Enosh: Part 2

The Wounded Male

Most men share a number of losses in common with Job.  Job’s struggle to make sense of his woundedness provides a rich commentary regarding the enosh experience we all go through.  We find this most particularly within Job 1-3, 6-7, and verse 14.

Job can’t except the fact that he has done anything in his life to deserve what is happening to him.  Why would God allow him to go through such things?  Job is struggling with his woundedness and he is struggling with God as he attempts to show that he is completely innocent.   When things began to happen to him he said in Chapter 1, verse 20, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” He had not sinned.

But later Job romanticized about back when he had it all and was in his prime of life, back when he had the respect of men and was in God’s favor.  So now he is alienated from God and experiencing the incongruency.  Things are now totally out of whack.  The same as we feel today when this happens… It is the most distressing when the angle that does not fit is the one with God.  When we were once intimate friends with God and now we cannot come to agreement. For a Christian this does not seem right or even valid. The experience is that we are distant from God, we feel alienated and it’s as though God is no longer present or involved in our lives.

Job did what he had to do and he analyzed all the evidence. What he saw probably did not point to a trustworthy God at that point.  But in the end, he kicked and screamed all the way, but he still decided to put his faith on God.  During these wounding time men we must keep the faith. We must place our faith in God even when it feels bad.  That is the incongruency. That feeling of alienation is normal and is part of grieving. This extreme incongruency with God could lead you to new understandings of the mystery of God and a new respect for His mysterious ways.  Show me the way Lord.

We learn in the Bible that death is basic to human existence.  Every time we experience wounds it is a process of death.  We see this in Genesis 5, Psalm 90:3 and Hebrews 9:27 so why do we fight it all the way as if it will never overtake us.  Why don’t we be serious about it and prepare for death instead of continuously pursuing our material dreams in warrior mode? We keep pushing, pushing, pushing on with life as though we can put death off as long as we want. You know how it is, Heaven can wait, but the American dream cannot.

The biblical patriarch Jacob epitomizes the wounded male. Jacob as a young man illustrates a male having been severely wounded by a dysfunctional family. We see this playing out in Genesis 25:19-34, 27:1- 33:20. The first part of the dysfunctional destruction occurred in the mother’s womb with the two twins wrestling. At birth Jacob comes out second but he was holding on to Esau’s heel.  Jacob literally means “heel-catcher”. (Genesis 25:19-26). The next stage carries on in the family kitchen where Jacob tricks Esau into selling his birthright. (Gen 25: 27-34). [You can see my blog post about giving up the birthright and the dysfunction in this family.]  It then hits an all-time low in the parent’s bedroom where Isaac was so unhealthy and blind that Jacob was able to trick him into showing favor to him and giving the blessing of birthright. Gen 27:1-40). Jacob eventually received the coveted patriarchal blessing reserved for the firstborn. We see sibling rivalry, parental favoritism, and fraudulent scams as they conspire for Jacob to eventually receive the coveted patriarchal blessing that was reserved for the firstborn.  Esau should be considered a “real man’s man” both then and now. Jacob was a typical momma’s boy.

Then later on we see Jacob running because he is full of fear, guilt and he is alienated from friends, family and also God.  Even when Jacob had the blessing he was feeling the alienation from God. So here is what Jacob the wounded male does during all this time to affirm to himself that he is legitimately blessed before man and God. He represses the hurt from his family of origin by staying away from them. He sold himself short to Laban, who out-schemed the schemer himself. He does what he learned and reproduces dysfunctional families in succeeding generations.  He practices self-deception and continues to deceive others.  He dreads a reunion with his siblings that he once abused, and appeases him.  He had become so insecure in his walk with God and with his standing with his brother he must prove he can still wrestle and win whoever comes across his path. His blessing that was stolen through deception and parental favoritism doesn’t count for much, but his blessing secured by God comes with a wounded hip.

A lot of men wrestle with strangers in the night searching for the blessing that was withheld.  Jacob’s experience can remind us that the wounding experience does not need to be a negative one but can be a time of wrestling with God to see what life is all about. Has God used a wounding in your life to bless you?  Consider yourself lucky. Why does it take so long to heal a masculine soul? Could it be because Satan actively stalks our souls?

There is admittedly a problem of male hostility and violence.  It is not rooted in men’s power over women.  It is rooted in men’s sense of powerlessness, stemming from deep woundedness. We do not condone the abuse of women under any circumstances but must admit where the violence comes from.

