The Sage: ZAKEN; The Fulfilled Man

“Delighted to be but wise, for men improve with the years.”  William Buttler Yeats

Well guys, this is the last stop on the “Masculine Journey”.  This last stage of life is ideally conceived in the scriptures and we will try our best to portray it here.  I think it’s appropriate and perfect that I’m writing this on Father’s Day.  I’ll ask forgiveness up front for the length of this one but assure you it’s a good read.

Zaken is a Hebrew word that literally means “Beard”.  The Zaken is the gray headed man.  The meaning is a time of being old or becoming old. Getting to the Zaken stage and title is the goal of manhood.

  • Today in our society men are burning out at alarming rates. We feel as though time is running out and we are not there yet.
  • Scriptures provide a much longer look at manhood than we do. At 40 we just kids, guys.
  • Moses wrote a song- to remember what God had done. “Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.” (Deuteronomy 32:7) This is so when one generation is denying what God had done and the ability of God, they would bring in the elders; The elders will tell what really happened.
  • It’s about what was learned from life, not what was accomplished. “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” (Psalm 37:25)  Your goal men, is to be gray headed and to pass great wisdom on to the next generation.

However, having gray or silver hair alone does not mean you are wise. “I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.” (Psalms 119:100)  “And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said, I [am] young, and ye [are] very old; wherefore I was afraid, and durst not shew you mine opinion. I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom. But [there is] a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding. Great men are not [always] wise: neither do the aged understand judgment.” (Job 32: 6-9)  To become wise you must have the study of scriptures, faith in God,, trust in Christ and the obedience to the truth. You must be doing things while you are young to ensure that when you are old you have the wisdom through scriptural insight and obedience.


Respect and honor for the elder is rooted in the Ten Commandments, where God says, “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” (Exodus 20:12)

Please don’t miss the interesting concept here.  As we give respect to our older parents we ensure that we have greater longevity for ourselves. So, read between the lines men, if you do not want to live long go ahead and treat your parents with animosity.

“Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19:32)  In other words, stand up when your elder enters the room and have some respect. Do this because you have the fear of God in your heart. This isn’t an old wives tale from the south. It was part of the law of Israel.

“Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.” (Proverbs 23:22)

If these verses were obeyed, if people today heeded these instructions it would make our society so much better.  “This one section of biblical admonition could radically change our culture,” says Robert Hicks. It would change how parents are treated, how grandparents are treated and how seniors are dealt with and with no question, the change would be for the better.

ZAKEN: A Time of Fulfillment

Our society is looking for fulfillment in all the wrong places and all the wrong times. We constantly sacrifice the good of the present for the might-bes and wannabes of the future. We are rarely satisfied. Ultimately God must be the source of our satisfaction. Jesus said it, “Only those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (which comes from God) will ever find it and be satisfied. (Matthew 5:6)

We do not think about how we want to die.  We are going to die and this culture does not prepare for it. We are a death-denying culture.  People today do not want to come to grips with death.

From a biblical perspective the Zaken is the time of ultimate fulfillment.  It is the time to prepare for a natural death. A natural death with all business taken care of and with all relationships reconciled.

If you notice how most people die today they go to death cantankerous, bitter, demanding and regretful.  And this is not totally because of physical pain and discomfort.

Three conditions make the Zaken time less than fulfilling.

  1. No Zakens in the family. “Wherefore the Lord God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the Lord saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. Behold, the days come, that I will cut off thine arm, and the arm of thy father’s house, that there shall not be an old man in thine house. And thou shalt see an enemy [in my] habitation, in all [the wealth] which [God] shall give Israel: and there shall not be an old man in thine house for ever. And the man of thine, [whom] I shall not cut off from mine altar, [shall be] to consume thine eyes, and to grieve thine heart: and all the increase of thine house shall die in the flower of their age. And this [shall be] a sign unto thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas; in one day they shall die both of them.” (1 Samuel 2:30-34)  Eli died alone with no other family and no connections.
  2. Grieving the needless loss of life from unnatural causes. “Moreover, thou knowest also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, and what he did to the two captains of the hosts of Israel, unto Abner the son of Ner, and unto Amasa the son of Jether, whom he slew, and shed the blood of war in peace, and put the blood of war upon his girdle that was about his loins, and in his shoes that were on his feet. Do therefore according to thy wisdom, and let not his hoar head go down to the grave in peace.” (1 Kings 2:5-6) This is reference to both needless killing and also death from accidental means.
  3. Suffering the loss of our own young. Our children should never precede us and when it happens it takes a major toll. It robs a man of the joy of old age.

