In my life I have met some really manly men. I have known men who fought in wars and survived in the most minimal of environments. I have known real life cowboys and ranchers who by the sweat of their brow and callouses on their hands existed. I have been around men who seemed to literally pull themselves up by their own boot straps and rise from the ashes of defeat to greatness. I have worked beside men who didn’t know the word quit and probably couldn’t even spell it.
One common thread runs through the life of real men. In fact, it is the only common denominator I have found between every “real” man I have known. Some men where rugged, tough and physically imposing. Others were nothing that much to look at and you wouldn’t guess what was inside based on the outside. Some where handsome and dashing while others not so much, but EVERY one that was a “real” man had this bonding element.
When Yahshua therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
Real men finish!!!
I have known men who started a lot of things. They seem to thrive on the excitement of a new job; rushing headfirst into a challenge with vim and vigor. Without exception the defining difference between a real man and all others is do they finish.
In baseball there was a time when the starting pitchers routinely pitched complete games. In fact, there have been times when the starting pitcher pitched in both games of a double header (back to back games). Sometime, before I was born, things began changing within the sport. Relief pitchers begin to be pop up and before too long the save became the popular statistic. The save was when a pitcher would come into the game in the latter innings and finish the game without surrendering the lead. When the “closer” became popular the “complete game” became obsolete. Now starting pitchers relied on the relief pitchers to finish what they started.
Now I know this is just baseball, but it seems baseball may be mimicking life. When did men start to rely on others to finish what they started? Why did men start to surrender the task set before them without seeing the job done?
I have known very few things in life more fulfilling than stopping and looking back at what I just finished. Be it great or small, arduous or miniscule; completing the job I started makes me fill complete. So how did we as men (humans) become quitters? If the completion of a task is the greatest reward in work, why do we oft times quit before it is finished?
The word our Master Yahshua undoubtedly spoke that days as He surrendered His Spirit was "Nishlam.”
We can often determine the meaning of a word by the first time it is used in Scripture. The root word for nishlam is shalam. You may recognize the word by it’s connection to shalom the common Hebrew word used as a greeting meaning completion, fullness or wholeness. We sometimes call this peace. Look at the first time this word is used in the Tanakh.
(1 Kings 9:25 OJB) And three times in shanah did Sh'lomo offer olot and shelamim upon the Mizbe'ach which he built unto YHWH and he burned ketoret upon the Mizbe'ach that was before YHWH. So he completed ET (alef tav) the Beis.
Wheb Shlomo (Solomon) offered up three times a day the burnt offerings and peace offering, he fininshed (shlamah) Alef/Tav the bayit (house) of YHWH.
When Yahshua haMashiach hung on the tree, He suffered and was tortured then the last Words to leave His mouth were nishlam. Is it a coincidence that Shlomo completes the Temple when the three offerings of the year had been completed? When the cycle of a year is done, the Temple is now whole, complete and finished. When Yahshua dies, the three offerings of the cycle are complete so the heavenly Temple of which the earthly is a shadow or type of are now whole, complete and finished. SELAH!! (Stop and think about it)
Inside the Mishkan as well as the Temple there were no chairs, no benches, nothing to sit on. Why? The work was never ending, the cohen stayed busy but never completed the job. So the cohen themselves may have completed their service and stepped down for another to step up, but the job itself was never completed.
(Mark 16:19 The Scriptures 1998+) Then indeed, after the Master had spoken to them, He was received up into the heaven, and sat down at the right hand of Elohim.
(Acts 2:25 OJB) "For David Hamelech says of him, SHIVVITI YHWH L'NEGDI TAMID KI MIMINI BAL EMMOT ("I set YHWH before me always, because he is at my right hand I will not be shaken.") [TEHILLIM 16:8-11]
I have set YHWH always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my lev is glad, and my kavod rejoiceth; my basar also shall dwell securely [see 1Th 5:23 OJBC]. For Thou wilt not abandon my nefesh in Sheol; neither wilt Thou allow Thine Chasid to see shachat (corruption, the pit, the grave, the abyss of corruption; see Ac 2:24). Thou wilt show me the Orach Chayyim (the path of life); in Thy presence is fulness of joy, at Thy right hand there are pleasures netzach (for evermore).
(Psalms 16:8-11 OJB)
So on the tree, Yahshua does what all real men do…He completed the task set before Him. He showed chesed and layed down His life so we can find pleasures netzach (forever more).
Now back to us today. Where are the closers? Where are the men who have enough of YHWH to show His wisdom and loving kindness and victory, endurance? What does that mean?
The battle is not won by our power, by our might. The battles is won by our stick-to-edness (nishlam).
You see to finish a job in YHWH’s dictionary means to bring it to completion. So every time we set our hand to something and do not see it through, every time we take a hold of the plow then turn back, every time we fell compelled to leave the job and return to help bury the dead; we are not (shalam) completing the job. By doing this we mar our reputation and since we our marked with His Name (that’s what shem really means) we break His Command.
“You do not bring/lift up/take the Name of YHWH your Elohim to naught, for YHWH does not leave the one unpunished who brings His Name to naught.
(Exodus 20:7 The Scriptures 1998+)
If you have a debt, for His Name’s sake pay it. If you have wronged a brother, for His Name’s sake go make teshuvah (repentance). If you have started something, for His Name’s sake finish it.
From You is My praise in the great assembly; I pay (shalam) My vows before those who fear Him.
(Psalms 22:25 The Scriptures 1998+)
The rasha borroweth, and repayeth not; but the tzaddik showeth chonen (generosity), and giveth (shalam).
(Psalms 37:21 OJB)
Sacrifice unto Elohim todah (thanksgiving); and pay (shalam) thy nedarim (vows, pledges) unto Elyon;
(Psalms 50:14 OJB)
When will there be a noticeable difference between bnei YHWH (sons of YHWH) and the bnei ha satan (sons of the adversary)? When the men of YHWH become finishers.
For already I am being poured out, and the time of my avekfor (departure) has come. The milchemet tzedek (war of righteousness) I have fought, the course I have finished, the emunah (faith) I have been shomer (guarded) over. Henceforth, there is laid up for me the keter hatzedakah (crown of righteousness) which Adoneinu, the Shofet Tzedek, will give to me in HaYom HaHu, and not only to me, but also to all the ones who are ohavei Bi’at HaMoshiach.
(2 Timothy 4:6-8 OJB)
Shalom Aleichem Bnei YHWH.