For men to survive the wounding they need to talk about it and get help.  They need to feel safety among fellow sufferers in order to share the pain. That’s why men should be involved in the men’s groups and ministries around. It remains difficult, however, with the loner nature of men. Most men simply withdraw.

Ok men, if we are done licking our wounds we can move to the next step.  In the next step on the journey we can emerge as rulers of our own souls. We reach the mature male stage.

“No one gets to adulthood without a wound.” – Robert Bly

Thanks and credit to Robert Hicks, The Masculine Journey.  See you later men at the next post which is the Mature Male…

Click here to jump to the next post.

God bless you,




The Tubthumper



A Genesis Dysfunction Junction, Part 2

birthannouncementIt all started with Jacob wrestling with Esau in his mother’s womb.  Please see Genesis 25:20-26.  Rebekah was unable to become pregnant.  She was only able to become pregnant because God interceded on her behalf.  So she became pregnant and she was aware something strange was going on inside her.  She was alarmed about this as you might guess so she went to the Lord to ask Him what was going on.  The Lord told her there twins inside her.  He told her it was not just that twins were inside her but there were actually two nations inside that womb.  The Lord told her clearly that the older of these twins inside her would serve the younger one.  When the two boys were born and emerged the first one out was Esau but Jacob was clinging fast to Esau’s heel.

These things I mention above have set the course for Jacob.  There is a discord between Isaac and Rebekah.  Isaac wants his boy Esau to have the blessing because he was his favorite of the two children and Rebekah wants Jacob.  In fact, she is fully in tune with what God wanted from the beginning and also Jacob was her little darling.  The two were split on affections for their children. They were each deceiving or being underhanded toward their mate.

Now don’t forget too that earlier Jacob purchased the birthright from Esau because Esau really didn’t care about it.  He only cared about the immediate fulfilling of his fleshly desires.

This Is a Hebrew narrative which is scenic. Action moves along from scene to scene. As chapter 27 opened up it looks like Isaac is ill and bedridden, maybe an invalid for some time and he thinks he may die any time. We see the scene that he wants that nice tasting venison. That is what he is thinking of and lusting for and so he wants Esau to get him the barbecued venison by hunting and preparing the meat.  Isaac can then revel in the glory of his masculine hunter-man son and then he will give him the blessing.  This is all coming from the flesh and not the spirit.  The Characters are always the central element in the plot. Esau was a profane and materialistic person that didn’t care about spiritual things and yet Isaac wanted to give him the blessing because he thought Esau was the greater man and he favored that son. Isaac was not in tune at all with what God desired.

Enter Abraham… when Abraham knew that his days were short he looked for a wife for his son Isaac. That is what Isaac should have been doing for his sons.  But the only thing on Isaac’s mind as he was getting old was getting that blessing to his favorite boy Esau.  Even though he knew God meant for it to go to Jacob from when God told his wife at the beginning.  Surely you don’t think Rebekah kept her conversations with God to herself. I believe Isaac was going against Gods will because I believe Isaac knew God’s will was to have Jacob receive the blessing.  I believe Isaac knew this before Jacob was born and I believe Rebekah reminded him of this many times while the boys were growing up.  It is inconceivable to think that Isaac was not aware of God’s words to his wife that “the older would serve the younger”. (Gen. 25:23)  Can you imagine Rebekah not telling Isaac over and over again as they were butting heads over the two boys throughout their lives? I cannot.

I have referenced many commentaries about this and know there are countless Bible Scholars that also hold this view.

I believe Isaac knew who the birthright was to go to. He knew God’s will. Isaac was directly trying to go against God’s will and give it to Esau when it was meant for Jacob. Some say Isaac had no idea it was Jacob he was blessing instead of Esau but I’m not so sure that Issac didn’t kind of half catch on that it was Jacob. Remember in the scripture where Isaac said the voice was Jacobs but the hairy face was Esau’s?

I must admit that when reading this story some years ago it was all about Jacob stealing the blessing from Esau. Now, however, the situation looks different. We can see a man that was not depending on God. We can see a man that had forgotten about his dependence on God and he was acting fully in the flesh. He was trying to have his way and figured he could direct where the blessing would go. We can see lots of dysfunction going on in the story. Isaac was trying to deceive God. Jacob was trying to deceive Esau. Rebekah was trying to deceive Isaac and help God with His plan. Esau was just being a worldly man as usual.