The two things these three issues have in common are the loss of life and the loss of family connections. The number one commonality on people that live long lives is the ability to suffer loss and move on from it.

The key to fulfillment is RECONCILIATION, having our important relationships maintained. We should do our best to reconcile any relationships severed or harmed in earlier times.

Zaken: It is a Time of Significant Contribution

We should not be short sighted and in a hurry.  Life is not over at age 40, not at 50, not at 60, 70 or even 80.

The Zaken of Israel defended their region.  “And it was so, that when the children of Ammon made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to fetch Jephthah out of the land of Tob: And they said unto Jephthah, Come, and be our captain, that we may fight with the children of Ammon. And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, Did not ye hate me, and expel me out of my father’s house? and why are ye come unto me now when ye are in distress? And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, Therefore we turn again to thee now, that thou mayest go with us, and fight against the children of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead. And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, If ye bring me home again to fight against the children of Ammon, and the Lord deliver them before me, shall I be your head?And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, The Lord be witness between us, if we do not so according to thy words. Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and captain over them: and Jephthah uttered all his words before the Lord in Mizpeh.” (Judges 11:5-11)

The Zaken defended their families and their cities. “And Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. And Jehu wrote letters, and sent to Samaria, unto the rulers of Jezreel, to the elders, and to them that brought up Ahab’s children, saying, Now as soon as this letter cometh to you, seeing your master’s sons are with you, and there are with you chariots and horses, a fenced city also, and armour; Look even out the best and meetest of your master’s sons, and set him on his father’s throne, and fight for your master’s house. But they were exceedingly afraid, and said, Behold, two kings stood not before him: how then shall we stand? And he that was over the house, and he that was over the city, the elders also, and the bringers up of the children, sent to Jehu, saying, We are thy servants, and will do all that thou shalt bid us; we will not make any king: do thou that which is good in thine eyes.” (2 Kings 10:1-5)

The Zaken furnished counsel along with the priests and the prophets. “Mischief shall come upon mischief, and rumour shall be upon rumour; then shall they seek a vision of the prophet; but the law shall perish from the priest, and counsel from the ancients.” (Ezekiel 7:26) “Then said they, Come and let us devise devices against Jeremiah; for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, and let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his words.” (Jeremiah 18:18)

Zaken is a Time for Mentoring

The concept of mentoring is coming back full-circle. All the major companies today are adopting mentoring concepts and relationships. Mentoring gives you a brain to pick, a shoulder to cry on and sometimes a good swift kick in the pants.  A mentor cares for a younger man in the totality of his life. A mentor helps the student to become successful in Life.  Not in accumulating things but successful in how to live.

There is a huge need for elderly (Zaken) mentors for young people today.

As a professor at the Dallas Seminary, Dr. Howard Hendricks always passed an anonymous paper to every one of his students. So here it is:


“Died age 20; buried age 60. The sad epitaph of too many Americans. Mummification sets in on too many young men at an age when they should be ripping the world wide open. For example: Many people reading this page are doing so with the aid of bifocals.  Inventor? B. Franklin, age 70. The presses that printed this page were powered by electricity.  One of the harnessors? B. Franklin, age 40.  Some are reading this on the campus of one of the Ivy League universities. Founder? B. Franklin, age 46.  Others in a Library. Who founded the first library in America? B. Franklin, age 25. Some got their copy through the U.S. Mail. Its father? B. Franklin, age 31.  Now think fire. Who started the first fire department, invented the first lightening rod, designed a heating stove still in use today? B. Franklin, age 31, 43, 36. Wit, Conversationalist, Economist, Philosopher, Diplomat, Favorite of the capitals of Europe.  Journalist, Printer, Publisher, Linguist, (spoke and wrote 5 languages).  Advocate of paratroopers (from balloon) a century before the airplane was invented. All this until age 84. And he had exactly two years of formal schooling. It’s a good bet that you already have more knowledge than Franklin ever had when he was your age. Perhaps you think there is no use trying to think of anything new, that everything’s been done. Wrong. The simple, agrarian America of Franklins day didn’t begin to need the answers we need today. Do something about it. Tear out his page and read it on your 84th birthday. Ask yourself what took over in your life, indolence or ingenuity!”

