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Bastard!

Who's the bastard?

J. was loved by his father. He asked him to live in his home. J.'s father owned up to and "lived with his choices". J. came and lived under his father's roof, but in his relationship with the others there was unease under the surface.

Then, one day, suddenly, J. was "missing" to his half-brothers and his side of the family. That was intentionally so until "they" were in terrible danger and really, but really needed him! (re: Judges 11:2)
J. even fled far away...to a different region of the land altogether. He may have feared for his life.

When J.'s father died, the half-brothers made it quite clear that he was a "bastard" and not a son by a wife or even a concubine. He was the son of a prostitute. Those "brothers" found legal loop-holes to shut J. out of any monetary or land inheritance. Did the father die "intestate"? Or was his father's "will" not iron-clad? Whatever...However....the "brothers" could keep J. from taking possession of physical assets. But they could not take J's "non-equity" inheritance...knowledge, wisdom, the knowledge his father loved him, the skills he learned under his father's supervision as he was growing up, his tolerance, his restraint on revenge....He had enough to start a "new" life somewhere else.

"You are not going to get an inheritance in "our" family." Judges 11:2
Tu n'as aucun droit sur l'héritage qui vient de "notre" père.
(You have no right to any inheritance that comes from "our" father.)- French
Du sollst nicht erben in "unsers" Vaters Hause.
(You are not to inherit something in "our" father's house.) - German
Tu non avrai eredità nella casa di "nostro" padre.
(You will not have an inheritance in the house of "our" father.) - Italian
No heredarás en la casa de "nuestro" padre.
(You will not inherit in the house of "our" father.) - Spanish
Did J. descend into a depression? Did he think his life was not worth living? No and No. He went far away and rose like cream to the top, just like Joseph in Egypt-land.

Well, came the day the brothers had to "eat crow". So far they had to live with their choices.
Why do you come to me now, when (all of) you're in trouble? Judges 11:7
Pourquoi faites-vous appel à moi maintenant que vous êtes dans la détresse? - French
Warum kommt ihr jetzt zu mir, da ihr in Bedrängnis seid? - German
Perché venite da me ora che siete in difficoltà?. - Italian
¿Por qué vienen a verme ahora, cuando están en apuros? - Spanish
What did they need?
They needed something J. had.
In his case it was his knowledge and his leadership.
These brothers had to acknowledge him as real "brother" and not just as an equal, but someone "better".

J. grilled them verbally. He received more than his "inheritance" and he earned himself more.

The half-brothers had to "prove" that they didn't hate him, even if they wouldn't really "need" him anymore.
Didn't you hate me and drive me away from my father's house?
N'êtes vous pas mes enemies, vous qui m'avez chassé de la maison de mon père?
Yes, we hated you. But that was when we were very ignorant!
We called you "son of a bitch", "Hurensohn" and "trésor de putaine"!
- "Then what are all of you?", laughed J.
- We didn't think of it 'til later. We are "sons of a gun". Yeah! Hurray! or "sons of a John" Oh, no! Quel dommage!
It isn't your "fault" how you came to be. You didn't "deserve" your station in life--and we didn't "deserve" our station in life either. (Maybe these brothers themselves had by now fathered children like J. and loved them.)

Well, J. got everything "stated with God as witness" in the holy place, in such a way that it equated having everything in writing witnessed by all the elders. Judges 11:11
He led his people.
God's Spirit was with him.
Yet as days went by he made an oath and promissed something he should not have!
Then he "had to live" with his own choices. He had to forego relationships with descendants! Maybe he had to "eat crow" when he was old and couldn't look after himself any more?

Even today, when there is such a rift in a family, people may have to "eat crow".

Families may have to fight the same danger all of a sudden! Earthquakes, 911 emergencies, ...

A "white" family member may need a bone marrow transplant and the best match may be among the never acknowledged "black" family members. The match would of course work both ways. (Wouldn't that be something if this happened among the multi-coloured Jefferson families?!)

A despised member of the family may have a rare family photo that is sorely wanted by the others.

The others may know what happened to a beloved "missing" relative in a wartime situation, but weren't asked before for their information.

Someone in the "other side of the family" may be able to go to a place where the family needed to go, yet would stand out like a sore thumb. examples: a straight-laced person in a drug haven wouldn't be able to get information easily or... a meek, skinny person wouldn't be able to go undercover and mix "unobtrusively" in the changeroom at a hunk muscle contest....a non-musical family would not be able to find their way in opera circles...

Maybe a German person does not know how to go about finding a Jewish relative, a child of a "mixed" marriage that ended in "circumstancial" divorce.
ex: Nora ____ ?, née Grühl (geb. Grühl), married at least 3 times; a multilingual "hero"; visited Lisbon; worked at the UN;
The swearword of the times was: Half-Jew.
.....
.....

Let's be "excellent" in our circumstances...so we can help ourselves and others.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Help us when we "have to eat crow" and have to live with our unwise choices. Help us make our situations not just bearable but livable and enjoyable. Thank you for forgiveness, even if it is after much "grilling" and "proving ourselves". Give us the courage to live through anything like that.

Help us not to make unwise choices in the first place.
Give us wisdom and love.
Lord, you put all of us into families. Mend them.

Guard our minds and mouths and our whole beings when someone swears or calls us unmentionable names and pushes us away or ostracizes us.

Show the swearer your wonderful plan, Lord God in Jesus Christ's mighty name.

Guard us all when we deal with wills of any kind and testaments. Help us not to die "intestate". Help us know how to bless all we know. Help us to have "our affairs in order" so there will be "not just peace" but beautiful harmony for many generations.
Amen.