Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
Christian MANHOOD -- Is It a "Lost Cause"?
What was Yeshua the Messiah REALLY like? Why are so many of his characteristics MISSING in our modern Christianity? Do you know what constitutes true Christian Masculinity?
by Roderick C. Meredith
What a confused scene! Here was a place of worship -- a temple, actually -- and yet it was filled with the smell of manure and the sights and sounds of tradesmen and moneychangers! Suddenly, a powerfully built 30-year-old man appeared. The breadth of his shoulders and the girth of his chest was evident as he strode confidently into the picture.
His nostrils quivered and his posture stiffened as the animal stench and the raucous babble of the tradesmen and moneychangers came under his immediate scrutiny. He paused only for a moment as the full impact of this cheap and tawdry scene in YEHOVAH God's Temple became evident.
Then he moved forward swiftly.
He jerked the heavy tables of the moneychangers out from under them and turned them over! He RIPPED OPEN the cages that held so many birds to be sold -- and loosed the cattle and oxen from their stalls, driving them down the hallways and out of the Temple. "Get out of here and take your things with you!" a deep and powerful voice THUNDERED to the astonished tradesmen. "QUIT making my Father's house a cheap bartering place and den of thieves!"
What a scene!
But why didn't someone STOP this indignant young man?
Masculine DOMINANCE Exemplified
This man was Yeshua the Messiah!
Many will say that these Jews didn't stop the Messiah on this occasion because they knew he was the Messiah. But they are wrong.
Just read the inspired account of this incident in John 2:13-22, and you will quickly see that they had no such idea. He had only begun his ministry. So it was neither respect for him as a great prophet or the Messiah or religious piety on the part of these wretched traders and moneychangers which prevented them from surrounding him and beating him up right on the spot.
The reason these Jews kept their distance was that Yeshua of Nazareth was a real MAN. He was a powerful man, a man's man. He was a truly masculine man of a type that is rapidly disappearing in our western "civilization."
So when the conniving moneychangers and tradesmen in the Temple encountered the real Yeshua of Nazareth, they beheld a rugged he-MAN. For the Messiah had been a carpenter, a builder, in the hard and stony hill country of Galilee. He had worked with heavy rocks and timbers all his life. Then, and even in his ministry, the Messiah was an outdoorsman (Matthew 8:19-20). He was accustomed to sleeping out under the stars, cooking over an open campfire, and walking long miles over the hills of Palestine.
In everything he did, he, obeyed the injunction: "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy MIGHT" (Ecclesiastes 9:10). So he put His whole being into building houses and shops, lifting heavy stones and timbers, drawing water, herding flocks and hiking long distances. Being obedient in all things, he never once broke the physical laws of health.
This should give you a better perspective of the confident young man the Temple hucksters encountered -- a bronzed, well-muscled and dynamic individual with whom they did not wish to tangle! Even beyond his physical strength and impressive physique, the power of the Messiah's voice and total CONVICTION of his look and personality made him automatically dominate the situation described in this encounter at YEHOVAH God's Temple.
In mind, body and personality -- as well as the POWER of YEHOVAH's spirit -- here was a man with whom to reckon!
Our Degenerate Age Described
The true God says: "Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor EFFEMINATE, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6:9-10).
The Jewish New Testament is even more graphic:
"Don't you know that unrighteous people will have NO SHARE in the Kingdom of God? Don't delude yourselves -- people who engage in sex before marriage, who worship idols, who engage in sex after marriage with someone other than their spouse, who engage in active or passive homosexuality, who steal, who are greedy, who get drunk, who assail people with contemptuous language, who rob -- NONE of them will share in the Kingdom of God."
YEHOVAH God created man in His image. He intended that men be real MEN. He intended that they learn to exemplify the traits of strength, dominance, decisiveness and leadership. In His sight -- if that makes any difference to you -- the weak and degenerate characteristics exemplified by the queers, homosexuals and EFFEMINATE creatures we see so often today is an absolute abomination! It is having a major part in wrecking and ruining the potential PURPOSE of YEHOVAH God -- making the Israelite man after His own image spiritually as well as physically -- fitting him for eternal life as kings and priests in the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God (Revelation 5:10).
Today, We see an "it" society developing! A society dominated neither by real men nor real women, but by an odd assortment of "weirdos" who are neither truly male nor female. And by rebellious children who have been totally undisciplined by this sick society!