Zaken keeps connecting, keeps contributing and makes his reconciliations.


Men, Jesus moves us from one stage to the next. Jesus is the only one that can empathize with us where we are. He can help us because he experienced the same stages. “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)

Because Jesus is the second Adam he was very much human. He was tempted in every way.

He was a warrior.

He was a wounded male. See Luke 22:39 through Luke 23:25.

He was the mature man during the resurrection. Wise beyond His years. (And that is an understatement!)

He is our sage.

It is FAITH men, day by day, event by event, stage by stage, that gets us through to the other side. New expressions of FAITH EVERY DAY!

I hope you got as much out of this Masculine Journey as I did.

Many thanks to Robert Hicks and his book The Masculine Journey, Understanding the six stages of Manhood.

God bless you men.  “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13

Until next time,

The Tubthumper

Are we a Bunch of Losers, Part 4

church-wallpaperWhat about us?

I can’t leave this subject without pointing out the responsibility of the believer.  God uses the believer in many ways to build His church.  For this position I will turn to the 6th chapter of Acts and look in verses 1-7. In verse 1 we see that disciples were multiplied which is our commandment.  We are to go and make disciples.  The number of disciples was multiplied: Multiplied meant to them that souls were added to the kingdom and the church was growing.  I need to mention here that growing pains were felt as the church was growing just like it happens now-days.  There were two sides involved in this church, the Grecian Jews and the Hebrews.  Apparently the Hebrews were being slighted and there was some complaining going on.  We see in verse 2 the Apostles were responsible for the church and they had to carry out both a spiritual ministry and a material ministry of helping the needy.

The church then lived very close. They shared everything and knew what everyone was doing.  They had everything in common and probably had something like a commissary. When the Bible mentions “tables” they are actually stations where money and food was distributed.  Each day the food and other things were given out according to need.  This is where the problem arose regarding some of the widows allegedly getting more than others.  By the way, all widows were completely taken care of by the church.  What a great concept!  Oh, one other thing, we must realize that we are not apostles. Apostleship was unique and not something we can repeat.  We are not apostles.  This is one of the “river of differences” between then and now.

The church was to look among the congregants to appoint seven men that were spirit-filled to act as “deacons”.  The word deacon literally was not present and I use it as descriptive. (They were to look for men of honest report and men full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom.) This will allow the apostles to continue in the ministry they were appointed to and continue steadfast in prayer and the ministry of the word.   The Apostles wanted to remain devoted to the most important duties.  Notice the priority of prayer first.  Pray steadfastly!  They appointed Stephen, Philip, Prochurus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas.  All seven men have Greek names showing that they came from the Grecian numbers to represent them fairly.

In verse 6 they prayed and laid hands on the men.  Laying on of hands was used in the Old Testament to confer blessing, transfer guilt from sinner to sacrifice and to commission a person for a new responsibility.  I notice they prayed first and then laid hands on them.  Most of the time today we do it in the opposite pattern, we lay on the hands and then pray.

The last verse, verse 7, shows the number of disciples multiplied and a great number of the priests were obedient to the faith.  This meant they were accepting the preaching of the apostles that proclaimed a sacrifice that made the old sacrifices unnecessary. They became obedient to the faith.  Luke pauses throughout his story to summarize the progress of the gospel and the growth of the Christian community. This last verse was one of five summaries he gave.

We can see a theological principle here. God makes his will known to believers in the book of Acts.  God uses a variety of means to guide his people. In this passage he uses other believers.   Theology of work is evident in this passage.  It is service… Serving God, serving society and serving wherever needed.  The spirit filled men that were chosen as “deacons” to take care of the tables did not complain because they couldn’t do what the apostles did.  They served where they were needed. Overseeing the food distribution was just as important as the work of preaching the word of God.  Commitment to service needs to be our foundation.  “The one constant is that God directs our paths in a variety of ways—of this we can be confident!”

So then, how should individual Christians apply this principle today?

We should all be willing servants of the Lord wherever we are needed.  We need to understand that being filled with the spirit and having wisdom equips us to heal any division in our communities or churches. It allows us to assist in the growing pains that will naturally occur from church growth. Every job is reliant on the Spirit to do good work.  Every work we do has the capacity to be a means of participation in God’s plan for the world by the power of the Holy Spirit. Believers’ need to serve where we are needed.  If we are obedient to the Lord and follow His word then He will do the rest.

