BELIEVERS, Where Are Our Men?

I suppose I shouldn’t ask this question (mostly because I already know and do not want to face the consequences of the answer), but:

“Where are the men in our society?”

Do you know why many of the prophets and all but one of the Apostles were martyred?

Because they were men!

The prophets, and all of the Apostles save John, were martyred because they ‘spoke Truth to power.’  They preached the Word of YHWH, and they did not allow the powers of this world to stop them.  It was for this that they were murdered: for preaching Truth and standing firm on that Truth!

So, where are our men today?  Where are those men who will speak Truth to power and refuse to budge from that Truth?  Where are the men who will stand in the breach?  Perhaps it would be better to ask:

“Do we even know what it means to be a man is anymore?”

Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, there is a difference between male and man.  One deals with your sexual characteristics and is an ‘accident of birth.’  The other deals with the nature of your moral character, and it is a matter of choice.  What’s more, society does not get to re-define this understanding of what makes a man, because YHWH has already done so.

If you will bother to read your Scriptures, you will discover that the Bible’s idea of a man is what our current society labels as ‘patriarchal,’ or ‘misogynist,’ or any other of a host of disparaging terms intended to erode social support for true masculinity.  There are many Biblical characteristics of what makes a male into a man, but one of the primary characteristics are self-disciplined and righteousness.  A real man, a Biblical man, trains himself to do what is right in the eyes of YHWH.

Does Scripture actually say this?  Yes, it does, but not in these words.  One of the most powerful condemnations of males refusing to be men is found in Isaiah.  Ironically enough, it is also one of the passages that is miss-used by those who seek to redefine what makes a man.  Isaiah 3:16 is often used to prove that the Bible is anti-woman:

12 O My people! Their oppressors are children,
And women rule over them.
O My people! Those who guide you lead you astray
And confuse the direction of your paths.

The perversion of this passage that is often asserted is that women are not capable of being wise and righteous rulers of society.  After all, that is clearly what these words mean, isn’t it: because women rule, the People are lead astray.  Oh, were we to actually check when people cite the Scriptures.  If we would do so, we might find that the passages in question actually mean something entirely different.  Here, read ‘the rest of the story:’

For behold, the Lord God of hosts is going to remove from Jerusalem and Judah
Both supply and support, the whole supply of bread
And the whole supply of water;
The mighty man and the warrior,
The judge and the prophet,
The diviner and the elder,
The captain of fifty and the honorable man,
The counselor and the expert artisan,
And the skillful enchanter.
And I will make mere lads their princes,
And capricious children will rule over them,
And the people will be oppressed,
Each one by another, and each one by his neighbor;
The youth will storm against the elder
And the inferior against the honorable.
When a man lays hold of his brother in his father’s house, saying,
“You have a cloak, you shall be our ruler,
And these ruins will be under your charge,”
He will protest on that day, saying,
“I will not be your healer,
For in my house there is neither bread nor cloak;
You should not appoint me ruler of the people.”
For Jerusalem has stumbled and Judah has fallen,
Because their speech and their actions are against the Lord,
To rebel against His glorious presence.
The expression of their faces bears witness against them,
And they display their sin like Sodom;
They do not even conceal it.
Woe to them!
For they have brought evil on themselves.
10 Say to the righteous that it will go well with them,
For they will eat the fruit of their actions.
11 Woe to the wicked! It will go badly with him,
For what he deserves will be done to him.
12 O My people! Their oppressors are children,
And women rule over them.
O My people! Those who guide you lead you astray
And confuse the direction of your paths.

Look at the heading of this section of Scripture, and notice what YHWH’s Word is actually saying.  It says YHWH will remove the leaders, the men — real men — from among the People, and, as a result, the People will be oppressed and starve.  They will be lead by children, but this does not mean youth.  It means the People will be lead by childish males who refuse to grow up and become real men; by men of selfishness and self-interest who seek their own pleasures and who reject YHWH’s Word.  When this happens, all that is left is for the believing women who remain to step in and fill the void left by the males who refused to do as YHWH commands.  No, my dear reader, Isaiah does not condemn women in 3:12, he is condemning the men who claim to belong to YHWH, yet they will not obey and do as YHWH commands.