Thousands of years ago, YEHOVAH God warned of this condition and showed it as a cause of our coming downfall. In a dual prophecy referring directly to YEHOVAH's people Israel today YEHOVAH God states: "And I will give children to be their princes, and BABES shall rule over them. And the people shall be oppressed, everyone by another, and every one by his neighbour: and the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honorable" (Isaiah 3:4-5).
We can certainly see the fulfillment of that prophecy all around us! The examples of juvenile delinquency, rebellion and total lack of discipline are everywhere evident in our western "civilization."
Now notice verse 12 of this prophecy: "As for my people [Israel]; children are their oppressors, and WOMEN rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths."
YEHOVAH God intends that the man should be a LEADER -- and when the man defaults this God-given prerogative there is automatically going to be trouble! Although many women themselves do not fully reaIize it, they will NEVER be truly happy and have the sense of security for which they long so much unless their husbands develop the right kind of masculine dominance and leadership, and they submit gladly to that which YEHOVAH God Himself intended.
Notice that while the prophet said that the women "rule," it stated that the children "oppress." This is because a woman will NEVER have the same degree of leadership and force in the home to guide the children and train them properly as the man OUGHT to be doing! Many women, of course, wish for this themselves -- and millions of men are simply TOO LAZY and TOO WEAK to exercise their God-given responsibilities.
Millions will remember Judge Samuel S. Leibowitz' formula for curing juvenile delinquency : "Put father back at the head of the home!" But all too often, sadly, father is NOT FIT to be at the head of the home! He either does not have the masculine hormones and backbone and wisdom, or else be is an undisciplined TYRANT who wants to domineer instead of dominate! His father and his mother and his society have FAILED utterly to teach him the meaning of true masculinity.
How Millions of Boys Grow Up
Why is our society increasingly woman-dominated and EFFEMINATE? It was not this way in the past when Britain and America expanded to the four corners of the earth -- Britain becoming the greatest empire in human history -- and both nations achieving the highest level of greatness, prosperity and national stature in modern times.
But in those earlier years the boys of our nations usually spent more time with their fathers. In the cities, they often worked in their father's store or shop and usually learned a trade directly from their own father.
On the expanding American frontier -- and on the frontiers of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and other parts of the British Empire -- millions of young men learned to clear the land, seed crops and work long hours alongside their fathers in rugged, masculine endeavors. They learned to be strong and self-reliant. They learned to support themselves -- nobody thought of socialism in those days!
Divorce was rare. Nearly all families stayed together, prayed together and played together. There was a feeling of family unity -- with the father at the head of the house.
Today, however, it is exactly the other way around!
The father, today, is too often away at work. The mother, or a maid, governess, or baby-sitter, is the one left in charge of the sons. Even when the father does come home at night, especially in America, his word is no longer accepted as the authority in the home. In a constant deluge of degenerate filth and perverted doctrine emanating from books, magazines, films and T.V., American men are taught that their rightful place is at the tail -- no longer at the head of the family. In a typical "Blondie and Dagwood" type of cartoon, the father and husband is pictured as a fumbling nincompoop unworthy to head anything -- least of all his wife. This type of attitude has wrecked the very foundation of the American home!
Increasing millions of those very homes are now SPLIT ASUNDER by divorce. Usually, the children go with their mothers -- leaving young boys to be reared entirely by their mothers without a man around!
Then, when the child leaves the home to go to school, once again he encounters feminine leadership with very few men around! For, in the typical school system, only in the upper grades and college does the growing boy encounter a dominance of masculine leadership and example in the classroom. By then, in more millions of cases than most of us would dream, he has already adopted a feminine approach to life. He has taken on feminine characteristics, feminine ways of solving problems, feminine traits in his voice and personality, feminine mannerisms and emotions!
A growing boy in school and home has had to adapt himself to succeeding under feminine leadership. In this, having no previous standard or teaching, most young men just naturally compromise the masculine leadership and traits they ought to be developing!
Some day all of you who read this are going to realize what a damnable thing -- a horrible thing -- this is, not just from man's point of view, but from the point of view of women as well. For this is affecting the happiness of millions of women -- including even the future happiness of your daughters and mine! For every normal woman NEEDS the right kind of man to love, protect, provide for and lead her -- and very few of those men are being fashioned by our present society!
Even our modern religion has become largely effeminate in nature. It pictures a doddering old "god" who has gone way off somewhere and doesn't have much control over the affairs of this earth any longer.
