Man-up!

As David’s time drew near, he charged Solomon his son, saying, “I am going the way of all the earth. Be strong, therefore, and show yourself a man.” I Kings 2:1-2 [This message was delivered by T.R. Keenum at our men’s retreat last Fall]

  1. In the first place, Everyone should know that we are men. There should be no doubt about our gender. We ought to have short hair like men, dress like men and act like men. If some one has to look twice to tell if we are a man, something is wrong.
  2. As men, we are to be the spiritual leader of the home. We should never brag about the little lady being the spiritual leader. Be a man, it is your responsibility to lead, not your wife’s.
  3. We should love our wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her. A man ought to love his wife sacrifically and selflessly. He should be willing to lay down his life for his wife. Intelligent men listen to their wives. They have a perspective, a point of view that we guys do not have. It is wise to hear what they have to say.
  4. We should insist that our wives to dress modestly. No man should want his wife to dress like a prostitute. A lot of problems are created when women don’t cover the subject.

All Is Fair in Love and War!

 

Washington On His Knees in Prayer

I think we can attribute the above quote to John Lyly [1578]. Not doubt, it is a well-known proverb that is practiced by many. I was government educated. I was not taught in public school that we live in a Republic. I was told repeatedly that we live in a democracy. We were taught some noble things about George Washington but Lincoln was the icon of the public text-book in my day. Today it is John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King. Kids who get their education in public schools only get one side of the story and sometimes it is not the truth that they are taught, it is pure propaganda. We have been taught that the civil war was about slavery and that the North was fighting for a noble cause.

Several years ago I bumped into a man at a softball game. He and I were there to see our grandkids play ball. We engaged in conversation and we did have some common interest. I knew his brother and his daughter. He got off on the civil war and basically went on a tangent. He had nothing good to say about Honest Abe. He referred to him as our first Imperial President and also said he was gay. I have no idea where he got his information and my initial response to his tirade was that he was crazy. I didn’t give the subject any thought for a few years and then I saw a movie that stirred my mind. That made me curious enough to get on google and do some research. The more I know about Lincoln, the less I like him. I have been reading about Lincoln and the civil war for two or three years now and I am convinced that the war was not about slavery. Had Lincoln not been elected, there probably would not have been a civil war. The man has a lot of blood on his hands. Most Yankee’s who are arrogant by nature fully believed that they didn’t need the South and that their interest would be better served if the Southern States did leave the Union, as Lincoln referred to the United States.

Lincoln wanted Robert E. Lee to be his to command the Union army but Lee after much prayer and deliberation turned Lincoln down. His decision had nothing to do with slavery. Lee was opposed to slavery. Lee’s problem was that he could not bear arms against his beloved State of Virginia. Lee believed in the United States of America: Lincoln believed in the UNION.  Lee was a good Christian and a true gentleman. Of course our impeckable public school system has  demonized Lee. It is politically incorrect to even mention his name.  You cannot name a school after Robert E. Lee anymore, it is not politically correct. Someone tried to do that just a year ago and their was a media uproar. You can name one John F. Kennedy or even William Clinton High or Jimmy Carter Elementary or even Jesse Jackson High but not Robert E. Lee or Jefferson Davis because these men were evil, they fought for slavery. Yeah, that is the conclusion they want you to draw. I find it odd that our text books are written by Yankee liberals and they have basically recreated American history to fit their bias. Robert E. Lee was a great soldier, a Christian gentleman and a lover of his State of Virginia which by the way has produced more American hero’s than any State in the United States. Lincoln and the Yankees thought the war would be quick and easy.  Actually Heir Lincoln thought he could do it without firing a shot. He grossly underestimated the Southern resolve. I think Lincoln was shocked. I don’t think he foresaw one million Americans being slaughtered on the field of battle for nothing other than Yankee superiority and the final destruction of the rights of STATES to be sovereign.