The characters are contrasted with each other. Jacob and Rebekah both knew that God had chosen Jacob but they thought God couldn’t fulfill His purpose without their help. That was a mistake.  The trickery goes on and the blessing goes to Jacob which is right where God wanted the blessing to go. In the next scene Esau was full of anger for not getting his blessing and wanted to kill Jacob. The plot resolution occurs as Jacob was sent away for his protection from his brother.

In the end we see that Isaac lived to be 180 years old and died in the presence of both of his sons. (Gen. 35:28)

We have witnessed here a permissive father and a controlling mother.  We also have an errant older son and a deceptive younger son. As mentioned earlier this all looked like dysfunction.  We must not forget that Isaac’s family is one of the most important in the Bible because God used it to build the nation of Israel. No family is perfect.  Mine is not and surely yours is not either. God uses broken people from broken families to accomplish His perfect purpose. He chose to do that and chooses to do similar things today. God can use our brokenness to draw us closer to Him.

Let us all take the malfunctioning parts of our lives to the Lord for He will provide the healing and rebuilding and get us on the right path.

God bless your day,

FJ1‘The Tubthumper’

Protect your Birthright


Doing things to protect our birthright should be a no-brainer.  Most individuals have a “birthright”.  I have a birthright due to the fact that I am the firstborn to my mother and father.  My “birthright” allows me to be included in my parent’s will and share in any estate they have built over their lifetime.  Along with the “birthright” I have comes some responsibility.  Because of my birthright I am the one looked to when leadership is needed and decisions need to be made.  Along the way those of us with a “birthright” wouldn’t want to do anything stupid.  Lest we not be included any longer in the will and removed from all “birthright” privileges because of an action not acceptable to the one providing the birthright. (In this case, Mom and Dad)

Being a financial professional I have seen many stupid things done regarding birthright over the years.

Because I have been “born again” and I am child of Christ’s I have another “birthright”.  This “birthright” is more precious than the one my biological parents provided for me.  A great example is given to us in the book of Genesis.  Genesis  is the place where all beginnings are.  It is important to see and note the beginning lineage and who has the “birthright” privileges and who does not.  One of the greatest examples of this “birthright” is when Esau very stupidly gave up his right.  I will come back to Esau but want to provide a good definition for you here in blue text:

BIRTHRIGHT-burth’-rit (bekhorah, from bekhor, “firstborn”; prototokia): Birthright is the right which naturally belonged to the firstborn son. Where there were more wives than one, the firstborn was the son who in point of time was born before the others, apparently whether his mother was a wife or a concubine. Sarah protests against Ishmael being heir along with Isaac, but it is possible that the bestowal of the rights of the firstborn on Isaac was not due to any law, but rather to the influence of a favorite wife (Gen 21:10). The birthright of the firstborn consisted in the first place of a double portion of what his father had to leave. This probably means that he had a double share of such property as could be divided. We have no certain knowledge of the manner in which property was inherited in the patriarchal age, but it seems probable that the lands and flocks which were the possession of the family as a whole, remained so after the death of the father. The firstborn became head of the family and thus succeeded to the charge of the family property, becoming responsible for the maintenance of the younger sons, the widow or widows, and the unmarried daughters. He also, as head, succeeded to a considerable amount of authority over the other members. Further, he generally received the blessing, which placed him in close and favored covenant-relationship with Yahweh. According to the accounts which have come down to us, all these gifts and privileges could be diverted from the firstborn son. This could happen with his own consent, as in the case of Esau, who sold his birthright to Jacob (Gen 25:29-34), or by the decision of the father, as in the case of Reuben (Gen 48:22; 49:3,4; 1 Ch 5:1,2) and of Shimri (1 Ch 26:10). In the Deuteronomic version of the law, a provision is made, prohibiting the father from making the younger son the possessor of the birthright, just because his mother was specially beloved (Dt 21:15-17). The blessing also could be diverted from the eldest son. This was done when Jacob blessed the children of Joseph, and deliberately put the younger before the elder (Gen 48:13,14,17-19); even when the blessing was obtained by the younger son in a fraudulent manner, it could not be recalled (Gen 27). Jacob does not appear to have inherited any of the property of his father, although he had obtained both the birthright and the blessing.  In the New Testament “birthright,” prototokia, is mentioned only once (Heb 12:16), where the reference is to Esau. In various passages where our Lord is spoken of as the firstborn, as in Col 1:15-19; Heb 1:2, the association of ideas with the Old Testament conception of birthright is easy to trace.”

