good reason to turn his back on God, but he did not. Also, he did not bend to the pressures of others, including his so-called friends, and even his wife. “Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.” (Job 2:9,10)
However, Job complained to God. Job 23:2-4 records: “Even to day is my complaint bitter: my stroke is heavier than my groaning. Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat! I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments.” (See also Job 10:1-6; 21:4; 23:1-7).
Job also got out of the will of God. He desired an early death (Job 3:1-5). If this was God’s will, He would have allowed Satan to kill him.
Job also allowed his righteousness to became pride and self-righteousness (Job 10:7; 32:1-2). Puffed up with self-righteousness, he stated: “Thou knowest that I am not wicked; and there is none that can deliver out of thine hand” (Job 10:7). God eventually confronted him, and he repented.
Lot was the nephew of the Hebrew patriarch Abraham (Genesis 13,14,19). He lived with Abraham for a time, but then departed because of strife between his herdsman and Abrahams.
Lot was a righteous (saved) man. “And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:” (2 Pet 2:7). This verse also reveals a second positive trait: Lot was grieved by the evil of Sodom around him.
Lot also had a godly heritage, as he was raised by his uncle Abraham (Gen 12:4,5). Having lived with Abraham for a time, he had the opportunity to learn from this great man of faith. However, he did not allow much of his upbringing to stay with him.
However, despite his upbringing, Lot lusted after the things of this world, and moved to Sodom despite it’s wickedness (Gen 13:10-13). Despite his abhorrence of the sins of Sodom, Lot was willing to subject his unmarried daughters to the perversions of the Sodomites (Gen 19:8). He had allowed the wickedness of Sodom to warp his character.
Noah lived only a few hundred years after the Creation. He had a wife and three sons. At this time, he and his family were the only righteous people left on the earth. God destroyed everyone else with the flood, allowing Noah and his family to survive in an ark that Noah built.
Noah’s positive traits included his belief in God, which led to the survival of mankind. If Noah had not believed God, he would not have built the ark and survived the flood. “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith” (Heb 11:7).
Noah’s second positive trait is that he was an enduring preacher. He was a “preacher of righteousness” (2 Pet 2:5). However, no one was saved as a result of his ministry. He kept preaching despite no results. Noah was also willing to do everything the Lord commanded: “And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him.” (Gen 7:5)
Noah’s negative traits are revealed in Genesis 9:20-27:
20. And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:
21. And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.
22. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
23. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.
24. And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.
25. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
26. And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
27. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
First, Noah succumbed to carnality, and became drunk (Gen 9:20,21). Second, Noah’s drunkenness caused him to loose the respect of his children (Gen 9:22,23). He had spent years raising them to be godly, yet this one act ruined it all. Third, Noah refused to accept responsibility for his own action. His sin had caused his son Ham to fall, yet he refused to forgive him (Gen 9:22-27). He refused to accept responsibility for his own actions, but cursed his son for his actions.
In conclusion, there is much we can learn much from the husbands of the Bible. We can study their good and their bad, their successes and their failures. What we can learn from them will help us to become better (future) husbands.