There is so much more in the Bible about what we are to do as believers and I could do over 100 posts on this subject alone. I probably will before I am done.  If we take the big picture it comes down to one concept once we are part of the Kingdom and it is ‘The Great Commission’.  You can find it in Matthew 26: 16-20. Simply stated, ‘The Great Commission’ is comprised of three parts: 1) Make disciples, 2) Baptize them, 3) Teach them to observe all things that I have commanded you.  That is Divinely Authoritive and The Great Commission is job number one of ‘The Church’ and so it is job number one for us. This is the umbrella under which all of our functions should take place.

Over the years man has distorted what God’s word has brought forth and people go to organized churches today that are miles away from what God intended.  People are getting false teaching and heresy and the only way they can see the difference is to read and listen to the truth.  The truth is God’s word as it was written.  As I mentioned in the first post, the message has been dumbed down, changed by mankind to suit their needs and watered down to draw crowds and not offend anyone.  The truth is needed!  True disciples of the Lord are never offended by the truth!  We seek it, and we want to get to the meat of true spirituality.

We are to be intimately involved with each other and every saint to insure that others are equipped for ministry and then they can go on and minister to others.  We are to equip others to the building up of the body of Christ.  The body of Christ, wow!  That is ‘The Church’ we have talking about.

I am out of space today and need to close by asking you to go to the Word and read these scriptures: Proverbs 3:5; Colossians 2:8-11; Proverbs 1:25-30; Proverbs 8:14-17; Isaiah 5:21; Isaiah 30:1-3; Isaiah 40:13-14, Job 38:2-7; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; Romans 3:18; timothy 3:16-17; and last but not least 2 Peter 1:2-4.

Do not rely on the wisdom of men for it will let you down.  “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding”, Proverbs 3:5.  

(Click Here to) –  Join me in the next post as we look at the necessities of being a healthy “New Testament Church”.

May God bless your day today,

“The Tubthumper”

Day 28 to pray for the election, 12 to go.

prayer2True wisdom is a gift from God

The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment. The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide. (Psalm 37:30-31)

Dear Lord we come into Your presence with humble hearts.  We praise You Oh, God.  Father we adore Your name.  You are the Mighty King.  You are the master of everything.  Father we love and adore You.

Father, we pray for forgiveness for our sins.  Please forgive us Lord, we have forgotten where our blessings and our strength came from. Lord, Your people have left You out.  Our nation has left You out. We have been busy with our own agenda and have gone astray.

We thank You, Lord.  We thank you for all You have given us. We have so much!  You have blessed our nation beyond reason.  We thank You for all Your grace Oh God.  We thank You for our freedom and for our forefathers that fought hard to obtain it.

We ask, Lord, for protection of the freedoms we have.  We pray that You will direct our people and our nation to a leader that will follow Your commandments.  We pray for our nation dear Lord.  Please help us and protect us.  Intercede Oh God on the election in 12 days and grant us the victory in Your name.  Please protect and deliver us from evil.

Dear Lord, True wisdom is a gift that only You can provide.  Help us to be in the right standing with You, Father.  May the words we speak give honor to You, and may we never speak Your name in vain. Help us Oh God, to stay steadfast and live in such a way that Your light will shine through us.  We have only 12 days to the decision, dear Lord.  Please put Your hedge of protection around us each day and most directly on November 6. We thank You once again, Father, for Your mercy and love and we make these prayers and supplications through Jesus Christ, Amen.

Day 25 praying for election, 15 to go.

WomanpraySpeak to our spirits with words of wisdom and direction.

And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. (Luke 11:1)

Father, we praise You dear Lord.  We bow before Your Holiness.  Lord, You are the greatest. You are our creator. Father, we worship You the most high.

Lord we confess our sins to You.  Please forgive us, Oh God.  Forgive our nation and our people for what we have done. We come to You with open hearts and ask that You speak to our spirits and our souls with words of wisdom and direction, that we may know how You desire for us to pray.

Lord, we thank You for Your grace. We thank You for Your abundance of love.  We thank You once again that we were born in America. We thank You for our freedom and protection of days past. We pray, Lord that You will protect us and provide for us in days future.