I think there are two primary reasons we did not win the war. The death of Stonewall Jackson was a blow. He was not expendable but that was not the final blow. Lincoln decided that to win the war, he would have to resort to fighting in a different manner: something akin to terrorism.  That is when he engaged Sherman [a despicable man] and sent him into the South burning cities, homes, farms and everything in his path. Yes, it did have the desired effect: it terrified the public and broke the South’s resolve. It seems rather strange that we admire a man who hired a terrorist to help him win his war. The civil war was uncalled for: should have never happened and would not have happened had Lincoln listened to reason.

Some will accuse me of “Bitter Grapes” but that really doesn’t bother me. I am not as concerned about what people think about me as I am them understanding the truth and they will never get it from a government school. I want people to know the truth. I challenge you to do your own research. Do not assume that you have been taught the truth: Prepare to be shocked!  I admire Robert E. Lee who did not fight for Slavery but for the right of the STATE to be sovereign. The very thing that Patrick Henry feared most is what caused the civil war: the imbalance in Congress between North and South. The North had the majority and used it to bully the South. The war happened because the South was tired of being bullied. We lost because Robert E. Lee was a Christian and a gentleman. Do you not realize that we could have burned down New York City had Lee choose to fight a war of terrorism against citizens. Lee was a man of principle which is far more than you can say about Lincoln and Sherman. Yankees were not and are not morally superior. Lincoln was not motivated by the plight of slaves: He wanted to force his will on the South and he did at great expense. These morally superior folks of live to the North and East are also responsible for our present situation. Our current president has the same aura of superiority that Lincoln possessed.  So the North has their icons and heroes: men like Lincoln, Sherman, Kennedy and Obama. We here in the SOUTH, Dixie, the land of cotton have our heroes: George Washington, Patrick Henry, Robert E. Lee, Bear Bryant and Ronald Reagan. I threw the last two just to burn any liberals cookies in case one were to read the article [which I doubt]. We have icons that we can respect because they were noble men; Men of character and integrity.  You cannot respect a man that you do not trust. I want the truth to come out but the left and their lame stream media wants to keep it buried. I want you to know the truth about Robert E. Lee but they don’t want us to know the truth about Lee, Lincoln or Sherman. I really wish that PROPAGANDA was ineffective but unfortunately that is not the case and the LEFT is a master at its use.


Saul, Jonathan and David

Every time I read through the old testament, I get caught up in the drama of first and second Samuel. The elders of Israel ask Samuel for a king. This was very disappointing to Samuel who had already set his two sons up as Judges. Unfortunately for Samuel, his sons were not much better than the sons of Eli who were worthless. The elders persisted in their appeal and after a lot of prayer and soul-searching, Samuel yields and begins his search for a king. We know from prophecies in Genesis that the Messiah King is coming from the tribe of Judah but for some strange reason, Samuel spots a man who is a Benjamite. His name is Saul and he is the most handsome man in Israel; you might say, the Jason Bowling of Israel. Saul is tall, dark and handsome. The bible states that he is a head taller than other men so I would assume that he was 6’6″-6’8″. His father is a rather affluent rancher and Saul helps with the livestock. He seems like a very happy young man with everything going his way. There is an air of kindness and humility about him. He never shows the slightest sign of disrespect toward his father or Samuel. When Samuel tells him that he is going to be Israel’s king, he hides because he does not want to be presented to the people. He seems bashful, shy and very humble. Samuel announces him as king but not everyone is excited. Then there comes a plea for the folks of Jabesh-gilead. They are being threatened by the Ammonites who are going to gouge out their eye [one on each man] and make them slaves. Saul musters an army and goes to the rescue. It is the only successful campaign that Saul will lead with courage and strength. The Israelites are highly impressed with young Saul and the folks at Jabesh are extremely grateful. Samuel must feel a sense of relief that Saul is being accepted. Some encourage Saul to eliminate his opposition but Saul refuses. With such a good beginning: showing courage, kindness, compassion and mercy, everyone assumed that Saul was the real deal. Regretfully, Saul glory did not last long. The moment the full weight of the kingdom was on his shoulders, Saul begins to implode.