Then, a weak, sickly looking, longhaired, effeminate sort of Messiah is pictured in the minds of most religious people today. Some even try to go him one better by divinizing his mother Mary and having her be the one who has compassion and kindness to whom they can go in time of need!
The modern-day preacher is often a "nicey-nice" sort of social do-gooder who talks about sweet nothings on Sunday morning and attends various teas and Ladies' Aid Society meetings through the week. He does NOT lift up his voice "like a TRUMPET, and show My people their transgressions, and the house of Jacob their sins" (Isaiah 58:1).
Naturally, the smaller boys usually have a "sweet little old lady" Sunday School teacher who tells them disconnected "Bible stories" which give no real understanding of the plan and purpose of YEHOVAH God. The God of power, the God of creation, the God who is soon going to intervene in this earth's affairs and return as KING of kings, along with the Messiah to rule over His people Israel.
No wonder, then, that Isaiah wrote of our people: "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women RULE over them..."
This effeminacy and weakness has become a veritable disease in our western world! Like a spreading cancer, its tentacles are reaching into every part of society. It is one of the key factors which is bringing about the DOOM of our peoples if we do not recognize it and repent before it is too late! But the very word "repent" means CHANGE. How, then, should we change? Or, putting it another way, what constitutes true Christian masculinity? It's time we learned -- and here are five definite points to help us understand.
I. Strength and Courage
In the example at the beginning of this article, we reviewed the dramatic incident when Yeshua of Nazareth threw out the moneychangers! This was the TRUE MESSIAH of your Bible! This is the kind of Messiah that is not being preached today!
For this Messiah was strong, courageous, determined and obviously possessed a dominant and forceful personality.
In addition to the example of the Messiah himself, notice the example of the apostle Paul. In Acts 14:19-22, the account is given of how Paul was nearly stoned to death at the city of Lystra. Then, with perhaps supernatural help from YEHOVAH God, he rose up and went on to Derbe. He had already been stoned at Lystra and it was Jews from Antioch and Iconium who came down and persuaded the people to do this.
Yet you will notice in verse 21 that Paul had the courage to go right back through those cities confirming the souls of the disciples that he had just brought to conversion! And, just having had what might be termed a rich experience in suffering, he told them to continue in the faith, "and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God" (verse 22).
After conversion, the apostle Peter was also an example of undaunted courage and raw faith. After being threatened for preaching the doctrine of the Messiah, Peter stated: "We ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29). Later, however, Peter and the apostles were BEATEN for speaking by the authority of the Messiah. "And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name" (verse 41).
Yes, the same Peter who lied three times before conversion when he was accused of being one of the Messiah's disciples now REJOICED -- with the others -- when he was counted worthy to suffer a physical BEATING for the name of the risen Messiah! This type of resolute COURAGE and determination is certainly a major characteristic of the men of YEHOVAH God.
The Rare Example of Our Time
Also, we need to realize that many great human leaders of past generations have exemplified this characteristic to an amazing degree. One of the outstanding examples in modern times was called "the man of the century" on a Time Magazine cover -- Sir Winston Churchill.
In his wartime speeches in England's darkest hour, Sir Winston Churchill admirably portrayed the characteristics of strength, courage and unbounded determination. As President Kennedy once said: "He mobilized the English language and sent it into battle."
Notice this closing appeal in Churchill's speech delivered to the English nation after the evacuation of the British and French forces at Dunkirk. Here was a time when England's back was against the wall. The French nation had already been conquered on her native soil. Here was a time when most men felt that the prospects of Britain's survival were gloomy indeed. Here was a time when Churchill's courage and strength of character aroused his countrymen and the entire free world to fight on for freedom to the end. Here are Churchill's words:
"Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous states have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the new world, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old."
You men who read this article -- were you taught never to give up what is right and good and decent? Are you teaching your sons this attitude of strength and courage?
YEHOVAH God called King David of Israel "a man after Mine own heart" (Acts 13:22). A primary reason for this is because David was wholehearted in whatever he did. Another reason was because of David's unshakable faith and courage.
Recall the incident when the giant Goliath challenged the armies of Israel and David came forth to defeat him. Here was an absolute giant of a man -- apparently 10 to 12 feet tall! Here was a man who was a trained warrior -- whereas David was a mere youth who had had little training in warfare as yet. Yet notice how David reacted when he heard about the taunts of this Philistine giant.