Lord, help Your humble servants to speak words of praise and adoration, for You are the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Teach us, Lord, that we may know You and the power of Your resurrection. Fill us with Your presence and forgive our shortcomings.  Lead us, Oh God, to a higher place, that You might be lifted up and draw all people and nations to You. Father help us, we so need Your help, Oh God.

Lord, we pray for this upcoming election.  We know Father that You are in control and will appoint or allow a person to be in that position.  What we do, individually, is of little consequence, Lord, when Your mighty hand of control and direction waves the future toward us. We pray, Father, the one who lives Your principles the most will be appointed in 15 days.  We pray for Your divine protection over our nation.

Lord, we pray these things to Jesus Christ who taught His disciples to pray:  Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.


Day 23 of prayer for election, 17 to go.

girl in worshipContinue to work in us, O’God and help us to grow to be the people You wish us to be.

For thou, O my God, hast told thy servant that thou wilt build him an house: therefore thy servant hath found in his heart to pray before thee.  And now, Lord, thou art God, and hast promised this goodness unto thy servant:  Now therefore let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may be before thee for ever: for thou blessest, O Lord, and it shall be blessed for ever. (1 Chronicles 17:25-27) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1Peter 1:3-5)

Oh dear God, God of goodness, God of blessings, Almighty Lord.  We praise You and we thank you for Your beautiful work that You have wrought.  How wonderful, O Lord, are the works of your hands.

“The heavens declare Your glory; the arch of the sky displays Your handiwork. In Your love You have given us the power to behold the beauty of Your world robed in all its splendor. The sun and the stars, the valleys and the hills, the rivers and the lakes all disclose Your presence. The roaring breakers of the sea tell of Your awesome might, the beast of the field and the birds of the air bespeak Your wondrous will. In Your goodness You have made us able to hear the music of the world. The voices of the loved ones reveal to us that You are in our midst. A divine voice sings through all creation.”[1]

Father we confess we forget what You have done for us.  Forgive our people, our nation and our church, O’God for we have forgotten You and all You have done.  Words are impossible to describe Your abundant grace dear Lord.  Father, help our nation to know You, to know Your glorious power, to know Your beauty, Your majesty and Your goodness.  Please forgive us, Lord for leaving You out of our lives.

Father we thank You for what You have done for us.  Your goodness and Your blessings. Lord they are too much. You are too much. And Lord, we love You and we thank You.  Thank You for Your continued goodness even when we stumble; thank You that You are ever present to hold our hands and lift us up. We thank You Lord!

We praise You, Lord, for the power of Your Spirit that we see at work around us every day, as You are gathering day by day a mighty host, as the host of God. O lord, help us to understand more fully how much You really do love us.

Our nation needs the power of Your Spirit.  Our nation needs Your strength and wisdom as we go to the election polls in 17 days.  Help us O’God. Protect us dear Lord. We are so blessed that each day You come to us with the gift of Your Spirit to help us and strengthen our purpose for Your glory.   Your love has been promised forever.  Continue to work in us, O’God, and help us grow to be the people You wish us to be.  Thank You for Your gracious mercy to us each and every day, Lord. We ask these things through Jesus Christ. Amen.


[1] Traditional Jewish Prayer

Day10 of Prayer for Election, 30 to go

foundin-fathers-prayingIn Everything Give Thanks

Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Dear Lord we praise you this day.  We love you Lord and worship you.  Forgive us Father for our sins against you.  Dear Lord, our joy in you is our strength.   Father, you have blessed our nation beyond all measure.  We rejoice and give thanks, Lord for your grace and blessings on our country.   Dear Lord, we pray for your divine guidance on all our days.  Father, we pray that we would never forget Your benefits of power and strength, love and protection.  Thank you Lord for welcoming us to Your throne of grace to receive your blessing.  In Jesus name, AMEN.

A prayer from Thomas Jefferson from Washington, DC, on March 4, 1801.  He prays, “Almighty God, who has given us this good land for our heritage; We humbly beseech Thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of Thy favor and glad to do Thy will.  Bless our land with honorable ministry, sound learning, and pure manners.  Save us from violence, discord and confusion, from pride and arrogance and from every evil way.  Defend our liberties and fashion into one united people, the multitude brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues.  Endow with Thy spirit of wisdom those whom in Thy name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that through obedience to Thy law, we may show forth Thy praise among the nations of the earth.  In time of prosperity fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in Thee to fail; all of which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.