Our first discovery is that Saul is not so much humble and shy as he is fearful. Saul was a deeply insecure person and as that insecurity made its way to the surface, his leadership ability was crippled. No one wants to follow a coward into battle and Saul was tormented by fear. A victorious army needs a courageous leader and Saul just did not have the courage to lead. Case in point was the head to head confrontation with the Philistines at the valley of Elah. Saul and his entire army were being terrorized by one Philistine giant name Goliath [I Samuel 17:11]. Along comes David, a lad at the time, and he volunteers to face the giant. What makes the story so sad is that Saul [6’8″] allows David to fight his battle. He sends the kid out to face an enemy that he refuses to fight. This is not a good thing for Saul or his army. David either has no fear or shows no fear and he by the grace of God accomplishes the seemly impossible, he slays the giant and becomes an instant hero. Everyone admires courage. Even his brothers who for some reason were not fond of the David admired his courage. The kid had the heart of a lion.

At first, David military success does not bother Saul, not in a way that we can detect but David is a natural when it comes to war. He is a daring soldier and men followed him into battle and he always prevailed. David never lost a battle. Saul was using David to his advantage until the army returned from a campaign and the streets were lined with women and children cheering for the army. Evidently, word had reached Jerusalem that Saul liked to sit in his tent or under a tree while David and his men did the fighting. The David fans had composed a song that they sang as the army entered the city…the lyrics were pretty clear…David was being hailed as the conqueror and Saul was more or less his inferior, not his superior. This infuriated Saul. He went into a jealous rage and lost all sense of logic. No one could reason with him. From this point on Saul was jealous of David and fearful that David would become king. He became so paranoid that he tried to kill David on a couple of occasions. Saul has convinced himself that David was his enemy. Eventually, he puts out a contract on David and forces him to flee the country.

According to the scriptures, David was more than willing to be Saul’s servant. He never gives any indication that he is after Saul’s job. Think about this: Saul is not a good general and he is very lacking in all military skills. David has the skill that Saul is lacking and could be Saul’s commander-in-chief. With David leading the army, the Israelites are always victorious, always. David never loses. If I am Saul, I have no problem in making David my Commander of the Army. It was a foolish error for Saul not to employ David in his service: foolish indeed. When Saul chases David out of the country, he seals his own fate. Saul needed David like we need air and water. David was Saul’s only hope. Just think, David as Commander of the Armed forces and Jonathan as adjutant-general. It would have been an awesome combination. I’m not a military man but I can see Saul’s mistake in judgment, why couldn’t Saul see it? Because he was eat up with jealously and jealousy blinds. I was at a youth league football game the other day and the best athlete was being chewed out for not blocking for the coaches son. I am thinking, “You are giving the ball to the wrong person. You have a very good athlete and you are not using him.” Saul being a father wanted Jonathan to carry the ball but Jonathan by his on confession was a blocker. Saul needed to give the ball to David but he was blinded by jealous pride.

So Saul chases David out of the country and out of the picture. So, Saul is happy now, right? Not really and neither is anyone else. Jonathan is not happy. Jonathan needed David and he was not afraid to admit it. Jonathan does lead Israel is one decisive victory but other than that, it is all down hill for Saul and the army. Saul became more fearful and tentative by the day and you cannot lead an army when you are eaten up with insecurity.

David goes to Achish the Philistine and subjugated himself to him. He would have preferred serving Saul but Saul rejected him. Achish trust David [I Samuel 27:12] and gives him authority and even a city. Of course David was deceiving Achish and setting the table for a take over once Saul was gone. David had no intention of eliminating Saul but he knew it was just a matter of time because he knew Saul. Sure enough, Saul is defeated and killed by his life long enemies, the Philistines. The sad thing is that Saul became so obsessed with David’s destruction that he neglects his real enemy [Philistines] which leads to his ultimate downfall. I like Jonathan, he has always been one of my favorite bible characters. We have a grandson named after Jonathan. I like Jonathan’s humility, his loyalty and his courage. If you have a friend like Jonathan, you have a friend indeed. Saul should have listened to his son. Jonathan was much wiser than his father.