"And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that, killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?" (1 Samuel 17:26).
When King Saul doubted David's qualifications to encounter this ferocious antagonist, David said: "Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God" (verse 36).
"So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him..." (verse 50).
David was a real MAN -- not a mouse! Yet he was a man "after God's own heart."
II Dominance and Leadership
Today's woman-dominated man is often a meek, sheepish introvert. He is hesitant and apologetic -- entirely unsure of himself. He has learned the traits of indecisiveness and compromise. He has learned to walk carefully and speak softly -- like a mouse.
Yet, in the above-cited example, notice that David stepped out BOLDLY and took the lead in this situation. He had courage and dignity even in being presented before the king of Israel at a crucial time. And he acted with initiative and leadership when he was given an opportunity to help save his nation.
In like manner, the men of YEHOVAH God throughout the Bible are revealed to have had this same characteristic of dominance and leadership. One interesting example of this is that of the apostle Paul at the beginning of his ministry. It is given in Acts 13:1-13. Here Paul's name is mentioned last of the prophets and teachers who were at Antioch. In verse 2 the holy spirit said to separate "Barnabas and Saul" for the work they were called to do. Again, Saul's name is mentioned last.
Once they set out on their mission, though, they encountered a real crisis. On the island of Cyprus, a false prophet opposed them and was directly turning aside the proconsul or governor of the island. Then, "Saul, [who also called Paul] filled with the holy spirit, set his eyes on him, and said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil..." Here Paul stepped forth and handled this situation! He opposed this false prophet with strength of personality and dominance.
He took the lead -- and he had the "stuff" to back it up!
Then, in verse 13, notice the different wording of Luke in describing Paul and Barnabas and the others who were making this journey: "Now when Paul and his company..." Now Paul was the LEADER -- and he remained so throughout the book of Acts in dealing with the other apostles in the work to the Gentiles (northern 10 tribes). He went ahead, not behind; he spoke boldly, not apologetically; and he acted decisively, not whimpering, hesitating or "wondering" like so many effeminate men today.
III. Wholeheartedness and Total Sincerity
Today is the day of "payola" -- the day of the fast buck, the pay-off and the big lie. Throughout every phase of our society, people learn to deal in half truths and ambiguities. People learn to compromise, water down and play down what they say, think or do. Politicians and college professors learn to deal in phrases like, "it would appear"; or, "perhaps I might suggest," and so forth.
People think you are too DOGMATIC if you say: "This is the way it IS!" People today don't like to see someone absolutely sure of ANYTHING. They are suspicious of you if you are totally committed to any cause with all of your heart, mind and being. Yet, this is one of the basic qualities YEHOVAH God Almighty desires in His servants! And it is one of the basic qualities of a real MAN.
The patriarch Abraham is called "the father of the faithful." He is one of the greatest servants of YEHOVAH God who ever lived. Notice one of YEHOVAH's basic instructions to him: "I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect" (Genesis 17:1). The original Hebrew for "perfect" actually should be translated sincere or wholehearted. YEHOVAH God was telling Abraham to walk before Him and be WHOLEHEARTED!
Since David was a man after YEHOVAH's own heart, he certainly exemplified this characteristic. Notice Psalm 104:33: "I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my BEING." Here David exclaimed that as long as he had life and breath he would praise YEHOVAH God! Throughout the Psalms, it is easy to see that David worshipped YEHOVAH God with all his being!
Notice Psalm 119:97: "O how love I thy law! it is my meditation ALL THE DAY." David certainly devoted himself wholeheartedly to seeking YEHOVAH's will and way.
And when David, being human, did make a mistake, he repented WHOLEHEARTEDLY! Psalm 51 is reputed to be David's prayer of repentance after his sin with Bath-sheba and the murder of her husband, Uriah. Notice carefully the words of this psalm. David does not spare himself!
Today, most men would speak about their "little mistake" or their "white lie" or some similar expression. David talked about his "transgressions" and his "iniquity" and his "SIN." "For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me," David cried. He told YEHOVAH God that he could not forget about it -- it was constantly haunting him!
Being the king and commander-in-chief of Israel, he could have told YEHOVAH that his sin against Uriah was a "small thing" against a very unimportant man. But David didn't do this. Rather, he acknowledged: "Against thee, THEE ONLY, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight..." (verse 4). At this occasion, David was completely wholehearted in his repentance to YEHOVAH God. This is a constant characteristic with him in nearly everything he did. And this utter sincerity and whole-heartedness exemplified by David is a characteristic of any real MAN and LEADER.