Now, please, do not misunderstand: Isaiah is not telling us women should lead. Leadership is male, and not because men are any better in YHWH’s eyes than women, but because they were made to perform the role of leadership.  It has nothing to do with worth or value, it is about purpose and function.  Just as women were given the role of bearing children, men were given the role of leadership.  This can be seen even in the story of Deborah. She was a judge over Israel, but, even in this position, she deferred military and other matters of leadership to males.  This is because she was a faithful judge, and she knew YHWH’s Word assigned those roles to men, not women.  This is why so many are so easily lead astray: because they do not know and understand YHWH’s Word:

6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also will reject you from being My priest.
Since you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children.

[NOTE: even this passage is an example of my point.  Most times, you will see the passage quoted, but it stops at ‘knowledge,’ giving the impression that Hosea was warning about a lack of knowledge in general.  But read the whole passage and you find that Hosea is talking about a lack of knowing and understanding YHWH’s Law/Word.]

So, what Isaiah 3 is not about putting women down, it is about condemning the men of Judah for failing to be men and to do as YHWH had commanded them.  As a result, immature males started to seize power and corrupt the government, and women found their way into leadership positions.  Isaiah then tells us this is part of YHWH’s judgment.  These things were allowed as a form of punishment on the People of Judah, who were also corrupt int heir ways (just as Paul tells us in Romans).  But then Isaiah continues, and in the last section of Isaiah 3, the women of Judah are also condemned:

16 Moreover, the Lord said, “Because the daughters of Zion are proud
And walk with heads held high and seductive eyes,
And go along with mincing steps
And tinkle the bangles on their feet,
17 Therefore the Lord will afflict the scalp of the daughters of Zion with scabs,
And the Lord will make their foreheads bare.”

18 In that day the Lord will take away the beauty of their anklets, headbands, crescent ornaments, 19 dangling earrings, bracelets, veils, 20 headdresses, ankle chains, sashes, perfume boxes, amulets, 21 finger rings, nose rings, 22 festal robes, outer tunics, cloaks, money purses, 23 hand mirrors, undergarments, turbans and veils.

24 Now it will come about that instead of sweet perfume there will be putrefaction;
Instead of a belt, a rope;
Instead of well-set hair, a plucked-out scalp;
Instead of fine clothes, a donning of sackcloth;
And branding instead of beauty.
25 Your men will fall by the sword
And your mighty ones in battle.
26 And her gates will lament and mourn,
And deserted she will sit on the ground.

Why did YHWH condemn the women of Judah?  Look at Isaiah’s words: for being proud and seductive.  YHWH’s Word teaches women to be modest and humble.  They are not to go around acting vainly, or dressing in a seductive and alluring manner.  And yet, judging from Isaiah’s warning, this is what they were doing, and they are condemned and judged for it.

When we read Isaiah 3, we are struck by the parallels with our modern society.  The men — real men — turn away from their role of leadership, leaving a vacuum that is then filled by childish males and women.  This then leads to the children corrupting the government for their own purposes, and the women to becoming proud, vain and seductive.  As a result, Judah was judged and punished.  Where were YHWH’s men?  Where were the voices that told Judah’s leaders they were doing wrong and who called the People to repent and turn back to YHWH and His Law?

Today, we cannot find many real men who are willing to stand up for what is right.  No one is telling our leaders they are doing wrong.  We have women taking up positions of leadership; all are becoming proud and vain; and everyone is acting in a seductive and suggestive manner.  No one fears YHWH anymore, and no one speaks up for Him or His Laws.  Instead, our society pushes the feminist ideal because the spirit of the age — the spirit behind this lawlessness — has no fear of women and children.  What the spirit of the age fears is men, real men.  But, in a feminized society, there is little fear of real men standing up for YHWH and His Law.

Given all of this: given everything that we are allowing to happen, how can we expect YHWH to allow us to continue, let alone bless us?

***************

The prophets, and all of the Apostles save John, were martyred because they ‘spoke Truth to power.’  They preached the Word of YHWH, and they did not allow the powers of this world to stop them.  It was for this that they were murdered: for preaching Truth and standing firm on that Truth!

The Prophets and Apostles were men!

What are we?

 

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