When I read this story, I want to rewrite history; I want to fix things so that Jonathan’s dream comes true. He dreamed of a day when David would be king and he would be his right hand man. I don’t know why Saul did not retire and move back to the farm. He was much better at raising donkeys than he was at running a kingdom. Saul was the Jimmy Carter of Israel: he would have been better off and so would everyone else had he stuck to farming. But he didn’t and he got himself and three of his sons killed simply because he was disobedient and fearful.

You probably will not like or agree with my analysis but that’s OK with me. I don’t have a problem with you being wrong. Of the three men, David, Jonathan and Saul. I think Jonathan was the best of the three. If I were looking for a friend, I would take Jonathan. He was not ambitious. He was kind and considerate to others. He was a very brave man and yet very humble. He was loyal and a man of principle. He was much better to David than David was to him.

Saul was a mad man. He was definitely insane, totally out of touch with reality. Did Saul have an issue all along or was his problem due to his disobedience and jealously? I do not know the answer to that question. I do know that he was deeply insecure from the start and insecurity can destroy any leader. In a nut shell, I have little respect for Saul: lots of pity but no respect. I would not want Saul in my company. I never pastored a church that did not have at least one but you cannot trust a Saul because they are not trustworthy. When the first little thing goes wrong, they are looking for your head and they will attempt to chase you out of the community.

You assumed that David would be my pick of the three or perhaps you did not–I should not assume that you assume. Assumption is the mother of lies. I like David as a song writer and a worship leader but David is the O.T. poster child for grace. Of course you have to throw Jonah in with him. If you believe that David and Jonah are in heaven, you have to believe in grace. David’s good did not outweigh his evil. If you think that it did, you have been reading the wrong translation or no translation at all. Personally, I would have stayed as for away from David as possible, especially if I had a beautiful wife. David was a passionate man in all areas. It was his strength in battle but his weakness in bed. In was his strength is worship but he was his weakness at work. Not only does David take what he wants which is definitely a lack of self-control but he is not as principled as you would like. Taking a man’s wife is one thing but taking his life is something else. You could give a man’s wife back if he would have her but you can’t give a man’s life back. Yes, I agree that David is a courageous warrior, a superb leader, a magnificent musician, a gifted poet, a phenomenal theologian and he never forgets his roots. David always has a heart for the common man which is good in a king. But David could be ruthless, unforgiving, merciless, vindictive and yes cowardly. He allowed his nephew Joab to get away with murder. In II Samuel 3:39, the scripture records David’s own testimony…”Today I am powerless, even thought anointed king; these men, these sons of Zeruiah [David’s sister], are too violent for me.” In the waning years of David’s rule, Joab tells David what to do and Joab is a treacherous man. David refuses to deal with him in the same manner that he refused to deal with his sons.

Was David using Joab has his hatchet man? It is possible but he may have feared him. We know one thing: before David died, he told Solomon to take Joab out and not to Outback, out of the picture which of course Solomon did promptly. Joab was a scoundrel. I wouldn’t have trusted him any further than I can push Alabama’s offensive line. When I run into people who laud the praise on David, I always know that I am dealing with someone who is  scripturally illiterate. Years ago when I would mention David’s gross imperfection from the pulpit, my folks would look at me like a calf looking at a new gate but then they got to reading some of the modern English translations and one by one they would come to me and confess…”That David was a character” and I would quote Luther Roberts, “You better believe it.” I am not sure it grieved David but his lack of self-control, his lust and his violent temper almost destroyed his own family. He buried three sons that we know of and there could have been more. David grew old alone. They had to hire someone to hang out with him. It is the nature of a lustful, self-absorbed life. You destroy all your relationships and when you get old, you have no one. David never had time for his family and in the end, his family didn’t have time for him. Yes, he was surrounded by officials, after all, he was the king but he was not surrounded by family. When you have as many wives as David had, don’t expect them to be there in your final hours. They will be meeting with their lawyer while you expire. Invest in others. Love your family and in the end, they will love you. Two things we all need when we die: family and faith or family and Jesus.