In physical work -- as in every activity -- YEHOVAH God says: "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy MIGHT" (Ecclesiastes 9:10). YEHOVAH God wants every real man to be WHOLEHEARTED in what he thinks, what he says and what he does!
The kind of hemming and hawing, hesitating, apologizing, equivocating and back-tracking we see in so-called "men" today is pitiful to behold! Yet all of us are affected by the world around us, and we need the very help of YEHOVAH God to become the kind of men we should be!
IV. Wisdom and BIGness of Mind
"Wisdom is the principle thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honor, when thou dost embrace her" (Proverbs 4:7-8).
Wisdom is the ability to get all the facts -- weigh them in the light of a true understanding of causes and effects -- and make the right decision in any circumstance. Wisdom is the most important single characteristic which every top leader of nations or companies must have. Yet, it is becoming an increasingly scarce commodity today!
For YEHOVAH God says: "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of WISDOM: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding" (Proverbs 9:10). Very few men on earth even remotely understand the PURPOSE of human existence -- and far fewer make their decisions in life accordingly. In both physical and spiritual matters, few men have the intellectual courage and wisdom to truly face the facts and make a wise decision based on these and these alone.
For lack of wisdom, this entire earth could now become an incinerated relic!
One of the wisest human leaders of our times -- a close personal friend of Sir Winston Churchill -- was Mr. Bernard Baruch. He has been called "America's elder statesman" and "the counselor of presidents." In his inspiring and helpful book The Public Years Mr. Baruch gives many, many examples of how to apply wisdom to situations that may arise in the life of anyone of us. The following quote contains some foundational truths about this subject of wisdom. Mr. Baruch was writing about definite laws governing human affairs. He stated:
"But even when we discover basic truths about human affairs, it is another thing to overcome human failings -- the greed, hatred, sloth, or whatever it is that keeps us from acting on those truths. In the laboratory, men follow truth wherever it may lead. In human relations, men have a supreme talent for ignoring truth, and denying facts they do not like. That is why the ancient messenger who brought bad tidings was put to death. We would all do well to echo Thomas Huxley's prayer: 'God give me strength to face a fact even though it slay me.'"
Yes, regardless of human emotions and feelings, a real man -- especially a real LEADER -- must learn to discipline himself to face facts -- even though those facts are at times unpleasant. He must learn to understand the facts as they relate to the ultimate purposes of life and make the right decision regarding any problem or crisis which may arise.
And a real man will learn to have a BIGness of mind which marks him as a man and a leader. An outstanding example of this is that of Abraham in his dealing with his nephew, Lot. This account is recorded in Genesis 13:8-13.
Abraham and Lot had both been blessed by YEHOVAH God and were rich. There was strife between their herdsmen because there was not enough pasture for all the cattle (verse 7). So Abraham, trusting YEHOVAH God and being BIG in his mind and breadth of vision said:
"Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdsmen and thy herdsmen; for we be brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will. go to the left" (verses 8-9).
The account then shows how Abraham was actually BLESSED in this -- even though it might have looked otherwise at the time. For the men of the plain where Lot dwelled were so wicked that YEHOVAH God had to destroy this area whereas Abraham was left to carry on where he was. And (verses 14-16) YEHOVAH continued to bless Abraham for his obedience and kindness by promising him all the land he could see in every direction!
King David also exemplified this BIGness of mind over and over again. When King Saul was constantly trying to murder him, David had several opportunities to slay the king. Yet, he said: "Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the LORD's anointed, and be guiltless? David said furthermore, "As the LORD liveth, the LORD shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish" (1 Samuel 26:9-10).
Even though it was being misused, David deeply respected the high OFFICE which Saul held. And he knew that YEHOVAH God was behind that office!
Also, implied in David's actions and comments is the fact that David did not want to replace Saul through a furtive act of violence but only according to YEHOVAH's will. Therefore, he made it clear in verse 10 that it was up to YEHOVAH God whether Saul lived or died regardless of what happened to David in the meantime. The petty insults of Saul, the ill-treatment and even the threat of murder did not deter David from seeing the BIG picture. For David was a real men and a leader. He had wisdom and BIGness of mind.
V. Love, Compassion and Right Emotion
Some may think that masculinity is simply brute power -- perhaps coupled with a cold wisdom and logical analysis. But this is a far from complete picture of true Christian masculinity -- YEHOVAH GOD'S kind of masculinity.