Let us now take a look at what Esau did with his birthright.  Please go and read this story for yourself as I only have room for a summary.  Actually Esau had a double sided “birthright”.  He had the birthright of being the eldest son or favored son. He was to inherit the family name, title and big share of his father’s estate. He also stood to become the head of the entire clan.  The second side of his birthright was spiritual in nature.  He would be next to receive the covenant blessings.

“Esau’s brother Jacob always wanted the birthright even from the womb.”  It say’s in Gen 25: 26, “After that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau’s heel”.  The name Jacob actually means “heal-catcher”.  God actually chose Jacob for the “birthright” while the two were still in the womb.  We see in Gen 25:23 “And the Lord said, the elder shall serve the younger”.

And so the story goes from Genesis 25: Esau and Jacob were brothers.  Sad but true there was some favoritism going on between the two parents and the two sons.  Esau was the favorite of dad and Jacob was the favorite of mom.  Esau was known as a great hunter as well as worldlier and his father loved it when Esau brought him venison.  Jacob on the other hand was quiet and stayed around the home. Jacob was known to be a good cook and made a great red soup. Actually I found that many of the commentaries I read looked at Jacob as being as perfect as Job.  Well, one day Esau was out hunting all day and he was exhausted and extremely hungry.  Jacob became an opportunist and looked to jump at his chance to grab the “birthright”.  (I believe this was all predestined by God) So Jacob made a deal with Esau.  He talked his brother into giving up his birthright for a nice hot meal.  Esau was hungry, tired, irresponsible and impulsive.  He told Jacob he could have his birthright if he just would give him some of that food to satisfy his hunger.  He made an oath to Jacob.  So Jacob gave Esau the food and Esau wolfed it down like he had never eaten before and left.esau

The next morning when Esau woke up and realized what he had done he was ashamed of himself and realized what a mistake he made.  But it was too late… for in those days an oath was a forever commitment.  If we look at this we can see that Esau failed to appreciate his birthright a long time before he lost it.  He despised his birthright and he was immoral and sought things of the flesh. If he was truly a man of God he would never have gotten close to leaving his birthright.  He would have died first.  He gave up the covenant for a one time meal to satisfy the lust of the flesh. He had a natural heart.

“The natural heart places no value on the things of God. To the natural heart, God’s promise is a vague, valueless, powerless thing, simply because God is not known. Hence it is that present things carry such weight and influence in man’s estimation. Anything that man can see he values, because he is governed by sight, and not by faith. To him the present is everything: the future is a mere uninfluential thing,- a matter of the merest uncertainty. Thus it was with Esau.

Hear his fallacious reasoning: “Behold, I am at the point to die; and what profit shall this birthright do to me?” Gen 25: 32. What strange reasoning!

The present is slipping from beneath my feet: I will therefore despise and entirely let go the future. Time is fading from my view, I will therefore abandon all interest in eternity!

“Thus Esau despised his birthright.” 

Esau has given us all a wonderful lesson in “birthright”, keeping our faith and not going down the wide road toward the world.  He has taught us that we should never compromise our values and stay on the narrow road of our Christian and moral principles.  What we have from Christ is the most valuable possession we could have obtained.

I know Jesus; therefore, I have a magnificent birthright! Just like Esau had a birthright, I also have one and likely you have too.  I have the love and grace of Jesus Christ inside of me. I will take care of my birthright! We are heirs of the covenant and like Esau and Jacob.  Our birthright is covenant blessings, covenant fellowship with Christ and we are the future owners of the Promised Land. “The Mansion on the Hilltop”! We became “heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ”

“And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” Romans 8:17.

“And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” Gal 4: 6-7.

Satan will do all he can to wrestle it away from you and turn you from God.  Gird your loins for the battle.  It has only just begun. “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.” 2 Tim 1: 12-14. (Guard what was entrusted to you with the help of the Holy Spirit.)

We have an awesome privilege along with a frightening responsibility!  As I said in the beginning, we need to be very careful not to do something foolish with our “birthright”.

The church, the people of God through the one-another’s and worship together will help us to keep our sacred possession.

God Bless and Keep you all. Amen.

“The Tubthumper”