For Almighty God made human beings capable of expressing the right kind of emotion. Too many men try to be the "strong, silent type." They have been trained to SQUELCH their emotions. They have been taught that to shed tears, show deep feeling and compassion, or even an outstanding display of uninhibited joy and laughter are all signs of weakness and femininity.
But they are WRONG!
One example of the Messiah showing the right kind of emotion is found in the eleventh chapter of John. Here is the account of the Messiah raising Lazarus from the dead. In verse 32 we see that the Messiah is met by Mary and begins to get the "feel" of the absolute helplessness of human beings in the face of death. Like poor misguided sheep, cut off from YEHOVAH God -- they seem unable to comprehend the reality of their Maker and His ever-present help.
When the Messiah entered this picture, so to speak, it moved him to compassion. Mary was weeping, the Judahites all about were groaning and weeping for Lazarus who was dead. The Messiah said: "Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see." "Jesus wept" (verses 34, 35). Here we see the Messiah displaying emotion outwardly -- showing the deep FEELING he had not only for Lazarus, but for these helpless human beings cut off from their God.
Notice Mark 1:40-41: "And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus, moved with COMPASSION, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean."
Over and over throughout the four gospels, you find the word "compassion" mentioned in reference to the outgoing concern and love of Yeshua the Messiah. But most of us have been taught to SQUELCH this kind of love and compassion.
All of you male readers should read again the life of King David of Israel and his deep expression of emotion, compassion and love.
Notice the account of David's reaction when Abner -- the captain of Israel -- was slain by one of David's own men, Joab, captain of the host of Judah. Here was a situation somewhat like the American Civil War. Brother had been fighting against brother, and Abner -- being an upright and valiant warrior -- had come in the interest of love and humanity to make a just peace and league between the two warring factions of Israel. But earlier, in a direct provocation in battle, Abner had been forced to slay Joab's brother, Asahel.
So now, Joab had furtively stabbed Abner in a very deceitful manner (II Samuel 3:27). David did not feel -- since the nations were still warring -- that he could punish his chief general. But he also felt deep compassion for Abner and a great sense of LOSS at the death of this great warrior of the nation of Greater Israel. So David said to Joab and to all the people: "Rend your clothes, and gird you with sackcloth, and MOURN before Abner. And king David himself followed the bier. And they buried Abner in Hebron: and the king lifted up his voice and WEPT at the grave of Abner; and all the people wept" (verses 31, 32).
Here the king of Israel and the mighty warrior who had slain the lion now showed his humanity and love! He wept unashamedly at the utter tragedy of this wretched situation in the civil war of Israel and Judah. Remember again, he was indeed "a man after God's own heart."
The examples of YEHOVAH God the Father Himself reveal Him as a MIGHTY God -- yet a God of great mercy and compassion. "For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him" (Psalm 103:11). Then notice how YEHOVAH God is like a Father to all of us human beings -- realizing our weakness and having pity and kindness for us just as a human father should have deep, outgoing concern for his own little children. "Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him" (verse 13).
As a little child, I can well remember my father helping and pitying me. I can remember many times being carried upstairs or back to my bedroom and being put to bed by my father after a long family outing or fishing trip. I can remember my father having tears in his eyes when I was hurt or distressed and comforting me. I can remember my father kneeling by my bedside and praying with me. I can remember him encouraging me and having compassion even when he had had to chastise me for a very good cause. These are not weak traits. These are traits of a real MAN -- a man who is like YEHOVAH God the Father of us all!
Let no man think that he will be more of a man by squelching the outgoing love, compassion and RIGHT EMOTION which the Eternal God placed within the human personality! But let ALL of us realize the great LACK of masculine leadership in our western civilization today! Let us realize that this is brought on in most cases by ignorance of YEHOVAH God's ways and by direct SIN and callousness toward our fellow human beings.
Let every reader who is a male learn to be a MAN! And let the mothers, wives and sisters of all men pray earnestly that their men may increase in the five masculine characteristics outlined above -- courage and strength; dominance and leadership; wholeheartedness and total sincerity; wisdom and BIGness of mind; and, finally, love, compassion and right emotion.
ANY man who learns to exercise these characteristics will be happier, stronger in every way, and more fit to live and rule as a KING over Israel with the Messiah in the "world tomorrow."
-- Edited by John D. Keyser.
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